By SUSAN JONES
Pitt employees are getting three extra paid days off over the winter recess, and several people deserve credit for the decision, said David DeJong, vice chancellor for Human Resources, starting with Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.
Since the added days were announced on Oct. 26, DeJong said he and HR have received several dozen emails thanking them for the change.
“What a wonderful opportunity to recognize staff for their hard work,” DeJong said.
The break, which was originally scheduled to begin on Dec. 24, will now start on Monday, Dec. 21, which effectively makes Friday, Dec. 18, the last workday of the year for most Pitt employees.
The Oct. 26 message from DeJong said the additional paid holidays are “in appreciation of the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff and to keep our community safe. … The senior leadership team recognizes and understands the difficulties many individuals may have faced this year, as well as the staff’s hard work throughout the pandemic, and are supportive of this extra time off.”
The change to the winter recess applies to general staff; the University will reach out to union leadership to discuss any potential impact of this change to the staff they represent.
Staff who are required to work during these holidays can work with their supervisors to determine other dates to use the additional personal time. DeJong said the team working on the Oracle Cloud project in his office will work through the winter break to have it ready in January. Staff in facilities and public safety also work through the break.
Information about how staff should complete their timecards during the winter recess can be found on the Office of Human Resources’ website.
This semester has seen several schedule changes for faculty, staff and students, including starting and ending the term earlier than originally planned. Labor Day was switched to a workday for staff, who will get Monday, Nov. 30, as a holiday instead.
Last year, one extra day was added to the winter recess — Christmas was on Wednesday and Pitt has traditionally given Christmas Eve as a day off — to avoid staff having to come to work for one day Christmas week.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
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