Question: What options are available to faculty members who are ineligible for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but are concerned that coming to campus during the pandemic:
- will put their health or the health of someone they live with and/or care for at risk; or
- will place them in an untenable situation regarding childcare.
Answer: These are difficult and unprecedented times and we know many of you have been struggling with this question. There are three different kinds of options that might be available to you:
- Those that are provided for in our contract
- Those that are provided for by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and/or New York State Law
- Those that are provided by the federal Family & Medical Leave Act.
These four documents (1, 2, 3, 4), which were emailed to the college by Human Resources on July 2nd, discuss the FFCRA, FMLA, and/or New York State law as it applies to the current pandemic. We are linking to these documents here for informational purposes only. If you have any questions about the information they contain, or about how the provisions they discuss might interact with our contract (see below) please contact Human Resources, since this is their area of expertise.
Regarding the options that are provided for in our contract, please refer to the sections listed below. In some cases, they might help you obtain a teaching schedule with enough flexibility to meet your needs. In other cases, they define your rights to certain kinds of leave. In all cases, please make sure to read the contract carefully before you proceed and, if you have any questions, contact the NCCFT Office. Some of these provisions require you to apply; some can be denied by the administration; some might effect the benefits you receive under our contract. Therefore, in addition to consulting with your chair and/or us about any of these provisions, please make sure to contact HR concerning any impact the option(s) you are thinking about might have on your benefits.
Section 4-3.3 – Reduced Workload: With the approval of the P&B Committee and the College Administration, faculty with five years of continuous service at the College may elect from 50% to 60% workload with proportionate reduction in pay, for one year at a time. This election may be for a Fall/Spring sequence and/or a Spring/Fall sequence. This election may not be made for two consecutive years. Additionally, a faculty member may elect (with the approval of the P&B Committee and the College Administration) the half workload option for one (1) semester. This reduction in workload will not affect any benefits the faculty member is entitled to as a full-time employee.
Section 5-1.2 – 12 Hour Work Load: (Note that the deadline for this option has passed for the Fall.) Provided that notice in writing is given to the appropriate department Chairperson or, in the event there is no Chairperson and there is no acting Chairperson, then to the Academic Vice President, at least two months prior to the commencement of the school semester, up to 45 members of the classroom faculty may elect to teach only 12 contact hours that semester. The salary of each member of the classroom faculty electing to teach only 12 contact hours shall be reduced by a sum equal to seven and one-half percent (7.5%) of their annual salary then in effect for each semester in which such an election is made. If more than 45 members of the classroom faculty elect in writing to teach only 12 contact hours, then, and in that event only, an order of priority will be developed by the Union and the College Administration under which only 45 members of the classroom faculty in any one semester will be allowed to work a 12 contact hour schedule. The election to teach 12 contact hours above referred to may not be made by classroom faculty in departments which would be rendered incapable of operation by said election or where such election would cause the violation of any contract with the federal or state governments.
Section 10.1 – Weekend College: Full-time classroom faculty may volunteer to teach part of their full-time schedule in the Weekend College (classes offered Friday evening after 5:30 pm through Sunday) subject to the following:
- Faculty may teach only one day of the Weekend College.
- Faculty teaching one day of the Weekend College shall be assigned the remaining courses of the full-time schedule on three (3) days of the week (Monday through Friday).
- The administration may permit faculty to teach classes that meet more than one weekend day. In these circumstances, the administration shall provide to the NCCFT a rationale for those assignments.
- Faculty may teach no more than six contact hours in the Weekend College.
- Faculty who elect to teach both a day class and a Friday evening Weekend College class will only be permitted to count Friday as one day of their four-day week.
- Faculty shall schedule a pro-rated portion of their required office hours (Section 5-1.5) as part of their Weekend College assignment.
Section 31 – Parental Leave
- 31-1 Specific leaves for the purpose of childcare shall be granted to a member of the faculty upon notification to the President and application for such leave, provided the applicant has legal responsibility for the care and/or support of said child.
- 31-2 The duration of such leave shall ordinarily be for no more than one (1) year. An extension of such leave shall be permitted on request for a period not in excess of one (1) year from the end of the original leave upon the recommendation of the President and the approval of the Board of Trustees. Leaves for the purpose of caring for a child shall be granted without pay.
- 31-3 Where the service of a member of the faculty is interrupted by reason of absence on a leave for the purpose of caring for a child, the period of creditable service preceding such absence shall be counted in computing the years of service required for tenure, promotion, sabbatical, and seniority.
- 31- 4 For the purpose of child care, a non-classroom and professional faculty member may choose and be granted by the Supervising Administrator a reduced work load, not to exceed fifty percent (50%), with a pro-rated reduction in pay for one semester. This reduction in workload will not affect any benefits the faculty member is entitled to as a full-time employee.
Personal Leave: While the leave time you are contractually entitled to does not result in a change in schedule the way the above options do, depending on your situation, they might provide enough flexibility in your schedule to meet your needs.
Section 5-2.2 applies to Non-Classroom and Professional Faculty: All Purpose Leave – Non-classroom and professional faculty will receive fifteen days per year of All Purpose Leave to be used as follows:
- Self-directed professional development;
- Traditional personal leave purposes; and
- General leave.
Prior approval shall be required by means of the existing leave request form, except that five of the fifteen All Purpose Leave days may be used for traditional personal leave purposes without prior approval. None of these days may be carried over from year to year. In those cases where faculty attend professional meetings at the request of the College Administration or as a result of a subpoena issued in a court proceeding or by an agency created by the government or the courts in a suit against the College by a third party, no leave time will be charged.
Section 29-1 applies to classroom faculty: Each member of the classroom faculty will be granted a maximum of four (4) days annually for personal and/or professional reasons. These will be subtracted from sick leave only when utilized. In the case of classroom faculty, class coverage will be in accordance with the stipulations under sick leave.
As we said above, these are difficult and unprecedented times. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the details of any of these options as they apply to your specific situation, contact the NCCFT Office.
“Asked & Answered” is a regular blog feature in which we answer members’ questions. If you have a question that you would like us to answer in a future Asked & Answered post, please send it to the NCCFT Office. We welcome and encourage frank and open discussion in the “Comments” section. (Please read our comments policy to learn more.) However, if your comment is or contains a question to which you would like us to respond, please send that question to the NCCFT Office for potential inclusion in a future Asked & Answered post. (We cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered on the blog, but we will respond to all questions that the office receives.)