The University of California Office of the President released the following announcement:

University of California officials announced Thursday that UCSB and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 501 have reached an agreement in which employees in the skilled crafts bargaining unit will participate in the university’s furlough-salary reduction program as of Oct. 1.

Under the agreement with IUOE, Local 501, about 85 electricians, HVAC mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, locksmiths and other trade employees on the Santa Barbara campus will participate in the same manner as nonrepresented UC employees for 12 months, helping make up for steep reductions in state funding of the university’s core educational costs.

Applicable salary increases for members of the Local 501 bargaining unit will go forward as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2010. Base-building increases will apply to the unreduced salary, and then the increased salary will be reduced by the applicable rate. The number of furlough days will not be adjusted because of salary changes throughout the duration of the program.

“We very much appreciate the union’s recognition of the serious financial challenges confronting the university, and its sense of responsibility in sharing in the sacrifice that all members of the UC community are needing to make given the current financial crisis,” said Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for systemwide human resources.

The systemwide furlough program, approved by the UC Board of Regents in July, was designed to save $184 million as the university set out to offset a $1 billion state funding shortfall through spending cuts, salary reductions, debt restructuring and student fee increases.

The furlough plan, shaped by suggestions from faculty and staff, uses a sliding scale. Participating faculty and staff are required to take from 11 to 26 furlough days resulting in salary reductions of 4 percent to 10 percent. The number of furlough days is based on pay bands with those earning $40,000 or less experiencing the lowest pay reduction and those earning $240,000 or more the biggest pay reduction.

More than 100,000 of the university system’s 180,000 employees began participating in the 12-month furlough program Sept. 1. For about 70,000 union-represented employees, implementation of furloughs or alternative approaches has been subject to individual contract agreements and collective bargaining.