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A list of the most commonly asked questions.
You can use three of your 10 days for personal business, provided that you give reasonable notice to your principal. Personal business is officially defined as something that cannot be done at any time other than a school day, during school hours.
Reasonable notice must be given for personal business that is scheduled in advance, such as the closing on a house. This allows you an opportunity to speak to your chapter leader if you feel the principal is being unreasonable in denying your request. If you are out to take care of a suddenly ill child, advance notice is not ordinarily required. Personal days are part of the contractual right to 10 self-treated CAR days allowed each year, not in addition to those days.
Yes. Measles, mumps and chicken pox are childhood diseases that are not deductible from your sick time. Ask your school secretary or UFT chapter leader for an OP 198 application to submit to your principal. Form: http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/op198.pdf
Your principal may also excuse additional non-attendance days other than for illness such as jury duty; bereavement; graduation; extraordinary transit delay; and for donating blood or cancer screening. You must submit an OP 201 application. Permissible non-attendance days are listed on that form. Form: http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/op201_0.pdf
You may take off the day of death and up to three calendar days immediately following the death of an immediate family member and up to one day for the death of a relative outside the immediate family or household. Form OP 201 is required.
The most frequently requested leaves are:
• Paid parental leave: Eligible UFT-represented DOE employees may take up to six weeks of paid leave following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.
• Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Regularly appointed employees and regular substitutes may apply for a contractual leave which may be covered under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of health benefits, commencing with the first consecutive absence, during maternity leave (even if CAR days have been exhausted) and childcare leave. All other FMLA leaves are unpaid, such as care of a child under age 1, adoption, the start of foster care, caring for an ill family member, or treating a serious personal health condition. You are eligible if you have worked for a total of at least 12 months as of the date the leave commences (the months need not be consecutive) or for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. The leave can be intermittent or involve reducing your work schedule, such as if you need to go for medical treatments.
• Leave of absence without pay for restoration of health: Medical circumstances could lead you to apply for a “leave of absence without pay for restoration of health.” Once you have exhausted your sick bank, you may borrow days (optional). Pedagogues may then remain on payroll for a calendar month with prorated pay by choosing to take a grace period.
• Contact the UFT Welfare Fund about disability payments if you are going to be off payroll for a significant amount of time. You must apply for the leave on SOLAS and submit medical documentation provided by your doctor including a diagnosis and prognosis. If your application for a medical leave is denied, medical arbitration may be appropriate. Please call your UFT Borough Office for assistance.
• Child care leave: Child care leave may be used by either parent but not both. This leave normally begins six weeks after the birth of the baby (but may begin eight weeks after for C section births) and can last up to four years from the next September term following the baby’s birthday. A child care leave for an adoptive parent ends at the same time.
There are additional leaves without pay that an appointed pedagogue may be granted, such as for teaching at CUNY or SUNY, military leave, service in the Peace Corps, sabbatical leave or acceptance of a supervisory or teaching position in a foreign country. Please call your UFT Borough Office to discuss other types of leaves that may fit your particular situation.
Eligible teachers with 14 years of service can apply for a one-year Educational Research Project sabbatical. The research project has to be in the field of education and job-related. The project must be significantly rigorous and must have evident links that translate into improved instructional delivery of content to students. An outline and the subject of the research including the activities that will be undertaken will have to be attached to the sabbatical application.
Elementary school teachers must include courses or complete a project that promotes growth in a range of potential assignments, except where the superintendent determines that a concentrated program of study or project is appropriate. Programs or projects devoted exclusively to literacy are acceptable for all elementary school teachers. See the UFT's main page on sabbaticals for more information.