MVA looks at implementing self-care leave

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The Marianas Visitors Authority is right now looking at following the Commonwealth Ports Authority’s lead and the possibility of implementing a new self-care leave policy as early as next year.

During the MVA’s special board meeting Tuesday, MVA managing director Priscilla Iakopo proposed the possibility of implementing a self-care leave program similar to CPA’s.

“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,” Iakopo said.

Priscilla Iakopo

Priscilla Iakopo

“Management has looked into this. We actually sought CPA’s assistance if they could share their self-care leave program with us, and from what I know is that its employees accrue eight hours of self-care leave for the first day of each quarter. So, it looks like you’ll get four self-care leaves within the fiscal year. I just wanted to propose this to the board if this is something that you can consider for MVA,” she added.

Iakopo said in her presentation that self-care leave would benefit the MVA staff because not only are they spread thin, but MVA events usually last days at a time and MVA staff work tirelessly to ensure that these events run smoothly.

“Our management and staff work tirelessly, whether that is through events and now the [Tourism Resumption Investment Plan]. Not to mention the limited staffing that we have,” she said.

MVA board member Marian Aldan-Pierce raised a concern, though, about the fiscal impact a new self-care leave program could have on the budget. “How are we going to be able to sustain the self-care leave. That’s for additional days that we have to pay for,” she asked.

MVA board chair Viola Alepuyo said management has looked into the financial impact the program could have but she deferred the discussion to an executive session to discuss the specifics.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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