UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > February 2001 Search

February 2001

Delphi Question: Ideas for enhancing UCAR's leave policy

Question #464 (received 2 January):

I am writing to ask if there would be any support for changing the UCAR leave policy and to find out who I would approach with my ideas.

Currently, many UCAR employees start by accruing one vacation day per month. After two years the accrual rate increases to one and one half days per month, and then, after eight years, to two days per month. Other employees who accrue two days per month immediately are not addressed in this letter.

In order for UCAR to stay competitive with educational and industrial employers, I propose that the eight-year benchmark for these stepped- accrual employees include an additional leave allocation equivalent to retroactive accrual of two vacation days per month since the time of hire or the time of the policy change, whichever is later. This change would create a more substantial incentive for maintaining tenure at UCAR, much as a sabbatical does at a university, or stock-option plans do in corporate employment arrangements.

In practice, this means that someone who begins employment after the policy change would, after eight years of employment, receive 60 days of additional leave. This person would be able to take a three-month "sabbatical" with this time to pursue personal interests. Personally, I might only get 30 days of vacation, since I would have my three-year anniversary here at UCAR by the time this policy is enacted, and would earn additional leave only during the subsequent five years.

Long-timers here at UCAR may resist these changes because they might feel they are experiencing no benefit from the policy change. However, I assert that the ability of UCAR to continue hiring and keeping talented staff comprises a very tangible benefit for those who have been here eight years or longer. Having been through the process of hiring a new software engineer in the last year, I know personally how competitive the hiring market is, and how easy it would be to hire below the standard set by our current staff.

Frankly, it is the nonmonetary incentives offered by UCAR that keep me from looking elsewhere for higher pay. The high quality of the people I work with and the flexibility of my schedule rate highest among these. I support any effort that might help UCAR institute a forward-looking leave policy that further proves this is a very humane place to work.

Response (12 January):

As a result of work/life issues raised by the Diversity Task Force, we will be looking at leave policies and practices this year. We will be looking at practices by other employers, especially those identified as "employers of choice." As with all our salary and benefits policies, we will continue the effort to maintain a balance among several factors, including fairness to employees, cost to the organization, and competitiveness in the marketplace. Your proposal will be reviewed along with other suggestions. At this time we cannot say what, if any, changes will be made. You may contact me or Laurie Carr in Human Resources if you have any questions or comments on benefits.

—Bob Roesch, director, Human Resources

Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted in confidence to the coordinator, Janet Evans (ext. 1114, ML room 517). They should be submitted in written form, preferably via interoffice mail in a sealed envelope marked confidential; they must be signed. Detailed procedures for submitting questions are given in the UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, section 4-1-2. Questions and answers of general interest to staff are submitted to Staff Notes Monthly by Janet. They may be edited for publication. For more information, including links to questions and answers published in Staff Notes Monthly and a log of all questions submitted since 1995, see the Delphi Service Web page.

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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > February 2001 Search

Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Mon Feb 5 13:36:05 MST 2001