NEWSLETTER, Q & A

[Donated Sick Leave Bank] FAQs

May 02, 2017 / Phil Lesch

Donated Sick Leave Bank Program FAQ

 1. When do I need to complete the enrollment form?

The enrollment form needs to be completed and sent to HR when a member initially joins the sick leave bank (either during Open Enrollment, at the beginning of employment, or during a special call), and each time a member is agreeing to donate sick leave for a special call.  With the current plan design, each time a member completes and submits the form, they are agreeing to donate 3 hours sick leave.

2. How do I join?

Members can join during the open enrollment period in October (or at the beginning of employment) and during special calls for additional hours that come up throughout the year, and during the special enrollment period in Spring 2017 through May 30, 2017. You can access the PDF FILLABLE form here .  Click here for instructions on how to fill out the FILLABLE PDF form.

3. If I enroll during open enrollment how long do I retain my status as a donor?

As currently designed, members of the bank remain a member until the next open enrollment period, or until the next special call for donations.

4. How do I know (how can I check) on my status?

To check when and how many hours of sick leave you have donated to the Sick Leave Bank:

·         Go to http://my.pdx.edu/ and login to Banweb

·         Click on Employee Services Tab

·         Click on Leave Balances

·         Click on Sick Leave

·         Click on Leave History by Employee at bottom:

 From there you should see any hours donated to the AAUP Sick Leave Bank as “AAUP SL” in the “Change Reason” column:

5. Is there a maximum number of hours I can donate in one year?

Under our current contract, the number of hours that can be donated at one time is limited to 3 hours for each donation point, whether during open enrollment, or during special calls. There is no limit to the number of donation points that can happen in a year, although if everyone joined there would be need for fewer.

6. How many hours can I receive when in need?

Members of the bank can withdraw up to 30 days of sick leave after they have exhausted their own sick leave. Members may apply for an additional 30 days of sick leave if needed.

7. What triggers a call for additional hours and how often will those calls be made?

Special calls are made when there is a meritorious application for sick leave from a sick leave bank member and there are not enough hours left in the bank (as dollars to cover the leave) to cover the leave request. When the program was developed, it was anticipated there would be no special calls with a assumed bank membership of roughly 1000 members. Enrollment is currently about 350 members. It is currently not possible to predict when or how often members will present a request for donated sick leave.  The committee will be working with Human Resources and the negotiation team to work with the administration to see if we can ask for more hours upfront during open enrollment so we won’t have to make many special calls.

8. How can I learn how many sick hours I have accrued?

You can check your sick leave hours in banweb.pdx.edu under the ‘employee services’ tab and then under ‘leave balances’ tab.

9. If I do not donate during a special call, do I remain a member of the sick leave bank?

No, members must donate 3 hours with each call that comes out throughout the year.

10. Do I have to complete an enrollment form each time there is a special call?

Yes, in order to stay in the program, members must fill out the form and donate 3 hours with each call for hours. Members who are not in the program can fill out the form and donate 3 hours and join the program at this time also.  We are working to make this process less cumbersome and more automated.

11. How are the donated sick leave hours being used? Is there going to be a report out?

AAUP is supposed to receive quarterly reports from HR and we will share will membership as we get them.

12. I have more sick hours than I can use. Can I donate more than the allotted amount?

Not at this time. We will be working with the negotiation team to see if this can be something we revisit with the administration in the future.

13. Can I get the hours I donated back if I don’t want to stay in the bank?

No, all hours that you have donated are ‘nonrefundable’ and will remain in the sick bank.

14. Can you create a google form for special calls so I don’t have to do the enrollment form again?

We are currently working with Human Resources to see if this can be created.

15. What can the hours from the sick leave bank be used for?

Leave from the bank can be used for leave that qualifies under FMLA, OFLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the University standards governing use of sick time (former OAR 580-021-0040), including maternity leave or paternity leave upon the addition of a child to the member's family (whether by birth, adoption or otherwise).  Under FMLA and OFLA, this also includes care for a sick family member.  An employee must have exhausted all of their sick time first in order to then draw from the bank.

16. Can hours from the Sick Leave Bank be used alongside any short or long term disability disability program I am a part of?

Leave from the Sick Leave Bank is to be used prior to, and not concurrently with, any short-term or long-term disability insurance that may be available to the member.

17.  Why do I need to supply my position number every time I fill out the form? Will the form be rejected if I don’t include job number?

Good question - we have no idea.  It seems, though, that form has been accepted when the position number has not been on the form.

18. Why does the process seem so confusing?

The sick leave process was developed by the administration and AAUP with the best data we had during bargaining.  The process is constrained by current contract language, but we are looking to change some of it if necessary to make it work better, but this will take time. In the future, we will be looking at many ways to make it work more smoothly, including the possibility of Opt-out rather that Opt-in; letting people with more hours donate them; and going online with as many of the steps as possible.

19. What is in it for me?

If you have some excess sick time you’ll get that warm, collegial feeling knowing you are helping your fellow union members in their times of need. As long as you contribute and keep the project strong, you’ll also know that, should you need to use some extra hours in a pinch, they’ll be there. Remember, this isn’t really a “bank” - you already have your personal sick leave hours banked for you each month. This is way of us working together to help each other.

20. I don’t have many hours to begin with and I am afraid of falling short. Why should I do this?

If you expect you are going to need your sick time and you do not have much, you have even more reason to donated. A 3 hour donation gets you access to 30 days leave, with the ability to ask for an additional leave. Remaining a sick leave bank member enables you to leverage your balance for access to many more hours.

21.  Can I get a receipt/email confirming my deposit to the bank?

Human Resources advises they do not have the resources to send out hundreds of individual emails to AAUP members who have donated. Members can look this up themselves on banweb (see #4 above)

22.  I was a member already, why again donate again?

The way the plan is written in our contract this is how we stay current in the plan. The sick bank exists only as long as there is a balance. When the balance is exhausted, the special call recommences the bank anew. When we need more hours EVERYONE needs to give again - it helps keep it equitable.  We had originally planned on 3 times the number of participants- with 1000 members, we did not expect to have to have any special calls.  As more people join, our hope is that we will have fewer special calls.

23. Why can't I donate vacation time? 

The plan was written specifically for sick time. Most AAUP members are nine month employees and do not receive vacation time. Vacation time is not provided for in this plan.

24. I am retiring. Can I donate all my hours?

No. Sick time many be donated only in 3 hour increments during open enrollment and during special calls. It's important for members to remember that sick bank accrual is not monetized until it is either used or donated, so a retiring faculty member with 1700 hours on the books would severely deplete their department’s resources.

26. When you donate, does it get deducted from the department, or from the University as a whole?

The sick bank donation is deducted from the department where the donor resides.

27. Why is the form so hard to fill out?

The form is now available as a FILLABLE PDF. Click For instructions on how to fill out the FILLABLE PDF.

We are working with HR to simplify the form.

 

 Thanks for being patient as we figure out this brand new program. 

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