How Many Sick Days Do I Have???
by Maria De Berardinis
Many teachers continue to be confused about how many sick days they actually have, often believing that they will not be paid if they go over a certain amount of days. Most teachers are pleasantly surprised when they are told that they actually have up to 131 sick days each school year, and access to more through long-term disability should they need it. The confusion often lies in how they are accessed and paid.
Below is a chart to help teachers understand their access to personal illness days.
|Number of Sick Days||Pay||When Accessed|
|11||100%||• These days are used first when you call in a personal illness regardless of the circumstances
(ex you can use them one at a time or all at once for a medical leave)
|120||67% or 90%||• These are referred to as short-term support days
• These days are used once the 11 days at 100% are exhausted
• If you take 1-4 short-term support days for a personal illness, you will be paid at 67%
• If you take 5 or more consecutive short-term support days, your file will be referred to Manulife for adjudication
(Note: this will be done automatically and does not require any action on your part; Manulife will call you)
• Manulife’s role is to issue to the Board a decision of ‘support’ or ‘non-support’ based on medical documentation you and your doctor submit
(note: Manulife will let you know what is required; your medical is never shared with the Board)
• A decision of support results in payment at 90%
• A decision of non-support should result in 67% pay but at this time the Board is reducing pay to zero
(Note: A grievance has been filed regarding this)
How do the ‘left over’ days from last year work into the above scenarios?
If you have any of the 11 days paid at 100% remaining from the last school year,
they can be carried over to top-up your pay from 90% to 100%. One carry over day hence can be used to top-up 10 days of pay to 100%. This is their only use. They
be used to top-up pay from 67% to 100%. You can check your balance on the HR Portal.
What happens if Manulife does not support my medical leave?
The short-term support program (SSP) has two stages of appeal. If you get a decision on non-support, please call the Unit office to discuss options and next steps.
What if I have used some of my initial days at 11 days at 100% and then have to be off for an illness that will take me into the short-term days?
If your absence is 5 days or longer, once you exhaust the 11 days at 100%, the Board will refer your file to Manulife to adjudicate any days beyond the 11. If the absence is less than five days, you will be paid at 67% for any absences due to illness beyond the initial 11.
What is long-term disability and when does that start?
Long-term disability (LTD) is an income replacement program. As per our Collective Agreement, secondary teachers are required to apply for LTD when they reach 75 consecutive days of illness. In such a case, an employee will be transitioned from short-term support with Manulife to long-term disability with Sunlife. If you believe your SSP claim may become an LTD claim, please call us for further information.
If I have to apply for LTD after 75 days, what happens to the rest of the 120 days?
The remainder of the 120 days are available to you should you need them after a return from LTD, or in the case that LTD is denied.