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November 10, 1997
Several years ago, when UCSC implemented the holiday campus closure, we were told that this was being done to save costs through payroll savings and energy use reduction. I think it is time that the administration reconsider forcing staff to take this time off with the options that are given.
1) The majority of staff have not received salary increases to even keep up with inflation for the past several years. We cannot afford to take leave without pay so this is just not a real option for most of us.
2) Comp time is not available to many staff.
3) What we are left with is using vacation time. Now, as the holidays come and go, we may or may not want to take vacation at this time. I don't think the university should force employees to use it. Employees should have the option of using their vacation when they want to and when it works within their unit.
It seems to me that most employees use either comp time or vacation to make up the hours, so where are the savings? If staff members are using comp time or vacation time they are on pay status and there are no payroll savings.
Can the university publish some facts showing the energy cost savings that are generated at this time? We know that there are a number of campus units that remain staffed at minimum levels so how much energy savings is really occuring?
Several years ago the administration came up with the campus closure and the staff again did their part for the greater good of the university. Now it is time for the university to remember the value of staff relations. There are other options to explore without forcing staff to lose either money or vacation.
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