Q&A: Julie Mann on PDL

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In another edition of the Employee Meeting Q&A, Julie Mann provides clarification on the Paid Days Leave policy. To best communicate the details of the PDL program with you, this Q&A topic also appears in today’s issue of The Connection.

– Dave

Julie Mann, Chief Administrative Officer
Based on the latest Employee Survey comments, there seems to be some misunderstandings related to the hospital’s Paid Days Leave (PDL) program. This article addresses the following comments:

“Holiday time off should be separate from your PDL.”

“PDLs should not be used for short term illness ie-flu if a staff calls off for a day or two due to this condition.”

“I do not like having to use my PDL for everything.”

“I feel PDL should be for vacation-not illness or other reasons.”

In the early 1980’s, the employees recommended that KSB change its program related to Sick Days, Holiday Days, Personal Days, and Vacation Days. Instead of having separate programs and counts for each, it was decided to create one all encompassing system where it did not matter what the reason was that an employee was away from work . . . it simply came out of the PDL “bucket”. The system was originally set up to provide a new full time employee with 24 days of PDL.

This allotment of days grows regularly throughout an employee’s employment to the point where a full time employee eventually receives 39 days of PDL per year! This system has advantages for both the hospital and the employees. From the hospital’s perspective, it enhanced employee flexibility for time off and it does not matter whether the day off is for vacation, personal time, the employee’s own illness, a parent staying home with a sick child, etc. From the employee’s perspective, there can be more days available for vacation or personal use.

Based on comments in the Employee Survey, there are some who view PDL as a Vacation System only and feel that days off for reasons other than vacation should not come out of that system. As you can see from the above, this was not the intent of the system, which is typical in the hospital industry. Furthermore, our PDL system is very competitive as a benefit when compared to other healthcare organizations and is generally much better than the programs in non-healthcare organizations. This is especially true when the Short and Long Term Disability benefits are included in your benefit package.

As always, we appreciate the opportunity to look at our total compensation structure. Thank you for your comments so that we can clarify the purpose of the PDL system!

If you have questions about your PDL or a specific scenario, please contact Human Resources at x5616

16 Comments on “Q&A: Julie Mann on PDL”

  1. "The system was originally set up to provide a new full time employee with 24 days of PDL."

    I'm just curious why that number has gone down since the beginning of the all-in-one PDL program? A new employee currently receives much less than the 24 originally allotted. Furthermore, when you add in the fact that there are 8 holidays which, if you would like to have off you have to use PDL, the new employee is left with minimal time.

    Perhaps holiday should be allowed to be taken without pay? Perhaps we should reinstate the 24 days for the new employee? I do not claim to have the answers, but I do have an interest in this topic in so far as understanding the policy to its full extent.

    Thank you.

  2. I like the way we have our system with PDL's now. It's great! We are very lucky to have as many PDL's as we do.

  3. I agree, I like th PDL system. In my 18 years employed here, I have used them up twice, once when I, my husband, and my son all had extensive leave for illness or accidents and the second when my mother was very ill The rest of the time I had plenty for needed vacations.

  4. I think our PDL system is wonderful. The only thing I would like to see is folks that have been here 25/30 yrs, get a small increase.

  5. I agree I really do like our PDL system but as an employee that has worked here 20+ years I feel there could be more PDL hours given. Thank you,

  6. I agree with the comment that stated Holidays should be seperate from PDL. When the available PDL is reduced to allow for Holiday and if you must take a few sick days or personal days the amount of vacation time left is greatly reduced…even if you have been at KSB for a number of years.

    Also, I suggest there be a bit more flexibility in allowing days off when ones PDL is gone or to low to cover the number of days requested, especially around the holidays. Since PDL is often at a minimum at the end of the year one must sometimes take unpaid days to have time off for the Holidays. The stretch between New Years Day and Memorial Day is without holidays and giving a bit of leeway on an extra paid day or two at the holiday, knowing the PDL will be recovered over the next two pay periods would be considerate thing to do. Getting a reduced paycheck just after New Years can be difficult.

  7. I think our PDL system is wonderful. We do receive a lot more days than other places of employment. I think sometimes people abuse there PDL so when the need for the PDL comes people often do not have it.

  8. Someone mentioned that we need more PDL. I agree. Dropping the use of PDL for Holidays is one suggestion. When the Sauk Valley clinic was controlled by Swedish American the vaction policy was similar to KSB, but did not require that vacation days be used for Holidays. Those who are healthy can plan more time off. Those that have intermittant illnesses (and possibly need more unsick days off) end up with little vacation.

  9. The comment about having more leeway with PDL is a good one. Since KSB payroll pays with a week delay the hospital would always have the abilty to recover several days of owed PDL if an employee left suddenly. So giving the option to go a day or two in the hole on PDL isn't a bad idea as it would help employees that must take a reduced paycheck, being out of PDL, when they know they will be not using PDL for a number of future periods.

  10. Because I have worked here for 35 years, I was here when we switched to the PDL system. I was then, and am still, very happy with that decision. Back then, if I remember correctly, the “magic number” of 24 days was that you got two work weeks (10 days) of vacation; one work week (5 days) of sick time; six paid holidays; and three “personal days” – which equals 24 days off during the course of a calendar year. One of the bad parts was that for sick days, it was only for you yourself to be off sick – so if you needed to stay home with a sick child, you either had to use a vacation or personal day if you had it, or some lied and said they were sick instead of their children so they wouldn’t have to take a day off without pay. So, at that time, your days off were very structured and in separate “buckets” if you will. Our current PDL system only has one bucket to take the time from – so you can take your “days off” from that balance for whatever reason you want and you are not limited to so many days in each category. The PDL calculations per hour were made to equal time off for vacation, sick, holiday and other time off all in one account. While you may not get all 24 days off the first few years, I think that is an equitable way to start out and add days to that every two years – so you are rewarded in time off commensurate with the longer you have worked here. With the old system, you would not have gotten 24 days if you did not use your sick or personal days. With the PDL system, you can use all your days as vacation or part vacation and holiday or part sick – however you see fit. I know this is a long comment, but I feel that the current PDL system is WONDERFUL, and for my part, I would not want to go back to separate “buckets” for my time off.

  11. I too have worked here over 20 years. I have used PDL for having sick children, breavements,vacations, holidays and still have had enough PDL to cover whatever came up. I even use to be able to cash in my PDL twice a year. I continue to donate PDL for serval fundraisers. I really like our PDL program. If you use your PDL wisely and save for "the rainy day" it works. My only concern would be for those departments that have to continual take low census. Plus I do miss being able to cash in my PDL. I am thankful for having PDL!

  12. PDL is very similar in totals to those of most manufacturing jobs I have worked and in some cases – more generous. Most manufacturing facilities give a new person a maximum of 10 days vacation and 3-5 personal days which they can use for personal reasons or for sickness. Holidays are usually between 6 and 10 so you can see if you add them up and use the maximum days it is 25. KSB is right in there with the best of them.

  13. As a prior commenter pointed out, if you experience no sickness for the year and do not want to have any other days off for any reason, e.g. child's birthday, mental health, etc., then the current system is going to be viewed as pretty good. However, if you do experience intermittent illness, or have a life much outside of the office, then the current PDL system makes it difficult to gain any ground.

    It does seem like the idea of removing the use of PDL for holiday time would be the easiest and most appreciated way to remedy the concerns.

    As a final note, I think we would all appreciate if Julie would comment back regarding the concerns outlined by others.

  14. Thank you for your comments.

    We continue to monitor our total compensation package and compare it with the healthcare industry. As always, we continue to strive to make KSB the best place for our employees to work and will communicate changes, if any.

    I appreciate your feedback!

  15. I appreciate the explanation of the use and policies for PDL. I also appreciate that we have the benefit and we are allowed to use it how we see fit. I also like the fact that we do not have a time limit on it's use, for example we do not have until the end of the year to use or we lose. It accumulates to the maxium and then we have to use before we accumulate more. It is our responsiblity to watch this, but also is it something that we could be warned about before this happens. Thank you for the benefit!

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