This message is sent on behalf of Aliza C. Wilder, Director of Human Resources:
As in previous years, the University will permit departmental closings the day after Thanksgiving and during the week between Christmas and New Years in units where the workload so permits and the participation is entirely voluntary, utilizing accrued time.
We have had discussions in the past about the potential for savings associated with closing over the holidays. However, the complexity and variety of work obligations make a complete closure impractical, and our agreements with employee bargaining units preclude both the mandated shut down and individual bargaining about coverage.
In consultation with division heads (Provost, Vice President or Vice Provost) and an approved plan in place, you may decide whether closure is practical for your unit. If it is not, then requests for time off should be handled in the routine way. If the work requirements will permit a departmental closure, that should be communicated to staff along with the clear statement that participation is voluntary and those who are interested should indicate what kind of discretionary time they wish to use.
If all employees in a unit wish to participate, the department may then close for a day(s) in question and arrange for appropriate communications to people who might be in contact during that time. If there are individuals who do not wish to use accrued time and take the time off, the unit should remain open with staffing levels appropriate to the potential workload and safety considerations.
Please understand that in a diverse organization we cannot assume that all individuals want this time off. An appropriate level of communication and public notice is essential.
Please contact the Department of Human Resources at 860-486-3034 or the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations at 860-486-5684 if you have any questions.
For more information, contact: Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org