Well it’s no secret that the State of Illinois’ fiscal budget is in crisis…and for the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I’m worried about my future. The budget crisis is creating havoc at work and the effects of this situation are only in its’ infancy. Furlough days are being inacted throughout the university (although it hasn’t hit the union civil service employees yet, I think their time will soon come) and many people are making plans to leave either by early retirement or resigning their positions. And from all the information that we are getting so far, there will be more deeper permanent cuts come next fiscal year…up to 20% (as far as we know).
So where does that leave me? That’s what I have been asking myself as of late. It appears that I could end up moving into another existing or newly created position within the department to help deal with the diminished staffing issues. With that, it’s possible that I could finally get a bump in pay or status…but then again, you never know. I could still be kept in a lower-level position and someone else could end up getting hired into a position above me. Nevertheless, I still wonder that whether I do get a bump or not…how bad are things going to be around the workplace with 1/3 of the staff gone (and no immediate plans to fill the positions) and dealing with increased workload to maintain services to the campus. In other words, this could be a great opportunity for me but is it worth it when you are left “holding the bag”?
The times that lay ahead I feel are NOT for the faint of heart. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor held a campus public forum recently in which they voiced their opinions about the current budget situation.
“It’s interesting that the [Illinois] General Assembly is responsible for passing legislature that applies to everyone…but them. You know those Ethics tests the state requires you to take? They don’t have to.”
“If we were a real business, we would be filing for Chapter 11.”
“Many people would say that California is the state with the worse financial situation in the U.S. I disagree. At least they have a plan! At this point, there is no plan with the State to deal with this problem.”
So, from the sounds of things, it doesn’t seem like there is any hope for any real positive improvement for a couple of years…at least. It pains me as well that there are so many people that are in this dire situation as well. Sort of ironic that state workers have always had this reputation of having all this job security..
Needlesstosay, I have not been sleeping well lately. I know the smart play is to stay under the radar but occasionally feelings of “fight or flight” come to mind. There’s no reason why I can’t take advantage of this situation…but remember, this is coming from someone who typically doesn’t “play the game”. I try not to involve politics or mindgames in my daily lifestyle. Life’s too short to deal with that constantly.