You can read here about the new plan what will mandate a 1 week (5 working day) furlough for all USU employees in March. Basically, every USU employee will be required to take 5 days off without pay in March. Instead of taking 25% out of each March paycheck, they will take that amount out of paychecks over 5 months, which eases the blow.
For those in PHIL 1120 Social Ethics, this raises some interesting social and economic justice questions. Is this utilitarian or deontological reasoning? Is it better to spread out the pain with a furlough if it means saving jobs? What is the purpose of a business anyway (though in this case it is a public university)? Is the protection and welfare of workers a primary end of business, or are workers merely instruments in profit maximization?
For my part, I think the furlough is a good idea, it is expressive of a certain solidarity that shares the pain of these times without, one hopes, having that pain be felt in a truly crisis situation for any particular family. Of course, I would like to know exactly how many jobs the USU plan will save – I can imagine someone who takes the furlough pay cut only to lose their job in July would be pretty unhappy.