I am experiencing a serious illness or injury and need to be off work for an extended period of time. What do I do?
You should complete a Leave of Absence Request form (available on the BFT web site) to the Human Resources department by scanning the form into an email to Evelyn Bradley, Director of Personnel (we do not recommend using district mail to send a Leave of Absence Request form). You will need to have your physician complete Section II of the form. Be SURE to keep a copy of your leave request form. If you have not already, you should discuss your need for leave with your principal or vice principal. The administrator section of the Leave of Absence Request form is not mandatory for requesting sick leave.
Can I use sick leave for this absence?
With proper verification from your physician you can use sick leave.
How can I know how many days of sick leave I have accumulated?
We recommend an email to Evelyn Bradley, Director of Personnel, requesting confirmation of your current sick leave balance. The balance listed on your most recent paycheck stub may not be correct. BFT members are entitled to 11 sick days per year (for a full-time employee). The days for the current school year are “loaded” in September and appear as part of the balance listed on your September paycheck stub. In addition, if you have worked in another California K-12 school district before coming to BUSD, all of your accumulated sick leave should have been transferred to BUSD.
What happens when I run out of my own personal sick leave?
If you are a member of the BFT/BUSD Sick Leave Bank, you can apply for days from the Bank. You are eligible for up to 40 days from the Bank for each medical incident (documentation from your doctor is required). Please see the FAQ on the BFT web site for more information on the Sick Leave Bank. If you are NOT a member of the Sick Leave Bank, or if you exhaust days available to you from the Bank, you can apply for Extended Sick Leave. On this type of leave you are paid the difference between your salary and the actual cost to the District of the substitute teacher. BFT members are eligible for up to 100 days of Extended Sick Leave.
Can colleagues donate sick days to me?
If you are a member of the Sick Leave Bank and the colleagues who want to donate days to you are members of the Sick Leave Bank they can donate days to you. This can only occur after you have exhausted your own personal sick leave and the 40 days available to you from the Bank. These days are called “catastrophic leave donations”.
What happens to my benefits while I’m on leave?
If you are on an approved leave, including Extended Sick Leave, your benefits continue unchanged.
What should I do if I need to extend my sick leave beyond the original indicated end date?
You should submit a new Leave of Absence Request form, with a new letter from your doctor, and you should let your principal know as soon as you can.
During my leave, am I responsible for lesson plans, report cards, etc.?
No, while you are on sick leave you have no responsibilities for your classes or for instruction, grading or report cards.
Whose job is it to secure a sub for me while I am absent?
This is the job of your principal and the BUSD Human Resources offices, but some teachers help with this process before they go on leave.
What if I cannot come back to work full-time after my illness, or I need modifications to my duty?
You may be eligible for modifications or accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act. You should discuss your needs with your doctor and then ask them to provide you with the proper paperwork if you need modifications or accommodations upon your return to work. This paperwork should be submitted to Evelyn Bradley, Director of Personnel. Be SURE to keep a copy of all paperwork.
Am I eligible for State Disability Insurance (SDI)?
No, you are not. In California state law prohibits anyone who is enrolled in STRS from paying into SDI and receiving SDI benefits.
Are there disability benefits available to me from STRS?
Yes, but usually an employee needs to have been unable to work for one year in order to access these benefits. For more information please contact STRS at 1-800-228-5453.