Perhaps the easiest – and certainly the most enjoyable – decision early in my presidency involved how many extra days off to give to St. Thomas employees over the Christmas holidays.

Father Dennis Dease started this fun tradition several years ago, and I am pleased to continue it. Christmas is one of the most sacred holidays of the Catholic and other Christian traditions – a time to celebrate our faith as well as the blessing of family and friends. I am delighted St. Thomas can provide extended time for you to experience the joy of the holidays.

Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year, meaning that our paid holidays are Tuesday (Christmas Eve) and Wednesday, followed by two more paid holidays on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (also Tuesday and Wednesday).

Consequently, St. Thomas will provide four additional paid holidays. Those days will be Monday, Dec. 23; Thursday and Friday, Dec. 26-27; and Monday, Dec. 30.

Add them up and we will be off for 12 days in a row – from Saturday, Dec. 21, through Wednesday, Jan. 1 – before returning to work on Thursday, Jan. 2, the first day of January Term classes.

Some employees, including certain Public Safety officers, Physical Plant workers, IRT server administrators, Food Service workers, Development staff members and athletic coaches, may need to work during Christmas week because their services are necessary. If you are uncertain whether your services are required during this period, please contact your supervisor.

Regular full-time, part-time and temporary employees who would have been scheduled to work between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1, if these were not university holidays, will be paid for that time period in accordance with our holiday pay policy. Employees who are required to work during the Christmas holidays will be compensated as follows:

  • Employees who are represented by a union will be paid according to the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.
  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees who are not represented by a union will receive pay for hours actually worked on the holiday in addition to their regular pay for all scheduled work hours that day.
  • Exempt (salaried) employees will receive a floating holiday for each holiday worked as arranged with their manager. The floating holidays must be used by the end of the fiscal year (June 30).

Department heads must notify Human Resources by Dec. 9 if they have employees who must work during the Christmas holidays. Questions about the holiday pay policy should be address to Human Resources.

I hope that you will have many opportunities to cherish the blessings of faith, family and friends during this extended holiday period.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Responses

  1. Cindy Sundberg

    Thank you ever so much, Dr. Sullivan!

    Not only is this a cherished time with family and friends, it also makes me very proud to work for an organization that honors its employees enough to understand how important this time is to us. In these days of “Hurry Up and Make a Buck!”, this goes a long way toward reminding us all why we are here to begin with. Life is short and it is really about our roles in humanity.
    Thank you for giving us the gift of time to reflect and to be with those who love us for being us!

  2. Nora Boerner

    Dr. Sullivan,

    Thank you so much for this gift! Like many others, I was struggling to balance family commitments…this is a true gift.

    Best wishes,

    Nora Boerner
    Department of Mathematics

  3. Tina Hansen

    Dr. Sullivan-
    I just want to thank you so very much for your kind gift of extra paid days off at Christmas. You cannot begin to imagine how much of a blessing this is to me. As a single Mom, your gift allows me to spend extra days off with my son at Christmas time and that is worth more than anything to me.
    Blessings to you and your family and thank you again for this kind and generous gift.
    Tina Hansen
    School of Engineering