CSC asks for employee volunteers to take semi-paid leave

Computer Sciences Corp. confirmed Aug. 16 published reports that it has asked its 66,000 employees to volunteer to take extended leaves of absence ? at least six months ? and receive 20 percent of their pay.

CSC, based in El Segundo, Calif., said it decided to pursue this measure because the global information technology market has been suffering from a slowdown, according to company spokesman Frank Pollare, not because of any specific incident or concern.

"This voluntary extended leave program is one more in a continuing series of initiatives to be as efficiently-run a company as can be," Pollare said. "This is not just of benefit to the company, but also can be a benefit to employees who might have personal opportunities to pursue but are hamstrung by being tied to a full-time job."

CSC reported fiscal 2003 first quarter revenue of $2.76 billion July 31, a 2 percent increase over last year's first quarter. Net income was $79 million, an increase of 64 percent over last year's first quarter, the company said. CSC's U.S. federal government revenue was $791.7 million, up from the $673.2 million recorded for the same quarter last year.

"Our U.S. federal government activities, with 18 percent revenue growth, were the primary driver of this revenue performance and comprised 29 percent of our quarterly revenue," Van Honeycutt, CSC's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a July 31 statement. "Global commercial outsourcing accounted for another 48 percent of CSC's total revenue and, together, these two long-term contract revenue sources totaled approximately 77 percent."

In fiscal 2002, CSC's federal sector booked almost $2.9 billion in revenue , or 25 percent of the company's $11.4 billion in revenue.

CSC is one of the largest prime contractors to the federal government, holding outsourcing contracts such as Groundbreaker, the $2 billion, 10-year contract with the National Security Agency.

Pollare said there are approximately 14,000 employees in CSC's federal sector. The voluntary leave program is available to these employees, he said, but any request to participate must be approved by the individual's manager.

"CSC will not do anything that will jeopardize any government contract," he said. "If that person is integral to a contract, whether federal or commercial, no one is going to let them go."

Pollare said the company does not have any specific goal in mind for the number of volunteers to participate. "We went into it with no expectations," he said.

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