Campus News

Clarification of CAH Sick Leave Policy



Here is a copy of an email sent to CAH faculty by Claudia Schippert, UFF-UCF Contract Enforcement Cmte Chair:

 

Dear Colleague:

This email is addressed to CAH faculty regarding the new CAH sick leave policy. While the policy’s initial circulation caused misinformation and anxiety, the College has now corrected the policy. We want to make sure you know about the correction and clarify some issues raised.

In an attempt to clarify the contractual provisions concerning sick leave, CAH created a document that was distributed in some if not all CAH Departments. The policy falsely claimed that employees, when employed during a summer term, are obligated to file sick leave when using insurance (in point 3. of “CAH policy on use and reporting of sick leave” originally disseminated by CAH.) The phrase “or uses insurance” has been eliminated, as it would have implied that employees are obligated to file sick leave whenever they file an insurance claim, regardless of any actual conflict with their assigned work.

To clarify – and to echo what the CAH issued document also affirms at the outset:

Faculty members are not regular hourly employees and often have schedules that fall outside of 9-5 days or 40 hour workweek schedules. If an employee is unable to perform assigned duties, (i.e. misses a class, committee meeting, or otherwise scheduled assignment) due to illness or injury, the employee is obligated to file sick leave.

That means: If you go to the doctor or are home sick instead of teaching your class, or cannot hold your scheduled office hours due to illness, or cannot attend the scheduled committee meeting due to illness, you need to file sick leave through the appropriate process. However, if you schedule an occasional doctor’s appointment or routine blood work or similar appointment (that may result in insurance claims filed) that does not conflict with your scheduled obligation to teach a class, attend a scheduled meeting or office hours (i.e. if you scheduled a doctor’s appointment intentionally so that it does not conflict with your scheduled work) you are under no obligation to file sick leave (since you presumably will work longer hours, for example by grading papers late at night or by completing your research tasks on the weekend).

You may have heard about the persistent rumors that some mythical administrator cross-references insurance claims filed with sick leave reports filed. These are rumors that are as unfortunate as they are misleading. Nobody has been able to produce a single documented case in which filing an insurance claim (within one system) was cross checked with an employee filing sick leave for that same time (within an entirely different system). That said, we encourage all of our colleagues to take good care of their health and to file sick leave for those times when they are unable to fulfill their scheduled work activities. The Collective Bargaining Agreement clearly states that the University shall authorize sick leave for illness, health care appointments etc. (see CBA 17.8(2)b). The corrected document provided by CAH clarifies, but does not add any additional terms to, employees’ obligations as bargained and ratified in the CBA.

For the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) at UCF,
Dr. Claudia Schippert,
Chair, Contract Enforcement Committee
Associate Professor of Humanities