Time Off Policy
  • ncicero
    Posts: 26
    Hello all!

    For those of you who are salaried, how many weekends off are built into your schedule? Working a 40-hour per week schedule, I'm eligible for 2 weeks of paid vacation according to parish policy. In conversation with our pastor and business administrator, they've determined that this means that I am eligible for 2 paid weekends off as well- meaning the church would pay subs for when I'm gone. Anything beyond these two weekends, or the equivalent of 8 Masses, the payment of subs would have to come out of my own pocket.

    Obviously, musicians often need some clarification on this policy, because someone needs to be paid to do our job while we are gone.

    I'm just curious to how this compares to other policies.


  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,006
    I took two weeks off in 2007. No subs were hired since the parish never hires them. When I got back chaos reigned and it took several weeks to get everything functioning normally again. I haven't gone anywhere on Sundays since then.

    That is our policy. No subs. I can take off if I am willing to deal with everything that happened while I was gone.
  • cesarfranck
    Posts: 93
    As a part-time (approximately 15 to 20 hours per week; one mass per week) organist-choir director, I receive four weeks of paid vacation per year. Substitutes are covered as a line item in budget. Some years, I take a one or two extra Sundays. I have never been asked to pay for a substitute although in tight years the amount has been subtracted from funds designated for instrumentalists for Christmas and Easter. I should add that per contract I am never compensated for funerals in parish, so it is sort of a wash.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,781
    In my experience one gets paid for two weeks off for the first two or three or four years, and a month off after that. This does not include sick leave if one becomes seriously ill. It is sometimes but not always the church which pays the sub's stipend for non-vacation absences such as illness.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 85
    Currently I’m full-time salaried. I’m allowed 7 personal days (a few sick days thrown in too) and only 1 weekend. It’s a bit sad, although I think the pastor would work with me if there was sufficient reason.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 632
    My pastor tells me to take a vacation when I want it. Of course, he knows that I don't take off that much time.
  • Marc Cerisier
    Posts: 423
    At the cathedral, all salaried employees had 3 weeks of vacation when hired, then 4 weeks at 7 years. Officially, I had two weekends off each year, but for most of the 12 years I was there the staff had enough organists that we could trade amongst ourselves to be off whenever we needed. My favorite time was when two of us would trade every other week in the summer so we had every other week off.

    Where I am now in the country, I’m paid if I’m there and I’m not paid if I’m not. I quite like the arrangement.

  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,002
    I don't ever take all of it, but I think anyone full-time should have four week(end)s plus a week of continuing ed (preferably with a budget). I could see making someone "earn it" (e.g., not take it during the first six months, etc., or only three weeks the first year, etc.), but working weekends is a whole different kettle of fish from the rest of the world, especially as most of us are considered six-day-a-week employees. Many others who have these schedules have generous pay and vacation. We'll never have super pay, so parishes should recognize that in another way...namely vacation!

    In my last job, I did not have an assistant, and was obligated to play Masses six days a week most weeks. It wasn't possible back then to "work remotely", either. Back then, I NEEDED every day of vacation just to do my job well.

    We've also had the situation here and at that job, due to unpredictability of schedule, that you can't accumulate time off for pay as you can in other jobs. That being the case, it's important to take what you can.

    And when your day off falls on a holiday (like today)...yes, you are owed a day off elsewhere in the week. Period.
  • ELapisardi
    Posts: 24
    When I worked in a diocesan parish, I received three weeks off per year. There was no maternity leave and I'd used up my time off when I had pneumonia during my first pregnancy, so the month I took off after my first child was born was unpaid. Now that I work at the chapel at West Point, I receive 4 hours of sick leave and 4 hours of annual leave per pay period-- if not used, they roll over to the next year. There's still no designated "maternity leave," but I had accumulated enough leave that I could take almost four weeks of paid time off when my second child was born this year. My regular days off are Mondays and Wednesdays; the two Protestant organists and I have staggered days off so that there is always someone available to cover funerals, even if they are not at our assigned chapels. The disadvantage of this schedule is that I never have two days off in a row unless I take leave, but my available leave time accumulates quickly. I realize my situation is very unusual and I feel fortunate, as it usually works quite well.
  • Matthew
    Posts: 30
    I've been at my post for 19 years - full-time - and it seems every time we get a new rector the policy shifts. I now accumulate 16 hours of PTO per month, to be used at my discretion, but not to exceed 3-weeks total. Anything after 3 weeks my pay is docked. There is no budget line for weekend subs, though last year I took 2 weekends in a row and the finance council had a fit as my sub had to cover 4 masses in 2 languages which totaled $700 for both weekends combined. I'm careful not to take time off during the more active seasons (it helps my wife is a teacher, so I'm kind of bound by the school calendar). But, as we get a new rector in 5 weeks, no doubt it will change yet again - this will make 6 rectors in my 19 years here.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Good discussion question! I’m currently paid per service, which I prefer, mostly due to this situation. At a previous job where I was part-time salaried, there was no set number, I just had to find someone competent to replace me, which was difficult enough that i only took a weekend or two yearly, when absolutely necessary.
    Thanked by 2cesarfranck ncicero