February 19, 2015
To Benefits Eligible Faculty and Staff Members,
In the fall of 2014, a University Leaves Committee, chaired by Dr. Vic Lechtenberg, special assistant to the president, was convened to review the current structure of Purdue’s leaves benefits, and to consider appropriate changes to simplify, streamline and update the overall program. The University Leaves Committee was comprised of a cross-section of administrators, faculty and staff who worked diligently to design an updated leaves program that should serve employees well into the future.
I am writing today to outline changes to the program that have been approved and will become effective July 1, 2015.
First, the University will implement Paid Time Off (PTO) as a new leave type for current and new employees, combining several current leave types — vacation, personal business days, personal holiday and sick leave benefits — into one leave category. The PTO model will provide employees with more flexibility over how to use leave to their advantage and is designed to provide ample time away from work to rest, recover or attend to personal affairs.
PTO will be implemented for current employees in July with an allotment of days for the coming year based on employee category and years of service. Special efforts have been made to preserve accumulated vacation and sick leave benefits for current employees, who will retain the ability to use existing vacation and sick leave balances in addition to the new PTO that will be allotted to them annually. In addition to PTO, beginning in July, employees will receive enhanced and more flexible benefits for bereavement leave and paid parental leave. Purdue also will add a short-term disability plan, with premiums fully paid by Purdue, for all employees to help protect employees when an extended illness or injury occurs.
The changes to the current programs are significant and it is essential that employees and managers fully understand them. Resources are available to help faculty and staff learn about the new plans before they take effect.
A dedicated web page containing detailed information is available now and will continue to develop over the next several days. From the website, employees can view:
- A video-recorded presentation about the changes,
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),
- Sample employee scenarios of how the new leave types will work and
- A schedule of open employee information sessions that will begin in March.
In addition to the redesigned leaves program, Purdue is currently working on a proposal to enhance other benefits, including the President’s recent announcement to expand autism coverage.
Human Resources will continue to provide updated information via the web page, Purdue Today articles and other communication avenues. I encourage employees to take advantage of the variety of resources available as we transition into the new leaves program.
Thank you for your service to Purdue. Together we will navigate this change and continue to move the University forward.
Trenten D. Klingerman
Interim Vice President for Human Resources