December 16-2020-message

Additional 2020 holiday and employee care update

December 16, 2020

Dear Campus Colleagues, 

As we approach the winter holidays I want to thank you again for your service this year. All of us will remember the particular challenges of 2020 and I will never forget the grit and resilience shown by every employee at this university. 

In recognition of your resilient spirit and commitment, I’m announcing today that Thursday, December 24 will be an additional paid holiday for all employees this year. It is my sincere hope that this can be a day of peace and restoration for everyone. 

I am also grateful to the 980 of you who took the time to complete the employee survey that we sent out in late November. You were candid and thorough in your responses and it has helped my team and I better understand the particular stresses that you are experiencing as we continue to do our work through crises including the global pandemic and the ongoing struggle for racial justice. 

We heard that a significant majority of you are experiencing moderate to high stress on a regular basis and that your worries encompass personal health, family issues and job security. You provided valuable feedback on how we can do better — from suggestions to improve remote work and the need for greater flexibility to calls for more transparency around planning and budgets. We will enter 2021 with a renewed commitment to care for our employees that reflect the needs and interests we have heard from you. I invite you to review a summary of the survey results posted to the Human Resources PSU Work Support Program website.

Additionally, I am pleased to tell you about some new changes to leave programs that our colleagues in HR have developed for the coming year: 

  • Last week, we announced that the availability of COVID-19 leave — the two weeks of leave that were granted to employees at the beginning of the pandemic — would be extended until June 30, 2021. In addition, PSU is adding one new week of COVID-19 leave for any employee who has used their leave balance for a maximum balance of two weeks. The leave is prorated for part-time employees. 
     
  • PSU will also provide a PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave in 2021, similar in purpose to the expiring EFMLA program. Employees who are unable to work because they are needed to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed due to COVID-19 will have access to 12 weeks of PSU COVID-19 Childcare Leave.
     
  • In an additional move toward flexibility, beginning January 1, PSU will suspend the 6-month wait for new hires to be eligible to take vacation time. 

You can find additional information about these programs on the HR website and send specific questions to askhrc@pdx.edu.

I am pleased we are able to immediately offer these extended and new benefits. I will continue to work with the Incident Management Team and leaders across the university to find innovative ways to support our faculty, staff and students in the weeks and months ahead. 

Wishing you a warm, safe and healthy winter holiday season. 

Sincerely,

Stephen Percy 


PSU President