At its Jan. 16 meeting, the Staff Employees' Council decided to consider drafting a formal request to Human Resources to amend the current vacation/sick leave policies, allowing annual leave to be converted to sick leave should an employee suffer an accident or become ill during scheduled vacation time.
Leslie Nady of Business Center North, Human Resources was invited to speak at the January meeting.
She came to clarify for us the "no change" leave policy long enforced by BCN. This policy states that anyone who has begun their scheduled annual leave cannot change it to sick leave regardless of circumstances.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this policy as it is not part of written University policy.
When someone contacts BCN for an explanation of the leave policy, he is given this statement:
"If while out on annual leave, a classified employee becomes ill or injured they remain on annual leave for the duration of the request. Annual leave can not be converted to sick leave after the annual leave has commenced, unless the injury or illness falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. If the time requested off as annual leave is completed, and the injury or illness still exists, a request for sick leave may be submitted."
Leslie also explained that this policy is only now being taught in the training that all leave keepers are required to take.
Several council members expressed concern that this policy is too harsh and it should be reconsidered by BCN. According to Leslie, the policy is in place due to abuse by some employees. SEC president Bill Oberding suggested that a committee be formed to consider each request for a change of leave based on individual circumstances. That way the decision is not left up to department supervisors who may or may not approve the change depending upon their relationship with the employee.
SEC members want to make sure that the leave policy is fairly applied to all employees, not just those fortunate enough to have understanding supervisors.
At the next meeting (date to be announced), council members will consider drafting a formal resolution to present to BCN. All classified employees are encouraged to voice their opinions to their council representatives.
The next SEC meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 1 p.m. to until 3 p.m. in the Journalism building, Room 304.
Michelle Rachal, Staff Employee Council public relations director, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org