Abu Dhabi Weather

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holiday Leave

Recently at work there's been a little bit of a drama that fortunately, I'm not involved in. Part of the agreement that we enter into when we sign a contract with Abu Dhabi Men's College is that we get the two-week semester break and summers off. This is calculated by having employees accumulate days of holiday monthly throughout the school year. We don't actually have a choice as to when to take these days, but technically we accumulate them and then are told which days we need to apply for. Effectively, we just don't have to be here when the school is closed.

This system works fine for someone like me who started at the beginning of the school year. By the time the summer break comes I have enough days accumulated to take the summer off, or at least my balance of days is zero by the time classes resume. For someone who starts mid-year there is a problem with the number of days. All of the people that started January of this year are faced with the issue of having to go into holiday debt in order to cover the number of days for a full summer holiday. In the past it hasn't been an issue because by the time January comes around, these January hires are back to zero days of holiday leave. No problem, right?

This year the school has declared for various reasons that they no longer will allow employees to go into negative and their balance of vacation days must be zero by the start of the next school year in August. This means that those hired in January 2011 are out of luck. They can only go away for half of the summer. The other half they will presumably be teaching summer courses (for no extra pay) and creating resources for teachers to use.

Even people who have been here for ten years or more are having issues with this simply because their hire date was January rather than August. Keep in mind that this is almost half the faculty. The people who have been here a year or more are finding ways around the problem, but some are still waiting to confirm that their holidays as airfares rise. As for people who were hired in January of this year and were told they'd have two months off in the summer, better luck next time.

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