sick rules

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by pabef, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Oct 17, 2010

    I was curious what other center's rules are for being out sick. Obviously I can not have staff who are running fever, throwing up or diahrrea, but I have a huge problem with staff calling in sick. I also have a problem with last minute doctors appointments etc. I have at least 2 or three people out more than once a week. I only have 10 people including myself on staff. I have request for time off sheets for those who need to be off and they state that the forms must be turned in at least a week in advance. My preschool board made the decision that anyone who turns in such a form in less than a week will have sub pay come out of their check. They also decided that if you miss more than five days sub pay comes out of your check. I had this happen to a staff member recently and she freaked out. She came very close to owing the school money. My staff never misses for anything silly - it is all serious, but I just can't deal any longer. This staff person had wrist surgery. Her husband had galbladder surgery. She had crud with low grade temp. She had to take her father to the doctor. She had sinus and allergy trouble... and the list goes on. Since August she has missed 15 days. She told me she did not want to work anywhere that they would treat you like this. Any advice? All of my staff miss like this. Parents complain too, becuase they want consistency. P.S. I do require doctors notes becuase I had a staff member that took advantage one year.
     
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  3. amyg

    amyg Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2010

    I am sad to say that if they can call in sick and still be paid that they are taking advantage to miss 15 days. Stick up for yourself and the kids who keep having to be with subs. I would not only dock, but write her up and say that it is unacceptable and she will be disciplined up to and including termination if she misses another day in the next month (or even two). they will be mad, they will kick and scream, but they will not call out for little things anymore. just my two cents.
     
  4. amyg

    amyg Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2010

    Also if your rule is to turn in time off requests a week in advance YOU are the one who must enforce it. I have been in your job and it isn't easy. But if the staff know that there are no consequences to their actions they will continue to do what they have been doing. I am now working in a center in a classroom and I see someone start breaking a certain rule and I hear other people start to say "look she did it and no one said anything, it must not be something the Director really cares about" and next thing you know we are all doing it.
    I know it is a tough job, but you have to enforce the rules or they are worthless.
     
  5. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oct 18, 2010

    The one with the wrist problem etc - she had a dr's note for every one? Sheesh! I agree you need to enforce your own rules. If it means a staff turnover, so be it :( My boss at my 2nd job requires a sick note and it's strictly enforced. I sometimes hate it because the sniffles isn't something you go to a dr for, but it sure has kept me at work!
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oct 18, 2010

    I agree with Pisces - require a dr. note.

    I work in a public school and we get 10 days of sick leave a year, and after that, it's all unpaid. Additionally, after 3 consecutive days, we need a dr. note, and after 6 days total for the year, we also need a dr. note.
     
  7. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2010

    First off, "Hello, fellow Mississippian!" :thumb: I don't work at a center, but a public middle school. Our policy is that we have 9 personal/sick days available. After that, we pay the sub from our salary - and we do have those that take advantage. However, most of us don't, and when we do have to be out, not a word is said. Case in point, I had to be out W - F last week due to having the flu, and my principal's response was only of concern. However, I never take off. We did have a teacher last year that took off, took off, took off. She was finally asked to take an extended leave, which she decided against. She was also not absent again.

    Follow your guidlines. I am sure there are plenty of good instructors ready to step into her "shoes." So if she doesn't want to work somewhere that enforces policy, tell her, "Good-bye!" :2cents: :p
     
  8. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Oct 18, 2010

    Well, it does sound like the person with the wrist problems, gallbladder surgery etc., had legit excuses. Did she bring in notes? I agree however, that you get X number of paid sick days, the rest are not paid. I don't agree with sub pay coming out of a personal pay check. I do agree that this isn't a good situation for the children they do need consistency.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 18, 2010

    In my old school, we got 15 sick/personal days. Anything after that was unpaid, unless disability kicked in.

    Right now, I'm working outside of education, but here's how the time off system works:

    We get 140 hours of paid time off in the calendar year. That time is what we use for vacations, sick days, "I don't feel like coming to work" days, etc. Coupled with that is a points based attendance system. Every month of perfect attendance is worth so many points, up to a certain max. If you miss time it counts against your points, unless the time is planned. A full day is worth a number of points, a half day is worth fewer points, and being late or leaving early by an hour or less is worth one point. Those points are deducted from your total. Of course, a perfect month allows you to earn those points back.

    If you get to zero points, you get fired. If you have an issue that you need to take FMLA or disability, that's a different story, but that's the general way of things. As far as corporate America is concerned, I've never seen anything quite like it.
     
  10. kidsalot

    kidsalot Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2010

    Where I teach absenteeism is a real issue. There are 2 - 3 staff members who call out once a week. Because of this those of us who are always in have to work twice as hard ie skip breaks, stay late, etc... The children however suffer the most. If we are short staffed there is always a group of children who stay ourt front with the asst. director. This is an ongoing issue that has never been addressed properly therefore it continues. It may be difficult but you need to enforce your policy regarding absences. It will not only send a message to those who abuse the system but will also improve morale among staff that is responsible and comes to work.
     
  11. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2010

    I think if my school decided to make that their policy, I would have a hard time working there. Also, if I came to your school on a job interview and you told me about that policy, I would decide to look elsewhere for employment.

    I'm ok with the policy that you only have so many paid days off, and then after that if you miss, then you don't get paid.

    What you and your school board need to discuss is whether or not these people are worth keeping around. Are they really good at what they do, and will they be hard to replace? Or, are they just "dime a dozen" staff that can be easily replaced without being missed.

    Personally, I'd rather have that really great teacher that seems to do everything well, but might miss a couple days a month, over that teacher that's nothing more than a warm body in the room, but never misses a day.
     
  12. amyg

    amyg Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2010

    mrgrinch09, what part of the policy do you think is unfair and why? You don't think a week of notice is fair if you are requesting time off? Or you don't think 5 days is fair?
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2010

    "A couple of days a month"?? Every month?? So we're talking about missing, what, 2 or 3 days out of every 20?? Over 10% of the time you're getting paid to teach??

    I know that, given my medical history over the past few years, I'm not in a great position to talk about absenteeism.

    But it seems to me that it's hard to be a "really great teacher" unless you're actually in school, teaching.

    And missing over 10% of the time you're paid to be in class would make that pretty difficult.
     
  14. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oct 19, 2010

    I agree with Alice. What would we say about students who missed "2-3 days" a month...times 10 months. Missing 30 days a year is not promotable to the next grade in my district. Kids who miss 4 days or more per quarter automatically fail that course. I think we should hold ourselves to the same standard as the kids, at least.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 19, 2010


    There's a HUGE difference between a legitimate, serious, ongoing medical condition and just calling out for the sniffles.
     
  16. new2twos

    new2twos Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2010

    I feel bad for the kids. I think that the first few months are very important for them to have the same teachers daily. We have some who are finally at the point where they have stopped crying. I have gone where I have felt really bad just b/c I don't want to disrupt the kids routine. On the days where I felt bad we just adjusted our projects and my assistant helped more.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2010

    Besides, I don't think that the choices have to be limited to "warm body" or "great teacher who misses several days per month."

    How about all those teachers who fall under the category of "great teachers who can be counted on to go to work"?? I think that most of the people with whom I work fit there.

    We don't get a set number of sick days. When we're sick, we stay home. If we're able to come to work, we do. So, yes, I missed a month of school 2 years ago. But I've also had years-- lots of them!-- when I didn't miss a day.
     
  18. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Oct 19, 2010

    I don't think my school has an official policy. But most teachers miss only on extremely rare occasions. I haven't missed a day yet, and don't plan on it either-it would have to take a real emergency to get me to stay home!
     
  19. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 19, 2010

    I go in even when I'm not feeling well mostly because it's always easier to do it myself (and rely on my TA more than normal when necessary) than to write sub plans...

    When I was at the daycare, we got a certain number of sick days (actually, they were sick HOURS... you didn't have to take full days), they could be used for either you/family, or if you had things like a dr's appt that had to be scheduled during school hours. If you knew you were going to be out in advance, you needed to ask and get it on the calendar... as long as it didn't conflict with too many other people, it wasn't normally a big deal. They were flexible with me the springs and summers I needed to miss some time to go on interviews, even when it was last minute... as long as I tried to schedule them to have the least impact as possible (nap time, early morning, etc). They knew that as long as i was at work, I gave 100%, and called on sick ONCE in two years.

    We didn't have subs, just covered among ourselves (we did have a floater who normally worked just afternoons, but would come in early if we needed her to), or would swap hours with a colleague.
     
  20. Ms.Titwillow

    Ms.Titwillow Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2010

    I totally agree with mrgrinch. I would look elsewhere as well for a job. Perhaps that is what your staff is doing taking off so much time?
    I've been absent about 4 days in two weeks. I'm pregnant and having major problems. Once I'm over my quota it comes out of my paycheck-I'm fine with that.
     
  21. annetxa

    annetxa Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2010

    Where I work, if you are sick it is an unpaid day. We never have trouble with people calling in sick. Wow, that is an awful problem.
     
  22. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I think that's generous! I'm sure subs don't get paid as much as she would for the day. SO where most people after x amount of days wouldn't get paid, she is saying her people get paid minus the amount they paid the sub.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 20, 2010

    Under normal circumstances where absenteeism isn't a problem, I think it would work to have a policy of a specific number of sick days/hours available every year. Anything over that would need to be approved on an individual basis or unpaid.

    Because the situation described in the OP already sounds out of control, I think I would institute a new (temporary) policy where staff needs to request time off at least two weeks in advance and it will be approved on an individual basis. If someone asks for a day off less than two weeks before the day, it should not be approved. If someone calls in, the day should be unpaid. Of course you can look at individual situations and make individual decisions, but I think there needs to be a broad, hard-set rule of no more sick days until people stop abusing it.

    I'm sorry if people don't like that work environment. They shouldn't abuse the policy, then. And if they really don't like it, they can quit. There are thousands of teachers out there who need jobs and who would work hard and not abuse the sick policy.
     
  24. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Oct 21, 2010

    Is there a possibility that there's something going on in the workplace that makes people miserable and don't want to go to work? I know that for myself, when I start a new job, I'm out sick maybe one day per year. Once it gets to a point where I can't stand coming in to work, I'm more likely to use up more of my sick days. While I do feel that people should be committed to their job and try to come every day, there are also some who need "mental health" days and are less likely to come in to work on days where they don't feel 100%.
     
  25. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Nov 1, 2010

    I think Rox might have a point here. There is the odd person with medical issues. And in fairness, when I'm sick, I stay home. I don't work with a fever. I never did it at other jobs so I don't do it teaching. I also would not have accepted a position where I would be required to pay for subs. If you've instituted this as a policy (and it is legal in your area, it wouldn't be legal in mine), then you need to enforce it. If you were willing to institute it, you must've felt that it would be a good and neccessary change.

    But some people find certain work environments too stressful and look for excuses to stay home. I don't know if that's the case where you are, but it sounds like you have a problem with corporate culture (or school culture, I guess you could say.)
     
  26. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2010

    Just had a chance to check all of the replies. Thanks so much for the input. My problem in deciding how to deal with all of this is that the offenders (for lack of a better word) do bring in doctors excuses and since we are a small preschool I know my teachers and their familes so I know what is going on. They really do have legitimate reasons for missing. I just need them to think twice about the days where maybe it is just a headache or an "I just need a vacation" day. I did go back to the committee with this because I had a teacher that nearly owed us money due to lack of absences and sub pay coming out. Ultimately it is up to me as director to make the final decision, but they feel that the poicy should stand. Since the decision was made, I have had less absences, although still too many.
     

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