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Berdahl Airs Work/Life Issues With Bay Area Employers

Posted March 17, 1999

Photo: Parent and child

Many parents need suppport in meeting both their work and family responsibilities. Peg Skorpinski photo.

Chancellor Berdahl spoke to members of the organization One Small Step March 10 on a subject close to his heart -- work/life issues -- during the group's tenth annual conference at the Sheraton Palace in San Francisco.

One Small Step, a nonprofit organization that represents major Bay Area employers, focuses on initiatives that support employees and families. The Berkeley campus has been a member for over a decade.

In his keynote address to the conferees, Berdahl discussed conflicts faced by faculty and staff in attempting to meet both their work and family responsibilities. He acknowledged employers' responsibility to help their employees address work/life conflicts through programs, policies, benefits and workplace culture.

Berdahl showcased several such Berkeley initiatives -- including "The Guide for Balancing Work and Family," flexible work arrangements for staff, tenure clock stoppage for faculty, catastrophic leave sharing and addressing the needs of those providing elder care to ill and/or disabled adult family members.

Such policies and programs are only part of the responsibility of an employer, Berdahl added. Visible, persistent, institutional support of an organizational culture that encourages employees to take advantage of work/life options is equally important, he noted.

"The presentation was extremely well received and helped to build the reputation of Berkeley in the Bay Area community as a family-friendly employer," said Carol Hoffman, co-chair of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Dependent Care.

The Chancellor noted that the lack of campus infant care for faculty and staff is an issue of concern at Berkeley; he and Mrs. Berdahl are exploring with campus the possibility of establishing infant care for the babies of faculty and staff, he said. One possible location, still in exploratory stages, is the first floor ballroom at University House, he told the gathering.


March 17 - 30, 1999 (Volume 27, Number 27)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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