This update was originally sent to employees by Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, and James W. E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic and Provost.
Our recent survey of employees, together with feedback you have been giving to your supervisors, managers and department heads, has made it very clear that the pandemic has placed extra strain on us all.
We are enormously grateful to every employee who has done so much to keep the University working in support of our students over the course of the pandemic. Whether you are an instructor juggling changing modes of learning, a central plant worker monitoring ventilation systems, a recruiter meeting excited prospects online or a lab technician keeping essential systems running – all of us have experienced repeated challenges and changes over the last couple of years.
Everyone who works for this university has done so much to keep us focused on what matters most: giving our students an experience worthy of their talent. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do as we seek to provide the best experience we can for everyone who comes to learn, live and work here.
Recognizing the extra efforts you have put in, we are announcing two additional days away from work to give you a break. These days will coincide with existing closure days to make fixed, four-day weekends with the aim that more of you are able to enjoy this extra time off knowing your colleagues will also be off work on those days.
The new Thank You Days are:
- Tuesday, February 22, extending the Family Day weekend.
- Tuesday, October 11, extending the Thanksgiving weekend.
For employees who must work on these days to keep essential campus services running, we will work with you to make sure you also get the benefit of two additional days off.
We also know that our students have faced challenges throughout the pandemic. As a symbol of our recognition of those hardships we’re letting students know today about the additional days off, and that we will be providing a $125 payment to students to help them cover additional costs related to the pandemic.
We acknowledge that these are relatively small benefits we are giving everyone in recognition of your service and sacrifice. You have our commitment that we will continue to listen to your feedback and find more ways in which we can recognize the amazing work you have put in to help the University of Waterloo keep working and charting new futures for the world.