Budget includes bonuses,
By Matt Kelly
legislators gave final approval April 17 to Gov. Mark Warners
plan to speed up bonuses for state employees this year.
in a one-day, reconvened session, the General Assembly OKd
Warners budget amendment moving state employee bonuses from
Dec. 31 to Aug. 30. The one-time, 2.5 percent payments do not
become part of base pay.
will have the option of taking up to two weeks of additional leave
instead of a bonus, or a combination of leave and bonus. Employees
taking the leave option have from July 1, 2002 until June 30,
2003 to use the additional leave time.
state has not worked out details of the bonus package, including
a timetable for electing a choice, what combination of options
will be available and whether probationary employees will be eligible.
The leave option is not available to faculty members, and the
distribution of faculty bonuses is left to the discretion of the
University. Employees on a nine-month payroll plan will receive
their bonuses in their October checks.
Aug. 30, classified staff will get a 2.5 percent bonus,
or two weeks paid leave, or a combination of bonus and paid
leave. Faculty will get a bonus, to be determined by the
All employees will be enrolled in the Virginia
Sickness and Disability Plan unless they opt out. The
enrollment period is October through December.
other proposed budget amendments, including increasing funds for
the Commonwealth Technology Research Fund, boosting student aid
and abolishing a plan for the state to retain some interest earnings
for auxiliary accounts, survived the legislative session. Firm
numbers are not yet available on what these three items will mean
for the University.
also agreed to put before the voters a plan for $1.1 billion in
general obligation bonds to finance capital improvements for state
colleges, institutions and parks. About $93 million of this money
is linked to construction projects at U.Va., including new medical
research, nanotechnology and Arts
& Sciences buildings, and renovations to Fayerweather
in the special session, legislators rejected a proposal for a
$5 per-ton trash dumping fee, which Nancy Rivers, director of
Relations, noted would have cost the University about $41,000
more per year in disposal costs. While it was a small amount in
comparison with the Universitys total budget, she said it
would have forced other reductions in U.Va.s budget had
it been approved. The measure has been referred to the Senate
Agricultural Committee for study before the 2003 session.
final budget gave the Board of Visitors greater latitude in raising
tuition, and the board responded by hiking in-state tuition 9
budget calls for automatically enrolling all employees in the
Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan unless they specifically
opt out. About 1,900 employees at the University are affected,
Rivers said. All employees hired after 1999 have automatically
been enrolled in the system.
said the enrollment period will run from October through December.
VSDP package includes disability insurance. The Universitys
own supplementary disability insurance plan had been through a
steep fee hike and was canceled when the pool of interested employees
dwindled. A short-term disability plan has been made available
to employees to get them through until VSDP coverage takes effect.
University faces a $25.4 million cut in state operating funds
in the first year of the upcoming biennium and $33.3 million the
from the base cuts, new building maintenance money was reduced
by nearly $1 million to $2.4 million. The maintenance reserve
fund has been more than halved, from $13.4 million for the current
biennium to $6.2 million for 2002-04.
Universitys equipment fund has been reduced from $15.2 million
in the current biennium to $10.9 million in the next biennium.
Medical Center will ultimately
be allowed to keep its interest income, but not for another two
years. Until then, it must turn over to the state $2.5 million
or its actual interest income, whichever is less.