Earlier this week, we ran an article indicating that employees of the Social Security Administration will be getting an extra day off this year as the day after Thanksgiving will effectively be an extra holiday.
We asked readers if we thought that giving SSA employees an extra day off was a good idea. We received an enthusiastic response with most people stating they thought it was a worthwhile idea. Here are the results to this first question:
Do you think that giving SSA employees an extra holiday on the day after Thanksgiving is a good idea?
Among SSA employees who answered the question, the results were a little different:
Among those who sent in a written comment, the most common response was one displaying envy for those in SSA getting the day off. One typical response: “If SSA gets the day off, why not all government employees? Why is SSA special?”
Here are several other comments that reflected the general sentiments of our readers:
- SSA employees probably work harder than any other employees and get very little thanks. This is a minor thing but a nice gesture for them. The would will still be there and they will have to find time to do it so nothing will really be lost to the taxpayer.
- SSA employees don’t work any harder than any other federal employees. If an award is in order, it should be given to the people that actually made the accomplishment rather than an across the board day off for everyone.
- I think most agencies would like to just close. Make the day a mandatory leave day.
- Not in this economy. I can’t believe the Administration allowed this to even be considered let along, a letter issued. I thought the President was the only one who could give a day off as a Holiday. This is another out of control political beast.
- There are only a few employees who work the day after Thanksgiving. It costs the government more money to keep buildings open & running with almost all employees on paid leave.
- Federal Employees get more paid holidays than the average US worker, AND we get a generous amount of annual leave. I intend to take off the day after Thanksgiving by using 8 hours of leave! In the present economic environment (and with huge budget deficits) it’s a bad idea to give Federal Employees and EXTRA holiday!!!!!
While most readers like the idea of an extra holiday, they don’t think all federal employees will get the same day off this year.
Do you think the federal government will extend the day after Thanksgiving holiday to all federal employees (with the usual exceptions for certain categories of employees)?
When it came to the question of whether all federal employees should be given the day after Thanksgiving off, a higher percentage favored this idea than those that favored giving SSA employees the day off.
Do you think all federal employees (with the usual exceptions for certain categories of employees) should be given an extra holiday this year on the day after Thanksgiving?
The most frequent comments were that many in the private sector get the day off so federal employees should also get that day off. A number of readers also commented they would prefer the day after Thanksgiving to be a holiday rather than Columbus day. There was few references to the significance of Columbus day to Americans–the general sentiment was that it would be more beneficial to be able to avoid going to work on the day after Thanksgiving.
- Although many in the private sector may be complaining, many of those complainers get the same day off as a holiday with pay. Why should hardworking Federal employees be exempt from that?
- Would prefer exchanging Columbus Day for day after Thanksgiving. makes a lot more sense!
- Why not discontinue Columbus Day and give us the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Here is a small sample of the other sentiments expressed by readers on this topic:
- I would not be surprised is the SSA rescinds this misguided announcement.
- A liberal leave policy applies in most offices, which means that most offices would be minimally staffed anyway. Would it really be that big of a difference to just make it a holiday?
- Don’t be surprised if this is recinded by Obama & this SSA chief is reprimanded or fired.
- Well, when the Gov gives to one, the others start crying and before the tears dry, gov will give it to all federal employees. Business as usual! Keep Spending! Spending! Spending!.
- Just what is going to be done on Friday that can’t wait until the following week?? The nation would not be happy campers……
- Public sentiment aside, federal employees already get 10 paid holidays each year. And most long time employees are using their acquired leave at this time of year anyway. It would be better to donate some our leave towards the unemployed or homeless. I only donate my leave to someone I know, as too many federal employees make a habit of abusing their sick leave.
- The decision to give Fed employees the day off after Thanksgiving should be made by the President, not by the head of a specific agency. All Federal employees should be treated equally in this regard.
- All federal employees deserve an extra day off. It would not be wise to do so given the current public perception of federal workers as being over paid and underworked.
- Why would any federal official go out of his way to validate the public’s perception that federal employees are most concerned about “what is in it for me”?
- There is too much negative attention right now to give an extra day off. Even though its mostly useless to open – the times I’ve worked the day after Thanksgiving, for the Feds or in private sector, it was generally a very quiet day devoted to filing and busywork because nobody else was working.
- They should move Thanksgiving to Friday instead of Thursday.
- It is divisive and thus bad for morale when one group gets a special privledge and not all employees. Federal employees get a totoal of 23 to 36 days off each year with pay. Add another 13 days to those that use all their allotted sick leave. That’s almost as good as teachers!
- They shouldn’t – even though I myself am a federal employee. when the general public is forced to take layoffs and furloughs, we should be happy just to have our jobs!!
- Not sure but they should, especially since there is not going to be a COLA this year.
- Is this part of the economic stimulus plan – give Feds ‘Black Friday’ off so they can go out to spend some of their excessive, high pay?
- As much as the present administration has tried to make sacrificial lambs of federal employees in order to deflect current public sentiments towards government in general, I doubt federal employees will see any type of “perks” for the next few years. Does anyone happen to know where our Congressmen and women will be spending their day after Thanksgiving? Are they required to use vacation time? Somehow, I doubt it.
- I hope so! I work for Mine Safety and Health and we have a crushing workload and deal with hostile public. What about the IRS? They have it pretty rough, too. In fact, I think we all have a heavy workload and the public isn’t too fond of any of us. Yes, I would love to have the extra day!
So, while there is a wide variety of opinions, if our readers are correct, most federal employees will not be given a day off on the day after Thanksgiving but most will not be in the office on November 26th as they will be taking leave.
Our thanks to all readers who took this survey and a special thanks to those who took the time to send in their written opinion on the topic.