I hope this note finds you well. I believe we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope you share the same sentiment. I am writing to inform you about a new process we will be implementing regarding the collection of days for our sick bank.
As part of the newly negotiated contract, we have reduced the length of time a member must be off payroll before they can begin collecting from the sick bank, from 30 days to 10 days. Additionally, we have expanded access to the sick bank to include critical illness of a parent, child, or spouse. Article X of the contract, located on pages 17-19, addresses this and other matters related to sick days.
In the past, we collected days for members who had exhausted their personal bank of sick days on an as-needed basis. However, due to the pandemic and various other reasons, this approach has proven to be problematic. The contract actually allows us to maintain a sick bank equivalent to our membership size, which is approximately 515 members. Therefore, I am requesting that we collect as many sick days as possible at the end of the school year, so that we no longer need to collect on an as-needed basis.
While I invite everyone to contribute a day if they are able, there are two groups of people who can donate multiple days. Firstly, our retiring colleagues can donate their unused days. Although our personal sick bank can hold up to 241 days, retirement benefits are capped at 180 days. Rather than letting those days go unused, they can be used to bolster our sick bank.
The second group consists of those who currently have more than 225 days in their personal sick bank. On July 1st of each year, 16 sick days for the next school year are added to the bank. Since the maximum allowable days in our personal sick bank is 241, any teacher who has more than 225 days will have fewer than 16 days added to their bank.
To illustrate, I'll use myself as an example. By checking Frontline Absences (AESOP), navigating to Account → Absence Reason Balance, and looking at the top line, I see that I am fortunate to have 232 days. As the maximum number of days allowed is 241, I will only have 9 days added on July 1st. I plan to contribute 6 days to the bank, keeping one in reserve since we still have a couple of weeks of school remaining.
My hope is that by utilizing some of these days that have previously gone unused, we can build a sick bank that will not require us to continually ask for contributions throughout the year. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly or to your head building representative.
Best of luck for a successful conclusion to the school year!
Next Tuesday, May 16, Long Islanders will vote for school budgets and local board members. We encourage all members to vote YES on their school budgets so we can fully fund public education. You can find more information on local budgets and board candidates here: https://projects.newsday.com/databases/long-island/long-island-school-elections-2023-24/.
In addition, attached you'll find NYSUT's endorsements for Long Island school board candidates. Please take a look. Let's get out the vote!
Political Action Committee
School Nurses’ Recognition Week is observed from May 6th to 12th. May 12th is a significant day as it marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is credited with revolutionizing modern nursing. Please take a moment to visit the nurses’ office and express your gratitude for the outstanding work they do for our children and us. Nurses are the heart of healthcare for our students and faculty and we are lucky to have such an outstanding collection of nurses as members of BMUST.
To all our nurses, thank you for your dedication and service. Your hard work is deeply appreciated.