IT IS NO SECRET THAT labour relations may be fraught with discords and dismay. As in any relationship, a million things can go wrong or turn sour in the dealings between an employer and an employee. It’s a delicate act like handling bone china, but it doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. A lot of research has shown that a happy employee is always a productive and a pleasant one.
CUHK has gone from equal opportunities to caring. It has been recognized as a ‘Caring Organization’ by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and in certain areas its staff benefits are more generous than the law requires, such as leave entitlements in adoption, bereavement and paternity. The sixth nursing room on campus has just been opened, making it friendlier to working mothers.
There is an annual fixture in the University calendar to honour staff members of 25 and 35 years vintages. At a small but cozy ceremony, the honoured veterans would receive souvenirs from the Vice-Chancellor himself and showered with encomiums and well-wishings from colleagues and relatives.
One of the things most frequently said by long-service awardees is ‘How time flies!’ or words to that effect. It is as if they seldom looked up from whatever that’d been occupying them, a sign of their love of labour in a classroom, office or lab setting. It’s not limited to the professors, the executives or the technicians, however, for the remark also came from staff of all ranks and units.
The Staff Thankful Day is fixed on 15 December, well into the Christmas festivities and a measure of how close it is regarded to a family event.
This year, in addition to the 25ers and the 35ers, the University is giving special recognition to those, numbered over a thousand, who have attained 16 or above but not 25 years of full-time service. They will be presented with a souvenir and a cash award. Some of them, as they are reading this, should have received the souvenirs from their supervisors.
Congratulations to this cohort of 16+! In rendering exemplary services you have become masters of your trades or professions and valued members of the Chinese University. Thank you!
This article was originally published in No. 509/510, Newsletter in Dec 2017.