NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, will protect the pay and benefits of teachers and non-instructional school staff who follow mandates and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a former school board member, I know first-hand that teachers and school support personnel are the lifeblood of our community,” said Yang Rohr. “Education professionals should not lose sick days or pay for following COVID-19 safety protocols meant to keep their communities safe.”
Currently, school employees are required to use their limited sick time when required to be in multi-day quarantines because of COVID-19 exposure or infection. Unlike many private sector workers, school employees must meticulously plan for and save their sick days for events such as maternity leave or recovery from major surgery.
To rectify this, House Bill 2778 permits teachers to receive paid administrative leave during a declared disaster and allows them to retain sick leave days used because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure also requires schools to pay non-instructional employees, such as custodians, bus drivers or food service workers, when their school district shifts to an unplanned school closure or emergency e-learning day.
“Protecting the wages and benefits of education professionals is a sign of renewed respect for them after a couple of extremely challenging years,” said Yang Rohr. “I am proud to support the fair treatment of educators so that our schools can remain open and safe.”