Have you enrolled in the Sick Leave Bank?
You have until the end of this month, May 31 to do so. I’m attaching an Enrollment Form if you are interested in becoming a part of it. When you fill out the form, please take it to Human Resources.
Also, are you retiring? If so, you can only cash out 180 of your days but you can donate the rest to the Bank. To donate surplus days, please contact Mary Greisinger at M-Griesinger@neiu.edu.
The Sick Leave Bank is a valuable benefit. New university professionals at NEIU have used the bank before they accumulated significant sick leave days, and many of us who have been here longer have drawn from the bank to deal with prolonged family and medical leaves. It’s a great way for us to help and support each other. (Please see Article 19.19 from the CBA pasted below.)
Thanks to all of those who are a part of the bank already! And please let me know if you have any questions.
19.19 Sick Leave Bank
The purpose of the UPI Voluntary Sick Leave Bank (Bank) is to provide limited additional paid leave for Employees who have exhausted their accrued sick and vacation leave benefits as the result of a catastrophic illness or injury, the need for extended child-rearing leave, or for leave as described under VESSA. The Bank serves as a depository into which participating Employees may voluntarily contribute leave for allocation to other participating Employees.
The Union and the University agree that any dispute involving this section (19.19) shall not be subject to the parties’ grievance and arbitration procedures. The Union agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the University for any claims arising from the administration or operation of the Bank.
B. Enrollment in the Bank
An open enrollment period will be held annually during the Benefits Choice period or at additional times by agreement with Human Resources. At
that time, any eligible Employee may join the bank by contributing two sick leave days. In order to remain a member in good standing, current Bank members must continue to make a voluntary annual contribution of one sick leave day. Should the Bank reach a balance of forty-five (45) or fewer available sick leave days, a special contribution period may be opened. If any sick leave days remain in the Bank at the end of the fiscal year, they will be carried over to the next fiscal year. (see Appendix H for forms).
C. Membership Eligibility, Obligations, and Limitations
1. Membership in the Bank is available to all Employees who have accumulated 12 sick leave days in order to make the initial donation.
2. Membership eligibility for participation in the Bank for a fiscal year begins upon the Employee’s original donation of two days of sick leave.
3. Eligibility is discontinued upon termination of employment, retirement, death, or revocation of participation to donate a sick leave day the following fiscal year(s). No payment of benefits will be made to survivors.
4. Membership continues from year-to-year with an automatic annual reduction in sick leave of one day donated to the Bank until/unless the member submits a revocation form to discontinue membership.
5. Members must waive all claims to sick leave voluntarily donated to the Bank, including any monetary or retirement-related value the days may hold.
6. The Bank is available to those employees who have completely exhausted all Leave Days and who are not receiving disability or Workers’ Compensation.
D. Donations to the Bank
1. Employees will be given at least one annual opportunity to donate to the Bank. Donors must have a minimum balance of ten (10) sick leave days after making any donation.
2. Any Employee who wishes to join the Bank through the donation of 2 days of sick leave during any open enrollment period must sign a statement indicating the donation is voluntary. Donation forms will be submitted to Human Resources.
3. Donations made during the Benefits Choice period qualify the Employee for membership in the Bank the following fiscal year.
4. If sick leave is being donated to the Bank, compensated sick leave (as defined in 19.10.G) will only be used if all other sick leave has been exhausted.
E. Administration of the Bank
1. The Bank will be administered by the Sick Leave Bank Committee (Committee). The Committee will have three voting members appointed by the Chapter President with one non-voting representative from Human Resources.
2. The Chapter President will designate a member to convene the Committee. Human Resources will be responsible for coordinating the annual donation period, processing approved requests, and maintaining appropriate related records.
3. Requests to the Bank will be received and reviewed by the Committee. The Committee will prepare a written notification to the requesting member approving or denying the application. Human Resources will ensure that the appropriate forms and/or documentation are processed if the request is approved.
4. The Committee may not grant sick leave days to members when the Bank does not have available days.
5. An application shall be denied if it is incomplete, lacks supporting statements from a licensed health care provider, or if the member fails to provide any requested documentation. If denied, an application may be resubmitted.
6. The Bank will be administered in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), VESSA, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements.
F. Withdrawals from the Bank
1. A member or his/her designee must complete an application for sick leave and submit it to the Committee.
2. The Committee will develop appropriate processes and procedures for applications to the Bank in accordance with applicable law. Applications should indicate the estimated number of sick leave days requested.
3. The Committee will render a written decision to the Employee within five Days after receipt of the request.
4. The amount of sick leave granted for each request will be determined by the Committee but cannot exceed one-third of the balance in the Bank or a maximum of 20 sick leave days, whichever is less. No member may receive more than 20 sick leave days in a twelve-month period.
5. Sick leave may be used only during the term of an Employee’s period of appointment
6. Any sick leave granted may be used only for the purpose requested on the application. Any unused portion will be returned to the Bank.
7. Sick leave days may be used for the personal illness or injury of the Employee or to care for a parent, spouse, domestic partner, child with a serious health condition, for extended child-rearing leave, or for leave as described under VESSA.
8. Use of sick leave days from the Bank is considered under the provision of the FMLA and any use is included in the twelve (12) weeks of leave provided under this Act, if applicable.
9. Use of sick leave days from the Bank is considered under the provision of VESSA and any use is included in the twelve (12) weeks of leave provided under this Act, if applicable.
G. Employee with insufficient sick days to join the Bank
An Employee who has not accumulated enough sick days to join the Bank may still apply through the normal application process and shall be given the same consideration as a donating member of the Bank.
H. Appeal Process
In the event that an Employee is denied membership into the Bank or a member is denied benefits form the Bank, he/she may submit a written appeal to the Sick Leave Bank Committee within ten (10) Days of receiving the denial. A written response shall be issued with ten (10) Days from the date of the appeal.