The Marianas Visitors Authority board approved last week the self-care leave policy, similar to the policy implemented by the Commonwealth Ports Authority board back in September.
In an interview with MVA managing director Priscilla Iakopo, she said that implementing the self-care leave would benefit MVA’s staff who work tirelessly, especially during large community events like the Taste of the Marianas. Iakopo said it gives employees a chance to take at least a day off to rejuvenate themselves and return to work recharged.
“MVA staff work day in and day out. Whether it’s weekends, evenings, or holidays, we are working. One example most recently would be the Taste of the Marianas. Every employee at MVA was working Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, and all reported to work on Monday. There was no day for rest. So it’s just for us to basically to give ourselves a rest, mentally and physically, and come back the next day rejuvenated and refreshed,” she said.
When asked about the concerns brought up by MVA board member Marian Aldan-Pierce in last September’s meeting about the additional cost to implement the new leave policy, Iakopo said it was determined that it wouldn’t be a problem.
“Actually, we did look into that. It’s not an additional expense. We see it as just as if any of the employees was going on leave,” she said.
When she first raised the idea of enforcing a self-care leave program at MVA, similar to CPA’s, Iakopo said: “We saw in the paper that CPA had definitely adopted this self-care leave, to cope with stress and [to take care of] our state of mind. Not just that, it’s also [about] productivity and just overall job satisfaction and we really like the idea that CPA has taken the initiative to push this forward.”