The hammer is falling at UC Berkeley, with word that the university is laying off 150 managers and support staff.
The news, which was delivered in a campus bulletin late Thursday, comes just days after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed slashing $500 million from the UC system next year.
The job cuts are on top of 600 positions that Cal has already eliminated since last year.
Campus officials say they got a jump on the problem last summer when they hired an outside consultant -- at a cost of $7.5 million -- to come up with recommendations for streamlining operations.
In an update message, the university's Operational Excellence Executive Committee -- a group of campus administrators that has been working with the consultants -- said it expects to cut operations by $75 million in the next three years, with a big chunk of the savings coming from streamlined purchasing practices.
"The campus expects to eliminate approximately 280 full-time positions, half involuntarily and half through removal of vacant positions, retirements and voluntary separations, mostly before June 2011," the committee said. "Although this is positive news for our cost savings effort, we are saddened to announce that nearly 150 staff on our campus will be laid off."
About a quarter of the jobs pay more than $100,000, with benefits.
Officials say the layoffs will cut the number of managers on campus by about a third, but that the cuts
None of the jobs being cut are faculty or campus police positions. Also untouched is the undergraduate student workforce.
First, my condolences to those loosing their jobs.
However, it's a necessary evil because the majority of public union employees won't take the pay and benefit cuts needed to save all muni employees. It's just math and no more difficult a concept than that.
The main concept that I wanted touch on once again today because it's really a key data point. If you're being laid off by local government earning over $100,000, where do you go to find the next job that pays as much or more? NO WHERE is the answer for most.
Almost every municipality is not hiring, so that means those being laid off must seek jobs in the private sector, which typically pay less and definitely have lower benefits.
This is just one small municipality with 7,000 employees. Magnify this across the roughly 8,000 municipalities in this country with roughly 19.8 million employees and hopefully I've painted the picture of how many muni layoffs are coming and how many people are going to directly experience wage deflation.
Do we have enough private sector hiring to cover it? And since private pay is lower than public pay it might take 1.5 to 2 new private jobs to equal one lost public job. In that light, I highly doubt we have enough private sector jobs growth in 2011 to cover the problem.
Simple math suggests "Wage Deflation" and "Higher Taxes" are a must.
Hope all is well.
J.D Rosendahl, Rosey