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Illinois offering paid COVID leave for vaccinated teachers and staff

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 2:49 PM CST
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KWQC) - Gov. Pritzker, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and others announced Monday they have negotiated a compromise that will keep students and teachers safe without penalizing vaccinated employees for taking COVID-required sick time.

“This collaborative initiative will provide paid administrative leave for education employees who, despite doing all they can to keep themselves and their communities safe, continue to have their lives and livelihoods disrupted by COVID-19,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“We want people to stay home when they’re sick, to be able to care for their children when their children need them the most, and to be paid when the circumstances that close their buildings are completely beyond their control,” said Kathi Griffin, President of the Illinois Education Association.

This legislation provides important relief and ensures that education personnel can afford to take time off if they or they families become ill with COVID,” said Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery.

According to a news release, the initiative provides the following protections for educators, school employees, and their families.

  • Paid administrative leave for every employee of a public school district established under Article 10 or Article 34 of the School Code, public university, and public community college who is:
  • Fully vaccinated or has received the required doses to become fully vaccinated within five weeks of the effective date of the Act and who is required, or whose child is required to be excluded from school because of a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with a person who had a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Has been required by the school or school district policy to be excluded from school district property due to COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Restoration of sick leave for every employee of a public school district, public university, and public community college who is fully vaccinated or has received the required doses to become fully vaccinated within five weeks of the effective date of the Act, and who has previously used their sick time because they or their child were required to be excluded from school because of a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with a person who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and has been required by the school or school district policy to be excluded from school district property due to COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Maintains wage protections in HB 2778 for all hourly school employees, including but not limited to, custodial, transportation, food service providers, classroom assistants, or administrative staff. This protection applies for the entire 2021-22 school year.

As a result of this collaboration, the Governor is vetoing House Bill 2778.

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