The University Winter Break schedule for December 2014 provides for an extended period when the University will shut down most operations. Employees who are in positions that earn leave must prepare in advance to use compensatory time (if any), annual vacation leave or bonus leave to cover the non-holiday closings on December 30th, December 31st and January 2nd, 2015. Operational exceptions must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor.
ECU is pleased to be able to facilitate employee time off to spend with family, friends, or a favorite activity outside of work. The cooperation of supervisors and employees is appreciated to ensure the continued success of this extended break from work.
The Holiday Schedules for 2014 and 2015
can be accessed through the link above. The 2014 University Holidays Frequently Asked Questions are below this message. Should you have additional questions, please contact either the Employee Relations Office or University Benefits Office.
2014 UNIVERSITY HOLIDAYS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Who determines the holiday/closing schedule for the University?
The Chancellor approves the University holidays and closing schedule, based on input from the executive officers, as well as University Human Resources, Facilities, and other units. University Human Resources drafts the options and recommendations for consideration and communicates the final decision to the campus community.
2. Who determines the number of holidays observed each year?
The number of holidays is set by the State Legislature. Details can be found in the state statutes: NCGS 126-4(5)
3. How many holidays are provided to University employees each year?
In accordance with state statutes, ECU employees receive 12 holidays each year,
4. Why is ECU closing for additional days during the winter break?
In 2014 the winter holiday schedule falls in such a way that the University is only 3 days short of being able to offer an extended winter break for most employees. Since the end of December is a time when students are away from campus and most faculty and staff are already taking time off, it was determined that closing for the last two work days of December and the first work day in January would benefit the majority of employees. In addition, the University has the potential of saving thousands of dollars in energy and administrative costs during this time. The closing is intended to boost morale, save money, and add to the University’s efforts to be an actively “green” eco-conscious organization.
5. Do other campuses in the UNC system close for part of the winter break?
Yes. Several other campuses in the system have observed this practice for many years. For instance, NC State has observed an extended winter break since 2004.
6. Why can’t the University simply close for the winter break and designate the extra 3 days off as additional holidays for employees?
The State Legislature establishes the allowable number of holidays, and the University currently does not have the authority to increase the number of paid holidays for employees.
7. What happens to recently hired employees (hired on or after November 17, 2014) who haven’t earned enough leave time to cover a winter break closing?
Departments may consult with University Human Resources to discuss alternatives. In some cases, for example (and depending on departmental needs and resources), employees may be able to work extra time during the period leading up to the break in order to use accrued comp time during the closing. In cases where new employees have not been employed long enough to earn adequate vacation leave to cover the 3 days we are closed, departments shall allow leave to be advanced to these employees. Contact Employee Relations for more information on flexible alternatives.
8. What if employees do not have leave to cover these days?
Employees must plan ahead in order to have the necessary leave accruals to cover the absence. Current State policy requires leave to be balanced at the end of the calendar year
so employees who do not have leave to cover the absence will have their pay reduced for the hours that are needed. To avoid this situation, supervisors are encouraged to contact Employee Relations to discuss flexible alternatives for employees who have exhausted all usable accruals (vacation, bonus, or compensatory leave).
(Note: Since the 3rd day falls on January 2, 2015, the accrual for this 3rd day will be recorded on the January 2015 timesheet.)
9. What types of leave can employees use to cover the closing days?
Employees can use annual vacation leave, bonus leave, or accrued compensatory time to cover the closing day absences. Sick leave cannot be used. Employees who do not make a designation by the payroll cutoff date of December 8th will have leave charge in this order: 1) compensatory time (if any); 2) annual vacation; 3) bonus leave.
10. Will some departments be open on days that are designated as holidays and closings?
Yes, some departments have work that must be performed (patient care, research, safety, required end-of-month or end-of-year processing, etc.). Employees performing work will be paid in accordance with University policies, rules, and regulations appropriate for their work status. Employees who work during the closing should note that the university will be lowering thermostats in some buildings over the winter break and should address accordingly.
11. If employees want to work on days that the University is closed, can they do this
instead of using their leave?
Work options are limited since the intent is for most University operations to be shut. However, supervisors may require employees to work to perform critical functions. Work schedules need to be set and approved in advance of the winter break. The appropriate Vice Chancellor must review time and approve schedules of work during the closing.
12. Can employees be required to work on holidays? Is so, do they get extra pay?
Yes, supervisors can require employees to work on designated holidays. For instance, SPA employees are paid holiday premium pay (an additional 1/2 of their regular rate) as well as given hour-for-hour comp time up to 8 hours. (Note that the days which require use of leave time are not official holidays—see answer below). EPA and CSS employees are paid according to the policy for their group. Supervisors should make every effort to rotate staff who are required to work during the winter break to allow all employees to take advantage of the time off.
13. Can employees get additional pay for working on days designated as non-holiday closing?
No, however, employees will be provided normal pay for working and will retain the leave they would have had to use if they had not worked during the closing.
Example: An employee works 8 hours on December 29th that is designated as a holiday and 8 hours on December 30th that is designated as a closing. The employee would be paid holiday premium pay for the hours worked on December 29th and receive 8 hours of compensatory time. The employee would be paid regular pay for the hours worked on December 30th and would not use any leave for that day.
14. Where can I get additional information?
Please contact Employee Relations @328-9848 or Benefits @ 328-9887.