Winter Break Closure (WBC) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will be periodically updated. If you have a question that has not been addressed below, please email Nick Wortman.
WBC Purpose and Duration
1. What is the purpose of the WBC?
The possibility of having a WBC is something that has been suggested on several occasions by members of the Classified and Administrative Senates. Other institutions in the state of Ohio have adopted the practice. Having a WBC will allow employees to have an extended period of time off at a time when classes are not in session and the general level of university activity slows. The WBC is part of Ohio University's ongoing efforts to recognize and reward the hard work of our employees.
2. What does the WBC entail?
The WBC covers the period from December 25, 2013 to January 1, 2014. During these eight days all campuses will be closed. In general, most buildings and services will not be available and the majority of university employees will not report to work. However, in order to facilitate some activities, which were identified by the WBC Implementation Team, some university employees will be required to work during the WBC and some facilities will remain open.
3. How did the WBC Implementation Team determine what activities and facilities must remain open?
The implementation team asked units to identify activities that would be affected by the WBC. The information was then used to make decisions about exceptions to the overall university closure.
4. How is the WBC structured?
|December 25||Regular university holiday|
|December 26||President's Day holiday|
|December 27||Winter Closure Time
|December 30||Winter Closure Time
|December 31||Employee vacation day must be used*|
|January 1||Regular university holiday|
*See question 8 Under the Administrative and Non-Bargaining Unit Classified Employee Section for more information.
5. Is the university closed on weekends that fall in the middle of the WBC?
6. During the WBC will the university be open on December 24?
Yes. Traditionally the President's Day Holiday was floated to December 24 resulting in the university being closed on that day. However, in the WBC the President's Day Holiday will be floated to cover the first workday after December 25.
7. If I am a classified employee in my initial probationary period, may I use vacation on December 24?
Yes. Classified employees in their initial probationary period will be permitted a one-time use of their available balance of vacation hours pending approval by their supervisor.
8. How much money will the university save during the WBC?
The WBC is not likely to be a significant cost-saving measure in large part due to the fact that many of our buildings on campus are older and do not have the type of climate control systems that will allow us to reduce energy costs efficiently. However, this may change over time as buildings are renovated and new climate control systems are installed.
Administrative and Non-Bargaining Unit Classified Employee Issues
1. Can I be required to work during the WBC?
Yes. You may be required to work during WBC. All university units are encouraged to fully close. However, if a unit has activities that must be maintained, employees who are necessary for maintaining those activities may be required to work. Units should plan in advance of the WBC so that the number of employees required to work will be small.
2. When will I know if I have to work during the WBC?
The university is asking units to let those who will be required to work know on or before December 1.
3. If I am required to work during the WBC how will I be paid?
"Guidelines for Vacation and Winter Closure Time for Administrative and Classified Employees" will be posted soon.
4. If I am required to work during the WBC, do I have the ability to take time off at another time/day?
Depending on the day you work this may be possible. Please refer to the "Guidelines for Vacation and Winter Closure Time for Administrative and Classified Employees" (coming soon!) for a more detailed explanation.
5. What if I am not required to work during the WBC but I would like to do so anyway. Can I use my Winter Closure Time at another time/day?
If you are not required to work during the WBC, you cannot use your Winter Closure Time at another time/day.
6. How will non-bargaining unit classified staff account for their Winter Closure Time when submitting their time worked reports?
Employees who normally report their time in Workforce will continue to do so. View the "Guidelines for Vacation and Winter Closure Time for Administrative and Classified Employees" (coming soon!) for details on specific procedures and associated pay codes.
7. How will administrators indicate use of Winter Closure Time?
Administrators are not required to fill out any forms for Winter Closure Time. View the"Guidelines for Vacation and Winter Closure Time for Administrative and Classified Employees" (coming soon!) for details.
8. Am I required to use a vacation day to cover one of the WBC days?
Depending on your years of service and employment type, you may be required to use one day of vacation time during the WBC. Please refer to Policy 41.000 http://www.ohio.edu/policy/41-000.html and to the"Guidelines for Vacation and Winter Closure Time for Administrative and Classified Employees". (coming soon!)
9. What if I do not have any vacation time to cover the required day during the WBC?
Most employees must use vacation time for the 4th day of the closure (December 31). As advance notice has been provided of the need to use one vacation day, it is anticipated that university employees will manage their vacation days accordingly. However, administrative employees with less than 1 year of continuous university service and classified employees with less than 10 years of state service and 1 year of continuous university service will be awarded an additional 3rd day of Winter Closure Time. The additional day has been provided to assist staff who have accrued less vacation time than employees with more years of service.
10. Can I take vacation days before and/or after the WBC?
Yes, pending approval of your supervisor.
11. Will part-time employees be paid during the WBC, and if so, how?
Part-time employees will receive Winter Closure Time and vacation as appropriate to the number of hours they would normally be scheduled to work.
12. Will Group III employees receive Winter Closure Time?
Depending on the terms of their employment, a Group III employee may receive Winter Closure Time for hours that they normally would have worked during the WBC.
13. If I am on a Family Medical Leave (FML) or Unpaid Medical Leave (UML) during the winter Break Closure, will the dates of the closure count against any FML or UML entitlement?
No. The dates of the Winter Break Closure will not count against an employee's entitlement of twelve (12) weeks of FML or 6 (six) months of UML for the rolling calendar year.
14. If I am on a FML or UML during Winter Break Closure, am I still eligible to receive the WCT pay?
The University will address this situation similarly to the way that Holiday pay is handled in the same situation. It will depend whether you are in an active pay status or are on an unpaid leave. If you are in an active, paid status you will receive the WCT pay. If this is the case, you will also be required to use a vacation day on the 4th day of closure if required by policy. If you are in an unpaid status, you will not receive the WCT, nor be required to use vacation.
FOP and AFSCME Employees
The WBC is currently under discussion with FOP and AFSCME leadership.
1. Will I have access to my office during the WBC?
Yes. Access to buildings and offices will be similar to current off-hour access during weekends and holidays. However, as the university will be closed employees are encouraged not to use their office. If you chose to use your office, you will be expected to take responsibility for securing your workspace before leaving the building.
2. Will I have access to my lab or other designated research space during the WBC?
Yes. The WBC Implementation Team worked with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity to create an inventory of labs and designated research space that should remain accessible during the WBC because of the need to monitor ongoing experiments on a daily basis. Proper climate control will be maintained in these facilities.
3. Will university libraries be open during the WBC?
No. While it is understood that university libraries are important research and teaching venues for faculty and graduate students, it is hoped that advance notice of the WBC will allow individuals to plan ahead and procure any library resources that they may need during the period from December 25-January 1. Alden Library's extensive collection of online periodicals and electronic books will remain available throughout the break.
4. Will temporary student housing be available during the WBC?
Yes. A limited number of international students, athletes, and students in specialized programs will be temporarily housed in Sargent, Brough, Foster, and Bromley Halls during the WBC. More information can be obtained through Residential Housing.
5. Will any dining facilities be open during the WBC?
Baker Center dining facilities will be closed. Once Residential Housing has more information about the number of students needing temporary housing it will make a decision about the availability of dining services.
6. Will private businesses located on university property be closed during the WBC?
Private businesses located on university property may remain open during the WBC.
1. What is protocol for communicating an emergency or an urgent matter during the WBC?
For urgent matters, you should follow your unit's protocol for a weekend or a holiday. Emergencies should always be reported to 911 regardless of when they take place.
2. If I have an IT issue over break will staff be available to assist?
While the OIT Service Desk will not be staffed, calls will be forwarded to CSC Data Center operators who will provide support for urgent matters. If you have an urgent, time-sensitive, IT-related issue during WBC, please call 593-1222.
3. May regular student employees work during WBC?
At the discretion of the department head, regular student employment may be utilized in accordance with regular policy to assist with staffing needs during WBC. The Office of Student Financial Aid has ruled that Federal Work Study and PACE students should not be utilized during WBC.