As of March 30, 2021, 16 teachers in School District 83 had exhausted their sick day entitlement. According to the school district, district employees are no longer required to use op their sick day entitlement when ordered to self-isolate. (File photo)

As of March 30, 2021, 16 teachers in School District 83 had exhausted their sick day entitlement. According to the school district, district employees are no longer required to use op their sick day entitlement when ordered to self-isolate. (File photo)

School District 83 teachers, staff won’t lose sick days when required to self-isolate

North Okanagan-Shuswap school district to give employees option to work from home, take paid leave

Having to self-isolate due to COVID-19 no longer comes at the expense of teacher’s entitled sick days.

At the North Okanagan-Shuswap board of trustees’ January 2021 meeting, the North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers Association asked about the availability of additional sick leave for its members who are ordered self-isolate due to infection, or due to having come in close contact with someone infected with the virus.

Since that meeting, assistant superintendent Ryan Brennan said the landscape in the province has changed significantly. In a report provided to trustees for the April 1 SD83 committee of the whole meeting, Brennan explained when an employee is directed by a public health official to self-isolate, and is asymptomatic, school districts are to explore work from home options, redeploy, or offer a general paid leave, and are no longer required to use their sick day entitlement.

This was based on advice from the province and the BC Public School Employer’s Association, and is not intended to be used retroactively.

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Brennan explained CUPE members receive six days of sick leave at full pay in one year, and up to 120 days at 66 and two-thirds per cent, after which they become eligible for long-term disability benefits.

According to Brennan, in the 2019-20 year, 19 teachers exhausted their sick day entitlement. As of March 30, 2021, 16 teachers had exhausted their sick day entitlement.

In the 2019-20 year, CUPE members accessed 13,746.67 hours at full pay, and 11,354.70 hours at 66 2/3 per cent pay. As of March 30, 2021, CUPE members had accessed 7,989.76 hours at full pay and 7,846.05 hours at 66 2/3 per cent pay.
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