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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

Benefits Explanation: Leaves of Absence with Pay, or "Other" Days

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

Unit A and B, Article 7, Unit C, Article 9, and Unit E, Article 6—all the same— is called "Leaves of Absence with Pay." This article gives members the right to take up to six paid leave days per year. These days are generally referred to as "Other" days.

Of these six days, up to two per year can be used for "urgent personal business as judged by the employee which cannot possibly be done at any time other than during work hours." In other words, you determine what counts as urgent personal business. There are guidelines and restriction for their use: 1. You do not technically "request" to use urgent personal days, you "report" that you are taking an urgent personal days. Nor do you need to state the reason for your absence. 2. You should give as much advance notice as is practicable. 3. You cannot use urgent personal days for the purpose of "getting an early start on or lengthening a holiday, or vacation, nor to simplify initial travel arrangements." Note that you CAN take a day off for urgent personal business even when that day abuts a holiday or vacation. You cannot take if off for the purpose of lengthening the vacation or simplifying travel arrangements.  If you take a day off that abuts a holiday or vacation for urgent personal business, you will receive a letter from HR telling you that you cannot use the days to simplify travel arrangements or extend your vacation. They will ask if you if that is what you are doing.  If the answer is no, you only need say no, and that is all. You DO NOT need to explain any more than that, and HR will not ask you more than that.  This is an honor system. It is important not to abuse the benefit. If you do, you could be subject to disciplinary action. New this year: If you do not use either of your two urgent personal days, at the end of the year, they will convert to sick days. The four remaining "Other" days can be used for a number of specific purposes: 1. For bereavement of a close family member or dear friend 2. To celebrate a holy day 3. Court appearance by summons (Jury duty is different. You do not need to use an "other" day if you are called in for jury duty.) 4. Commencement exercises in which you, your spouse, or your child is receiving a degree. (Fifth and eighth grade commencements are not eligible) 5. Absence because you were in a car accident on the way to work 6. Up to two days for work you are doing in an educational program (see contract for guidelines and deadlines for applying for these days) 7. To attend the Massachusetts Teachers Association Annual Meeting None of these days carry over from year to year, except, as noted above, unused urgent personal days carry over as sick days.



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