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Absences

Self-treated days

If you are a teacher or other appointed pedagogue and are absent from school because of illness, you will be paid for up to 10 days in any school year without submitting a doctor’s note. These are known as “self-treated days.” If you take more than 10 self-treated days in any school year, you will not be paid for the additional absences unless you submit a doctor’s note – even if you have accumulated days in your Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR), commonly referred to as your sick bank. Whenever possible, you should submit medical certification for each day you are absent to preserve as many of your self-treated days as possible.

Here are some more important things to know about self-treated days:

  • 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. All three personal business days may be used to care for family members who are ill.
     
  • Aside from these three personal business days, your self-treated days may only be taken for illness or disability. If you have exhausted all the days in your CAR and you are regularly appointed, you may borrow up to 20 additional sick leave days. You must submit a request to borrow additional days in writing to your principal. It is important that you call your school and notify the principal each day that you will be absent. After ten self-treated sick days, whether they are borrowed or not, you will need a doctor's note.
     
  • If your supervisor suspects that you are abusing the sick leave provisions in the contract -- for example, absences are always on Mondays or Fridays or before holidays, s/he may investigate investigate.

Other absences

You are entitled to take one day each school year for an annual physical exam or for annual laboratory tests. This absence is deducted from your sick bank (CAR).

Absences due to Hepatitis B as a result of working with children, or to an allergic reaction from a DOE-mandated skin test, will not be deducted from your CAR, provided you submit appropriate medical documentation.

Other absences that are not deducted from your CAR include those used if you contract German measles, mumps or chicken pox from a student; for the death of an immediate family member or to appear in court as a juror or witness. These are considered "non-attendance" days. Your chapter leader can advise you about which forms to file for these absences.

You can request up to four hours of paid time off annually to get screened for breast or prostate cancer, and up to three hours of unpaid time off annually to donate blood. The request should be made in advance and in writing to your principal. It will be granted if it is determined that it will not be a major disruption to the school.

Absences for paraprofessionals

Educational paraprofessionals may use their sick leave (CAR days) for their own personal illness with certification from their physician.

CAR is time earned by a full-time educational paraprofessional that can be used for personal illness. Eligible employees can earn one CAR day for every month for which they are on payroll, up to 10 CAR days per year These days may be carried over from year to year.

Eligible employees can accrue a maximum of 200 CAR days.

An educational paraprofessional may not use more than 10 self-treated days in an academic year. Absences due to personal illness beyond an employee's 10 self-treated days must be medically certified.

Educational paraprofessionals may use their sick leave up to three consecutive days for a self-treated illness. Beyond three consecutive days, an employee's principal may request certification from their physician, such as a note from their doctor, to certify their absences.

An educational paraprofessional may use three sick leave days for personal business during the academic year. These days included as part of the educational paraprofessional's 10 self-treated days in a ten-month period. If three personal business days are used, then the employee can only use seven self-treated days during the school year. For more information regarding the use of personal business days, refer the employee to their payroll secretary.

Educational paraprofessionals who exhaust their sick leave balances are eligible to borrow up to 10 days with certification from their physician. UFT educational paraprofessionals, whose sick leave allowance has been exhausted, have the right to borrow against future sick leave in accordance with applicable administrative regulations.

A request to borrow CAR in conjunction with a leave of absence needs to be submitted through SOLAS for approval. Employees who are unable to use SOLAS may submit their request by completing the Application for Borrowing Sick Days Form. The employee's CAR is placed in a negative balance for the number of days borrowed. As the employee earns CAR, the negative balance is adjusted.

UFT educational paraprofessionals do not have the option to buy back borrowed CAR days. They may only accrue one sick day each month, which will be applied to their negative CAR balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.
I am an occupational therapist/physical therapist. What are my retention rights for taking a leave? Do I have the right to return to my school after my leave is over?

As a result of the 2018 DOE-UFT contract, occupational therapists/physical therapists on a leave have the right to return to their school if the leave is for one year or less. A therapist on a leave should reach out to their supervisor at some point during their leave to confirm their approved return date or whether they will be changing the date of their return (in that case, they will also need to modify their leave). The supervisor then must enter the member’s name and employee ID as a transaction in Sharepoint (Cybershift timekeeping) in order to get re-staffed and back on payroll in a timely fashion.

Can I take time off work to donate blood? Will it count against my CAR/sick time?

mployees who wish to donate blood off-site during working hours are to be granted up to three hours unpaid leave on an annual basis. Requests for time off must be made in advance and in writing. Approval must be granted by the principal or his/her designee, as long as such request does not substantially disrupt the normal operation of the office/school.

In the event that the office head or principal determines that the number of requests would cause a substantial disruption, then the office head or principal can limit the granting of such excused leave to a reasonable number of staff requesting it on the same day and deny the other requests until a more appropriate time.

Such time off shall not be considered paid leave and cannot be charged against any leave the employee is entitled to.

If I need to get screened for cancer, do I need to use my sick time/CAR days? If I need to leave work for a cancer screening, is is paid or unpaid time?

Leaving work for the purpose of cancer screening for up to four hours per year is considered paid leave.

Accommodations shall be made for employees requesting time off for the purpose of cancer screening. Requests for such time off must be made in advance and in writing. Approval must be granted by the principal or his/her designee, as long as such request does not substantially disrupt the normal operation of the office/school.

In the event that the office head or principal determines that the number of requests would cause a substantial disruption, then the office head or principal can limit the granting of such excused leave to a reasonable number of staff requesting it on the same day and deny the other requests until a more appropriate time.

What is considered a "non-attendance" day?

There are certain reasons that a member may be absent from work but still be paid, and without being required to use a CAR day, that are called “non-attendance” days. Here are the reasons you may be able to apply for a non-attendance day:

- appearance for jury duty or jury qualification/selection
- death of family member
- funeral of an associate
- receiving a degree or a graduation ceremony
- appearance on official business
- appearance as disinterested witness
- extraordinary transportation delay
- legislative hearing
- military duty
- quarantine
- requirement of the school system
- religious observance
- school visits and meetings within New York City

To see or download the OP-201 form needed to apply for a non-attendance day absence, go to the UFT website at: https://www.uft.org/sites/default/files/attachments/op201.pdf.

I am applying for a sabbatical for the spring semester of 2020. When can I expect to receive a decision?

The final date for the Superintendent's decision for the Spring 2020 semester is 12/4/19. To apply for a sabbatical, you must use the SOLAS online form, which can be found here: https://dhrnycaps.nycenet.edu/Solas/. For more information about sabbatical leaves, go to the UFT website at: https://www.uft.org/news/you-should-know/sabbatical-leaves

Further guidance on Absences

Know Your Rights definitions for:

Absence forms

  • CAR Transfer Form & Rules
    All pedagogues may use this form to donate sick time to a colleague. The recipient receives one day for every two days donated. Pedagogues may only donate sick days to a colleague suffering from a catastrophic illness. Sick leave transfer rules are on page 2 of the form.
  • OP 44: Application for Termination Pay for Pedagogues
    Upon resignation, termination or retirement, pedagogues and paraprofessionals may be granted half of their sick leave balance (up to 100 days) at the rate of 1/200th of their annual salary. Pedagogues must fill out this form online, download it, print it and get it signed by the principal and then mail or hand-deliver (strongly suggested) it to the DOE. The DOE does not accept faxes. Paraprofessionals do not need to fill out this form. However, in order to collect termination pay, they must be members of the Teachers' Retirement System.
  • OP 175W: Request for Waiver of Restriction on Per Session Employment
    The appropriate Per Session Supervisor must sign and submit this form to request a waiver of the restrictions on per session employment, in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation C-175. Per session employment may not exceed 400 hours (with a maximum of 270 hours in a school psychologist and/or school social worker (SP/ SW) position) in a per session year unless prior approval is received from the Division of Human Resources.
  • OP 198: Application for Excuse of Absence for Personal Illness (Sick Leave)
    This form is used by all pedagogues to apply for medical certification for absence up to 20 consecutive school days, for requests to borrow sick days, for excuse of absence due to children’s diseases, and for injury in the line of duty claims. Rules and instructions are on page 2 of the form.
  • OP 201: Application for Excuse of Absence Without Pay and/or as Non-Attendance
    All pedagogues use this form to request time off with pay and no loss of CAR time for the circumstances listed on page 2 (death in the family, jury duty, graduation, religious observance, etc.). OP 201 is also used to request a day off without pay in certain circumstances.
  • OP 221: Application for Attending a Convention or Conference Outside NYC
    All pedagogues, paraprofessionals and administrative staff use this form to request approval for time off for a meeting or conference either with pay as non-attendance and no loss of CAR time, or without pay.
  • OP 407: Confidential Medical Report and Medical Evaluation
    All pedagogues, paraprofessionals and administrative staff are required to submit an OP 407 when applying for sabbatical leaves, for restoration of health leaves, for sick leaves over 20 consecutive school days and for alleged line of duty injuries. To maintain confidentiality, this form may be submitted directly to the Medical Bureau in place of a doctor’s statement on an OP 198 form.
  • PD 6: Application for Leave of Absence for Health Reasons
    Administrative staff may apply for a medical leave of absence without pay only when they have exhausted all sick leave and/or annual leave days. This application must be completed, signed and submitted to HR Connect for approval. Documentation and/or statement of particulars must be submitted with the form.
  • Application to Use Earned Annual/Sick Leave or Report Non-Chargeable Absence
    All >UFT members may use this form to report any kind of absence (e.g. sick day, personal day, meeting attendance, etc.).
  • PD 19: Application for Excuse of Absence with Pay for Administrative Employees
    Administrative employees and paraprofessionals should use this form to apply for a paid excused absence in one of the accepted circumstances for excused absence (e.g. death in the family, jury duty, workers' compensation, etc.).

DOE documents regarding absences