A Madison school board member is asking the full board to address the lack of access to COVID-19 sick leave for teachers and district staff at the next board meeting.
In accordance with district policy, teachers and staff should use paid time off and sick leave to cover COVID-19-related absences, including a required quarantine period if a teacher or staff member is identified as close contact with a COVID-19 case, board member Nicki Vander Meulen said in an interview on Thursday.
Vander Meulen said she sent an email to the entire board and district administration six weeks ago, in October, asking the board to include the topic in its regular monthly meeting, but his request came to nothing. She returned the email in December and requested that the topic be added to the agenda in time for the December 13 board meeting.
âFirst, it’s a security risk because people can’t afford to take time off work,â she said. âSecond, it affects our black, brown and disabled staff, as the majority of them are either hourly workers or an hourly worker position with less access to time off and less access to sick days.â
Vander Meulen touched on the topic at Monday’s Education Working Group meeting and district human resources told him that currently teachers and staff are using their free time to cover COVID-related absences. 19.