Ask TRUFA: Frozen Sick Bank Hours

Ask TRUFA is a venue for members to ask questions anonymously and receive answers from TRUFA Stewards or Executive. Submit your question at Ask TRUFA.

QUESTION:

I have a substantial amount of hours in my frozen sick bank. Is there a way to access that? I was told by HR that I must wait until I retire. Is this accurate?

–Concerned Faculty Member

ANSWER:

Dear Concerned Faculty Member,

Thank you for this timely question. As you know, many faculty members began working at UCC/TRU under the old sick leave benefit system and, as a result, have accumulated sick leave time in what is often called the “frozen sick leave bank”. Article 13.5.2 of the TRUFA-TRU Collective Agreement outlines the sick leave bank provisions. It reads: “Employees hired prior to April 1, 2002 shall retain any sick leave banks accrued up to but not beyond March 31, 2002 including any entitlement to full or partial payout of such sick leave banks.” If you fit into this category, you can see the number of hours you have accumulated on your myTRU account under the Employment Resource tab, and then Leave Details.

Article 13.5.2.1 describes the provisions for payout of unused sick leave bank: “upon the termination of employment of an employee with more than ten (10) years of continuous service, a cash payment in lieu of accumulated sick leave will be given to a maximum of sixty (60) days. The cash payment shall be made at the full-time daily rate for all Tenured or continuing part-time employees”. So HR is correctly advising you about this point. The amount paid to you is calculated by the Finance department as they reconcile what TRU owes you with what you may owe TRU (for example, you may still owe TRU for the 9 work day advance you got when we went from monthly to biweekly pay periods).

However, there is a second way you can access some or all of your accumulated sick leave prior to retirement. If you become ill and are approved for Short Term Disability (STD), you may choose to use your frozen sick leave bank instead of STD or Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits provided by the insurance carrier.  Let me explain. All faculty members receive 100% salary for the first thirty (30) calendar days of a sick leave.  After that faculty members receive 70% of salary for the next 21 weeks for an approved STD claim and LTD leave of 70% thereafter. Faculty with a sick leave bank balance may elect to use their balance to receive 100% salary throughout their sick leave instead of the 70% of STD/LTD, until their bank is empty, or they may choose to use part of it, say for the second 30 day period, and leave something in the “bank” to be paid out upon retirement from TRU.

If you need help navigating the STD and LTD benefit system, Theron Reed in HR is there to help you with the paperwork and to access your sick leave bank if you have one, and you choose to use it. In addition, Lucille Anderson and Jessica Chardon are the TRUFA representatives on the joint TRU/TRUFA Disability Management and Rehabilitation Committee and are always at your service.

Thanks for asking TRUFA.

 

 

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