Illinois announces COVID-19 sick leave for vaccinated school employees – NBC Chicago

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Monday announced a statewide initiative to provide paid administrative leave to school employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a press release, Pritzker explained that he negotiated with the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers to keep students and teachers in the classroom safe without penalizing vaccinated employees for taking sick leave.

“…They deserve to be able to take the time they need to respond to the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on them and their families,” the governor said in part. “This collaborative initiative will provide paid administrative leave to education workers who, despite doing all they can to keep themselves and their communities safe, continue to have their lives and livelihoods disrupted by COVID-19.”

The following protections are offered under the initiative:

  • Administrative leave with pay for each employee of a public school district established under Section 10 or Section 34 of the school code, a public university, and a public community college who is
    • fully vaccinated or has received the doses required to be fully vaccinated within five weeks of the date of coming into force of the Act and who
    • must, or whose child is required, to be excluded from school because of a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with someone who has had a confirmed case of COVID-19.
    • has been required by school or school district policy to be excluded from school district property due to symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Reinstatement of sick leave for each employee of a public school district, public university, and public community college who
    • is fully vaccinated or has received the doses required to be fully vaccinated within five weeks of the effective date of the Act, and
    • who has ever used their sick time because they or their child had to be expelled from school due to a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with someone who had a case confirmed of COVID-19
    • has been required by school or school district policy to be excluded from school district property due to symptoms of COVID-19.
  • 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 to the entire 2021-22 school year, including any days a school has already closed or moved to online learning, resulting in the paraprofessional not being paid or taking their own paid holidays.

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