Skip to Page Content
Dear Fellow State Employees,
Our country and our state are facing the worst economic crisis in recent American history. I am writing to you, the valued employees who provide the key services to our citizens, to let you know how my team and the General Assembly are attempting to work through this extraordinary challenge. As we do so, I am ever aware of our need to honor the sacred trust with voters by working together to make the tough choices we face. While our situation is not as bleak as some other states, I and the General Assembly must take strong and decisive measures to maintain essential services and sustain our workforce, all within the context of a balanced budget.
I also want to thank you and your elected employee partnership organizations for the many constructive suggestions you and they have offered. I have tried to consider each idea fairly and consistently in light of the magnitude of the budgetary shortfall. Several ideas proposed by ColoradoWINS and other employees across the state are still under active consideration. Additionally, early in the process, many employees expressed how important it was to keep the state’s health care contribution at the current proportion. I have agreed to keep any changes to health and dental insurance off the table for the time being. This exchange of ideas and initiatives will continue throughout the budget process.
However, there are only a few tools at my disposal which materially affect the enormity of the revenue shortfall. As a result, I have concluded that, in addition to the many other measures we’re taking to balance the budget, we will not be able to fund the salary-survey pay adjustments and the performance-based pay plan for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Additionally, I am requesting from the General Assembly the authority to establish up to three furlough days in the current fiscal year ending June 30, as well as 5 days in the 2009-10 fiscal year. While the three days this year would be held in reserve to be used only if needed, the budget as it now exists does anticipate the full 5 furlough days in the 7/1/09 – 6/30/10 budget year.
I am working closely with the legislature in a collaborative effort to chart a Colorado way forward. While we are hopeful that federal assistance will permit us to restore some of these budget reductions in the future, at this point we cannot count on such funding in establishing the budget. I will also work with employees to ensure that the furlough program is crafted in an equitable fashion. While I am hopeful that these will be the last of the changes directly affecting you – our most valued employees – I can’t be certain at this time. I will attempt to keep you informed at critical junctures as my administration and the General Assembly bring the budget into balance.
As always, I am grateful to you all for the many services you provide to the citizens of Colorado.
Bill Ritter, Jr.
Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at www.uccs.edu/ur/communique/archives.html, and the current issue is always at www.uccs.edu/ur/communique. Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tom Hutton, 262-3439.View Current Communique