Bucknell increases employee benefits for Thanksgiving Break

Bridgette Simpson, News Editor

President Bravman has said one of his goals is to make the University an attractive and competitive place of employment.

His efforts to increase employee benefits will now include instating time off for the entire week of Thanksgiving break in response to a well-received decision to allow employees two weeks off for winter recess around the end of December through New Year’s. 

Bucknell provides time off for eight holidays, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Bucknell staff also receive a floating holiday at the beginning of each year to take at their discretion. 

Exempt, full-time employees receive an average of 1.83 days off per month, which equates to 22 days of paid vacation over the course of a calendar year. Non-exempt staff are given 10 days off per one year of service for the first five years of employment. 

Both President Bravman and Nicole Whitehead, vice president of human resources, underscore the integral role mental health plays in work-life balance and employee success and happiness. 

“We know mental health and wellness is critically important to both our employees and within the workplace today,” Nicole Whitehead, vice president of Human Resources, said. “We’re going to continue looking for other creative ways in which we can aid our employees in their work-life balance.”

“This pilot program, recommended in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources, recognizes the importance of mental health and wellness, allowing us to enjoy more time with family and return to our campus duties refreshed and recharged,” President Bravman wrote in an email to Bucknell employees.

Bravman also wrote about the importance of listening to employees’ wants and needs; after announcing the installment of a two-week break, Bravman said he wanted to expand it “because [the employees] deserve it.”

He wrote about the importance of maintaining competitive benefits to “further distinguish Bucknell from other area employers” in order to continue to attract highly-qualified and talented professionals and employees. 

“To ensure our future, we must ensure that Bucknell is a place where talented, dedicated people want to work,” Bravman said. “We believe that expanding upon benefits that employees truly value is a strategic investment that will pay off for generations of students to come.”

Bravman also included in his email that employees will be receiving their normal premium pay rate as well as “alternate ‘flexible holiday’ time or equivalent floating hours for actual time worked, including on Thanksgiving Break.” 

Additionally, Bucknell and Bravman continue to uphold employment at the University’s most attractive benefit, which are the tuition programs for children of full-time faculty and staff. Employees with 10 years or more of service are granted up to 60 percent of the admitted student’s tuition at Bucknell or institution of choice, and employees can also include years of service at another institution of higher education in order to accrue this benefit.

Bucknell also offers reduced tuition for regular full-time and part time staff, full-time casual employees who have limited benefits, as well as for the children and spouses or spousal equivalents of regular full-time employees. 

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