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ARTICLE 14: LEAVES

14.1     Sick Leave/Disability Leave

 

14.1.1    All full-time unit members shall be entitled to one (1) day’s sick leave per working month for a minimum of ten (10) sick leave days per year.  Unit members whose regular contract is extended by one (1) working month (eighteen (18) days) will be granted one (1) additional sick leave day to a maximum of twelve (12) days of sick leave per year.  Regular unit members who are employed for only a portion of the school day or school year will be granted sick leave on a prorated basis.

 

14.1.2     Accumulated sick leave may be utilized by the unit member for disability resulting from illness, injury, pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery therefrom.

 

a.      If the use of accumulated sick leave is opted by the unit member, the unit member may utilize any accumulated sick leave during the time the physician will certify that he/she is disabled.  Additional days of disability as required by the unit member’s physician and certified as such will enable the unit member to collect difference pay as stipulated in Education Code Section 44977 (as amended on April 28, 1998) for a period of one-hundred (100) days or less.  Non-contracted work periods are not included in the one-hundred (100) day period.

 

b.      In cases where the District chooses to utilize existing teachers to substitute, the District will not subtract more than the long-term substitute daily rate.

 

c.      If the unit member elects not to utilize his/her accumulated sick leave, the unit member will be granted a leave without pay.

 

d.      If the unit member elects to utilize only a portion of the days of accumulated sick leave during such time as he/she is disabled, the remainder of days of disability shall be without pay to the unit member.

 

e.      If additional leave is necessitated at the advice of the physician, subsequent to the beginning of the leave, the unit member will notify the Superintendent or his/her designee.

 

f.       If the unit member requests additional leave beyond the period of time certified by his/her physician as disability leave, it may be granted, without pay to the unit member.  The determination shall be based on the following criteria:

 

(1)        The welfare of school children in terms of continuing education, and

 

(2)        The availability of a suitable replacement.

 

g.      The unit member shall be allowed to return at such time as the unit member’s physician determines that he/she is capable of performing his/her professional duties.  The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be notified of such determination.

 

h.      When a unit member has exhausted all available sick leave and differential leave and is not medically able to resume the duties of his/her position, he/she will be placed on a re-employment list in accordance with the provisions of Education Code Section 44978.1.

 

14.1.3    In addition to the above provisions governing absence from duty for sick leave/disability leave, the following shall apply in cases of:

 

a.      Pregnancy

 

A notification of a leave of absence due to pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery therefrom shall be presented to the Superintendent or his/her designee in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to the anticipated time that such leave will begin.  Such notification shall be accompanied by a letter of verification signed by the unit member’s physician stipulating the date on which the disability shall commence and terminate.

 

b.      Disabilities Capable of Advanced Planning

 

If the disability is not of an emergency nature, but is actually capable of being planned in advance, e.g., corrective surgery, the length of the leave, including the date upon which the leave shall commence and the date upon which the unit member shall resume duties, shall be determined on the basis of consultation between the unit member and the Superintendent or his/her designee at least thirty (30) days prior to such anticipated leave, or at such time the physician specifies if it is less than thirty (30) days.  Such determination shall be based on the following criteria:

 

(1)        The welfare of school children in terms of continuity of instruction, and

 

(2)        The availability of a suitable replacement.

 

A letter from the unit member’s physician verifying the length of time necessary for the disability leave and the latest date when the disability leave must commence shall be filed with the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and shall be the basis for the above determination.

 

c.      Disabilities of an Unplanned or Emergency Nature (Sick Leave)

 

If the disability is of an unplanned or emergency nature, the length of the leave, including the date upon which the leave will commence and the date the unit member shall resume duties will be determined by the unit member or the unit member and his/her physician.

 

Leaves in this category may be subject to written verification by the unit member’s physician after three (3) days.

 

14.1.4     In the event a work stoppage becomes apparent, the Superintendent may require verification from a physician for any days of sick leave taken.

 

14.1.5     At the beginning of each school year every unit member shall receive a sick leave entitlement for the school year.  A unit member may use his/her credited sick leave at any time during the school year.

 

14.1.6     The Board or its designated representative(s) shall provide each unit member with a written statement of:

 

a.      Accrued sick leave total, and

 

b.      Sick leave entitlement for the year.

 

Such statement shall be provided as close as possible to October 30 of each year.

 

14.1.7     Unit members transferring from districts within California may transfer their accumulated sick leave to the District.

 

14.2     Personal Necessity Leave

 

14.2.1     Death, Serious Illness or AccidentDeath, Serious Illness or Accident

 

a.      Unlimited DaysUnlimited Days

 

Any days of leave of absence for sick leave/disability leave (see Article 14.1) may be used by the unit member for the following reasons:

 

●          Death or serious illness of a member of his or her immediate family.

 

●          Accident, involving his or her person or property, or the person or property of a member of his or her immediate family.

 

b.      Permission to Use

 

Advance permission is not required for this leave.  The employee shall, however, advise his/her supervisor of the circumstances as soon as reasonably possible and shall complete a leave form when he/she returns to work.

 

14.2.2     Other Personal Necessity

 

a.      Seven (7) Total Days Per Year

 

Up to seven (7) days of leave of absence for sick leave/disability leave (see Article 14.1) may be used each year by the unit member, in cases of other personal necessity as defined below.

 

b.      Emergency

 

Leave pursuant to this paragraph (2.b.) shall be limited to circumstances that are emergency in nature.

 

(1)        To qualify as an emergency, the situation must meet all of the following criteria:

 

(a)        Is serious in nature;

 

(b)        The unit member cannot reasonably be expected to disregard;

 

(c)        Requires immediate action; and

 

(d)       Cannot be taken care of after work hours or on weekends.

 

(2)        Advance request for Emergency leave shall be submitted in writing on a Leave Request Form to the supervising administrator in advance whenever possible.

 

(3)        In those situations when a written request has not been submitted due to the nature of the emergency, the form requesting personal necessity leave shall be completed by the unit member upon return to work.

 

(4)        Extreme Circumstances

 

In extreme circumstances, additional (i.e., more than seven (7) total) days of sick leave may be utilized if the situation meets all of the criteria set forth in Section 14.2.2.b(1), above).  Such additional days are at the sole discretion of the Superintendent.

 

c.      Personal

 

(1)        Up to five (5) days of leave of absence allotted for personal necessity may be used each year by a unit member, for personal reasons.  In the event the reason for the personal leave is private in nature involving the unit member or his/her family, the unit member will so state, and the details of the private nature of the request will not be pursued.

 

(2)        Such leaves may not be used for matters of purely personal convenience, recreation, or to intentionally extend holidays.

 

(3)        A unit member may take such leave if he/she completes and submits to the District’s Personnel Department the necessary notification form at least five (5) days in advance.

 

(4)        Such leave shall not be used for concerted activity.

 

d.      AB 109

 

In addition to leaves available to unit members in this Section (i.e. Personal Necessity Leave), unit members are entitled to use, in any calendar year, up to five (5) days of accrued and available sick leave to attend to an illness of a child, parent, or spouse of the employee.

 

14.2.3     Compensation

 

Leaves in this category may not be taken for the purpose of conducting business for which the employee could reasonably be expected to receive compensation.

 

14.2.4     Falsification of Leave

 

Any bargaining unit member who falsifies a request for personal necessity leave shall be guilty of a violation of the Agreement and subject to appropriate discipline.

 

14.3     Bereavement Leave

 

14.3.1    Every unit member shall be entitled to three (3) days of paid leave of absence, or five (5) days if travel is out of the state or more than two hundred fifty (250) miles, due to the death of any member of his/her immediate family.  In addition, a unit member may be allowed, upon request, one (1) day of bereavement leave to attend the funeral of a student enrolled in his/her class at the time of death.  This leave shall not be deducted from sick leave.

 

14.3.2     The immediate family is defined to include:

 

a.      the unit member’s spouse or registered domestic partner,

 

b.      parents, guardians, grandparents, children, grandchildren, brother, sister, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, including all variations established by marriage or registered domestic partnership of the unit member or of the spouse or registered domestic partner of the unit member,

 

c.      any relative living in the immediate household of the unit member, or

 

d.      a foster child.

 

A unit member may request of the Superintendent days of bereavement leave for family members not listed.

 

14.3.3     The Board shall require the use of bereavement leave before personal necessity leave days are used for purposes allowed in this Section.

 

14.3.4     A three (3) or five (5) day bereavement leave may be granted for each death described above, even though more than one (1) death occurs simultaneously; such leaves may be consecutive.

 

14.3.5     Sick leave or personal necessity leave may be used subsequent to the expiration of bereavement leave should the unit member’s circumstances meet the requirements of the provisions for the leaves as set forth in this document.

 

14.3.6     Notification must be given to the administrator as soon as the unit member becomes aware of the necessity to take bereavement leave.

 

14.4     Subpoenas and Jury Duty

 

14.4.1     Trial and Inquest Jury:  A unit member who is called to serve on a trial or inquest jury shall receive his/her full salary.  The unit member will rebate to the District his/her pay for jury duty.  If the unit member’s check for jury duty includes both jury duty and mileage, the unit member will pay the District that amount of money paid to him/her for jury duty in cash or by personal check made out to the District.  This payment must be in the Business Office prior to the last day of the month following the month in which the unit member receives the payment for jury duty.

 

14.4.2     Grand Jury:  A unit member shall be released for Grand Jury service as required by law.

 

14.4.3     Subpoenas:  A subpoenaed unit member who is not a litigant shall receive his/her full salary.

 

14.5     Association Leave

 

14.5.1    Association representatives shall have a total of ten (10) days of paid leave to utilize for local, state, or national conferences or for conducting other business pertinent to Association affairs.

 

14.5.2     The Association shall reimburse the District for the cost of substitutes.

 

14.5.3     The Association representatives shall be excused from school duties upon advance notification to the Superintendent by the Association President.

 

14.5.4     Association leave under this Section shall be in addition to the release time for the purpose of meeting and negotiating or for the process of grievances.

 

14.5.5     Should an emergency arise, the Association may request leave under this Section in less than forty-eight (48) hours; however, the Superintendent may approve or deny on the basis of the needs of the District.

 

14.6     Sabbatical Leave

 

14.6.1     The unit member shall be entitled to sabbatical leave after seven (7) years of consecutive service to the District.

 

14.6.2     A unit member, as a condition to being granted a sabbatical leave, shall agree in writing to render a period of service in the employ of the District following his/her return from sabbatical leave.  Such period shall be equal to twice the period of said leave.

 

14.6.3     The number of unit members on sabbatical leave shall not exceed three (3) during one (1) year.

 

14.6.4     While on sabbatical leave, a unit member shall not be eligible for any of the other leaves of absence enumerated in this Article.

 

14.6.5     The District shall pay a unit member who is on a sabbatical leave fifty percent (50%) of his/her salary for the length of the leave.  Otherwise, there shall be no reduction in fringe benefits during the term of a unit member’s sabbatical leave.

 

14.6.6     The District and the unit member shall develop a payment schedule which is acceptable to both parties before the sabbatical leave is scheduled to commence.

 

14.6.7     A unit member returning from sabbatical leave will receive the same salary step advance that he/she would have received had he/she remained in active service in his/her regular position during the leave period.

 

14.6.8     Upon return to service the unit member will be assigned to a position comparable to that which he/she was assigned at the time the leave was granted provided that no conditions develop during the leave or at the time of return which would have changed the unit member’s location and type of work had he/she remained in active service.

 

14.6.9     There shall be a committee of five (5) to be known as the Sabbatical Leave Committee.  Three (3) members shall be appointed by the Association and two (2) by the Superintendent.  The duty of the Committee is to consider the applications for leave and to recommend, for approval by the District, such applications as meet the standards established by the Committee.  Applications shall be submitted to the Committee at least six (6) months prior to the anticipated commencement of such leave.

 

The standards for determining sabbatical leave eligibility shall be based solely upon the leave’s benefit to the District.  Unit members requesting sabbatical leave shall, when applying for said leave, submit with their application a written statement explaining how the requested leave will benefit the District.  This statement, together with the minutes of the Committee’s interview with the applicant and the Committee’s recommendation regarding the request, shall be presented to the Superintendent no later than April 15 prior to the time the leave shall commence.  The Superintendent, in turn, shall present this recommendation to the Board at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting and shall submit his/her own recommendation separately if it differs from the Sabbatical Leave Committee’s.

 

14.6.10   The final determination of all sabbatical leaves shall be at the discretion of the Board.

 

14.7     Military Leave

 

Military leave provided for in this Agreement shall be pursuant to the Education Code.  If any provisions of the Education Code conflict with the Military and Veterans Code, the provisions of the Military and Veterans Code shall prevail.

 

14.8     Industrial Accident or Illness Leave

 

14.8.1     An industrial accident or illness as referred to in this Section shall mean an injury or illness arising as a result of, and in the course of employment.  Qualification for industrial accident or illness leave shall be determined by the North Valley School Insurance Company.

 

14.8.2     Allowable leave for each industrial accident or illness shall be sixty (60) days.

 

14.8.3     Allowable leave shall not be accumulated from year to year.

 

14.8.4     Industrial accident or illness leave shall commence upon the first day of absence.

 

14.8.5     When a person is absent from his/her duties because of industrial accident or illness, he/she shall be paid such portion of the salary due him/her for any month in which absence occurs, as when added to his/her temporary disability indemnity under Division 4 or Division 4.5 of the Labor Code, will result in a payment to him/her equivalent to his/her full salary.

 

14.8.6     Industrial accident or illness leave shall be reduced by one (1) day for each day of authorized absence regardless of a temporary disability indemnity award.

 

14.8.7     When an industrial accident or illness leave overlaps into the next fiscal year, the unit member shall be entitled to only the amount of unused leave due him/her for the same illness or injury.

 

14.8.8     During any paid leave of absence, the unit member may endorse to the District the temporary disability indemnity checks received because of his/her industrial accident or illness.  Once the decision is made by the unit member, the same method will be continued while on the leave.  If the method is changed, the unit member will provide sufficient lead-time for the Business Office to process the warrants.  The District, in turn, shall issue the unit member appropriate salary warrants for payment of the unit member’s salary and shall deduct normal retirement and other authorized contributions.

 

14.8.9     The benefits provided by these rules and regulations shall be applicable to all employees immediately upon becoming a unit member of the District.

 

14.8.10   Unless traveling for purposes relating to the industrial accident or illness, the unit member receiving benefits as a result of these rules and regulations shall, during the period of injury or illness, remain within the State of California unless the Governing Board authorizes travel outside the State.

 

14.9     Catastrophic Leave Bank

 

14.9.1     Creation

 

a.      The Association and the District agree to maintain a Catastrophic Leave Bank.  (Created July 1, 1993).

 

b.      Days in the Catastrophic Leave Bank shall accumulate from school year to school year (July 1 - June 30).

 

c.      Days shall be contributed to the Bank and withdrawn from the Bank without regard to the daily rate of pay of the Catastrophic Leave Bank participants.

 

d.      The Catastrophic Leave Bank shall be administered by a committee comprised of three (3) members appointed by the Association and two (2) members appointed by the District.

 

14.9.2     Eligibility and Contributions

 

a.      All unit members on active duty with at least one (1) year of employment with the District are eligible to contribute to the Catastrophic Leave Bank.

 

b.      Participation is voluntary, but requires a contribution to the Bank.  Only contributors will be permitted to withdraw from the Bank.  Contributions and withdrawals shall be prorated according to the unit member’s contracted work day/year.

 

c.      Unit members who elect not to join the Catastrophic Leave Bank upon first becoming eligible have a waiting period of forty-five (45) duty days after joining the bank before becoming eligible to withdraw from the Bank.  This forty-five (45) day period does not modify the provisions for withdrawal specified in Section 14.9.3.c.

 

d.      The initial contribution, on the appropriate form, will be authorized by the Unit Member to initiate enrollment and continuous enrollment shall occur from year to year until canceled by the Unit Member.

 

e.      Cancellation occurs automatically whenever a Unit Member fails to make a required assessment.  Sick leave previously authorized for contribution to the Bank shall not be returned if the Unit Member effects cancellation.

 

f.       Contributions shall be made between July 1, and October 1, of each school year.  Unit members returning from extended leave which included the enrollment period and new hires will be permitted to contribute within thirty (30) calendar days of beginning work.  The District shall supply enrollment forms for the Catastrophic Leave Bank to all new unit members and those unit members returning from leave.

 

g.      The annual rate of contribution by each participating Unit Member for each school year shall be seven (7) hours of sick leave.  The Committee may decide that the annual contribution is not necessary to maintain an appropriate number of hours in the Bank as determined by the Committee.

 

h.      The Committee may require, at any time, an additional day of contribution of participants if the number of hours in the Bank falls below a level to be determined by the Committee.  Catastrophic Leave Bank participants who are drawing from the Bank at the time of the assessment will not be required to contribute to remain eligible to draw from the Bank.  If a Catastrophic Leave Bank participant has no remaining sick leave at the time of the assessment, they need not contribute the additional hours to remain a participant in the Catastrophic Leave Bank.

 

14.9.3     Withdrawal from the Bank

 

a.      Catastrophic Leave Bank participants, whose sick leave is exhausted, may withdraw from the Bank for catastrophic illness or injury.  Catastrophic illness or injury shall be defined as any illness or injury that incapacitates the unit member for over ten (10) consecutive duty days.  Catastrophic illness or injury shall be defined as any illness or injury that incapacitates a member of the unit member’s immediate family for over ten (10) consecutive duty days which requires the unit member to take time off to care for that family member for no more than thirty (30) duty days in a school year.  If a reoccurrence or a second illness or injury incapacitates a unit member or member of the unit member’s family within twelve (12) months, it shall be deemed catastrophic after five (5) consecutive duty days.

 

b.      Participants must use all sick leave as defined in Article 14 of this Agreement available to them before they are eligible for a withdrawal from the Bank.

 

c.      A minimum of the first ten (10) duty days of illness or disability must be covered by the participant’s sick leave, differential leave, or leave without pay the first time said participant qualifies for a withdrawal from the Bank.  For subsequent withdrawals within twelve (12) consecutive months, the first five (5) duty days of illness must be covered by the participant’s differential leave, or leave without pay.

 

d.      If a participant is incapacitated, applications may be submitted to the Committee by the participant’s agent or member of the participant’s family.

 

e.      Withdrawals from the Catastrophic Leave Bank shall be granted in units of no more than thirty (30) duty days, with a limit of sixty (60) duty days per year.

 

f.       Prior to the expiration of a Catastrophic Leave allocation period, a recipient is eligible to apply to extend the leave allocation from the Bank in thirty (30) day units with no waiting period.  Any extension of leave beyond the initial thirty (30) days allowed is at the discretion of the Committee.  A participant’s withdrawal may not exceed twelve (12) consecutive months.

 

g.      Participants applying to withdraw or extend their withdrawal from the Catastrophic Leave Bank will be required to submit a statement from the treating physician indicating the nature of the illness or injury and the probable length of absence from work.  Members of the Committee shall keep information regarding the nature of the illness confidential.

 

h.      If a participant has drawn thirty (30) Catastrophic Leave Bank days and requests an extension, the Committee may require a medical review by a physician of the Committee’s choice at the participant’s expense.  Refusal to submit to the medical review will terminate the participant’s continued withdrawal from the Bank.  The Committee may deny an extension of withdrawal from the Catastrophic Leave Bank based upon the medical report.

 

i.       Leave from the Bank may not be used for illness or disability which qualify the participant for Worker’s Compensation benefits.

 

j.       When the Committee may reasonably presume that the applicant for a draw may be eligible for a Disability Award or a Retirement under STRS or, if applicable, Social Security, the Committee may request that the draw applicant apply for disability or retirement.  Failure of the draw applicant to submit a complete application, including medical information provided by the applicant’s physician, within twenty (20) calendar days will disqualify the draw applicant from further Catastrophic Leave Bank payments.  Any requests for additional medical information from STRS or Social Security shall be submitted within ten (10) days or the participant’s entitlement to Catastrophic Leave Bank payments will cease.  If denied benefits by STRS or Social Security, the applicant must appeal or entitlement to the Catastrophic Leave Bank shall cease.

 

k.      If the Catastrophic Leave Bank does not have sufficient days to fund a withdrawal request, the Committee is under no obligation to provide days and the District is under no obligation to pay the participant any funds whatsoever.  If the Committee denies a request for withdrawal (or reapplication), because of insufficient days to fund the request, they shall notify the participant, in writing, of the reason for the denial.

 

l.       Withdrawals shall become effective immediately upon the exhaustion of sick leave or the waiting periods provided for in Sections 14.9.2.c. and 14.9.3.c., whichever is greater.  For example, if a participant contributed when first eligible to contribute (Section 14.9.2.c) and had ten (10) days of accumulated sick leave when the illness began (Section 14.9.3.c), he/she shall begin withdrawing upon the eleventh (11th) duty day if otherwise eligible.  If the participant had fifteen (15) days of sick leave at the beginning of the illness, he/she shall begin withdrawing days on the sixteenth (16th) duty day.  If the participant had five (5) days of sick leave at the beginning of the illness, he/she shall begin withdrawing days on the eleventh (11th) duty day.

 

m.     Catastrophic Leave shall not begin until receipt of written approval from the Committee.

 

n.      The decision of the Committee is final and binding upon the participants.

 

14.9.4     Administration of the Bank

 

a.      The Catastrophic Leave Bank Committee shall have the responsibility of maintaining the records of the Catastrophic Leave Bank, receiving withdrawal requests, verifying the validity of requests, approving or denying the requests, and communicating its decision, in writing, to the participants.

 

b.      The Committee’s authority shall be limited to administration of the Bank.  The Committee shall approve all properly submitted requests complying with the terms of this Article.  Withdrawals may not be denied on the basis of the type of illness or disability.

 

c.      Applications shall be reviewed and decisions of the Committee reported to the applicant, in writing, within ten (10) duty days of receipt of the application.

 

d.      The Committee shall keep all records confidential and shall not disclose the nature of the illness except as is necessary to process the request for withdrawal and defend against any appeals of denials.

 

e.      By October 1 of each school year, the District shall notify the Committee of the following:

 

(1)        The total number of accumulated days in the Bank on June 30th of the previous school year.

 

(2)        The number of days contributed by unit members of the current year.

 

(3)        The names of participating unit members.

 

(4)        The total number of days available in the Bank.

 

f.       By the tenth (10th) day of each calendar month, the District shall notify the Committee of the following:

 

(1)        The names of any additional Unit Members who have joined in accordance with Section 14.9.2 of this Article.

 

(2)        The total number of days in the Bank at the beginning of the previous month.

 

(3)        The total number of days remaining in the Bank on the last day of the month.

 

14.10   Exchange Days

 

A teacher may utilize up to a cumulative total of five (5) exchange days during any one (l) school year subject to the following:

 

14.10.1   Exchange days must have the prior approval of the site principal.  Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.

 

14.10.2   A teacher shall have the responsibility for arranging for the payback of exchange day(s) with another teacher within twelve (12) calendar months from when the initial exchange occurred.

 

14.10.3   The District shall have no responsibility for any inequities that may arise between affected teachers based upon the exchange of days pursuant to this provision.  The issue of any perceived inequities that may arise between teachers pursuant to Section 14.10.1, above shall not be subject to the grievance procedures.

 

14.10.4   The exchange days provided in this section may be extended upon request and shall be at the discretion of the Superintendent.

 

14.11   Family Care Leave

 

Family care leave will be granted in accordance with state and federal law.

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