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Leave Policy


I am writing to ask if there would be any support for changing the UCAR
leave policy and to find out who I would approach with my ideas.

Currently, many UCAR employees start by accruing one vacation day per
month. After two years the accrual rate increases to one and one half days
per month, and then, after eight years, to two days per month. Other
employees who accrue two days per month immediately are not addressed in
this letter.

In order for UCAR to stay competitive with educational and industrial
employers, I propose that the eight-year benchmark for these stepped-
accrual employees include an additional leave allocation equivalent to
retroactive accrual of two vacation days per month since the time of hire
or the time of the policy change, whichever is later. This change would
create a more substantial incentive for maintaining tenure at UCAR, much as
a sabbatical does at a university, or stock-option plans do in corporate
employment arrangements.

In practice, this means that someone who begins employment after the policy
change would, after eight years of employment, receive 60 days of
additional leave. This person would be able to take a three-month
"sabbatical" with this time to pursue personal interests. Personally, I
might only get 30 days of vacation, since I would have my three-year
anniversary here at UCAR by the time this policy is enacted, and would earn
additional leave only during the subsequent five years.

Long-timers here at UCAR may resist these changes because they might feel
they are experiencing no benefit from the policy change. However, I assert
that the ability of UCAR to continue hiring and keeping talented staff
comprises a very tangible benefit for those who have been here eight years
or longer. Having been through the process of hiring a new software
engineer in the last year, I know personally how competitive the hiring
market is, and how easy it would be to hire below the standard set by our
current staff.

Frankly, it is the nonmonetary incentives offered by UCAR that keep me from
looking elsewhere for higher pay. The high quality of the people I work
with and the flexibility of my schedule rate highest among these. I support
any effort that might help UCAR institute a forward-looking leave policy
that further proves this is a very humane place to work.

Answered on January 12, 2001


As a result of work/life issues raised by the Diversity Task Force, we will
be looking at leave policies and practices this year. We will be looking at
practices by other employers, especially those identified as "employers of
choice." As with all our salary and benefits policies, we will continue the
effort to maintain a balance among several factors, including fairness to
employees, cost to the organization, and competitiveness in the
marketplace. Your proposal will be reviewed along with other suggestions.
At this time we cannot say what, if any, changes will be made. You may
contact me or Laurie Carr in Human Resources if you have any questions or
comments on benefits.

-Bob Roesch, Director, Human Resources