Around fourteen hundred employees at North Eastern Illinois University will be forced to take unpaid leave for five days over the university’s spring break due to the state budget crisis, officials say.
“We are impacting about 1,100 employees and about 300 student aides who will have to go without pay for those days,” said interim Northeastern President Richard Helldobler.
The shutdown will also impact students and neighbors who use school facilities like the fitness center and gym, which will be closed during the furlough.
“We’ve never had balanced budgets in Illinois,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “And we have got to stop that, it’s unaffordable, and it’s bankrupting our state.”
Repairs at the school are put on hold, like visibly broken windows, a sagging ceiling above a swimming pool—the school says it can’t afford to fix them.
“Illinois is second to New Jersey in the number of college going students we export every year,” said Helldobler. “And this budget crisis isn’t helping.”
There will likely be more furlough days announced, officials say, while North Eastern works with its unions before announcing the next steps.