Tuesday, March 21, 2017
UFT Members And The Cumulative Absence Reserve.
There seems to be some confusion about our Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR) and how school administrators try to dictate how they are used. This post will try to clear up the many misconceptions about our CAR.
First, all UFT members get ten sick days a school year, or one per month credited on the 16th of the school month. Up to three of the days can be used for personal business but must be approved by the Principal. Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and Social Workers can have a negative CAR of up to 20 days but must reimburse the DOE if they are still negative at the time they retire, resign, or get terminated.
Second, a common misconception is that if you take three consecutive sick days, you must have medical documentation (a doctor's note) proving you were ill. The truth is that you do not need any medical documentation for the absences and in fact, the UFT won an arbitration that allows the UFT member to take ten consecutive days without providing medical documentation. Yet, school after school, the administration insists on doctor's note for an absence. My take is that if you have one then humor them and give it to them, if you don't, that's too bad, they cannot insist on one.
Third, if you exhaust your CAR and go over negative twenty, it is leave without pay. Moreover, you must notify your school of any long-term absence over 20 days. Otherwise, the DOE will assume you have voluntarily resigned and getting your position back is extremely difficult.
Fourth, if you use your CAR days as terminal leave and decide not to retire before you exhaust them, you will be sent to the ATR pool, unless your Principal wants you back.
Fifth, ATRs who take ten or more sick days will automatically be given an "unsatisfactory" rating by the field supervisor.
Finally, CAR days cannot be cashed in except at retirement and at a two for one basis.
You can read my previous post on the Cumulative Absence Reserve Here.