Final Childbearing/Childrearing Leave Policy – Effective 8/1/2008

Below is the final version of the childbearing/childrearing leave policy. This policy went into effect on August 1, 2008. Please note one final clarification of the new leave policy and its relationship to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in red below.

Childbearing and Childrearing Leaves for Faculty

Childbearing and Childrearing Leaves

It is the policy of the University that a full-time faculty member with one year of University service may choose one of the following options for childbearing and/or childrearing:

1) Childbearing leave for female faculty.

Six to eight weeks childbearing leave using short term disability (thirty days full pay followed by two to four weeks at 70% pay) when a full-time teaching load is maintained for the academic year. Disability length is determined by medical necessity.

2) Combined childbearing/childrearing leave for female faculty.

(a) Combined childbearing/childrearing leave for nine or ten month faculty.

(i) A combined childbearing/childrearing leave of one semester and a three course teaching load for the remainder of the academic year at two-thirds annual salary or (ii) a combined childbearing/childrearing leave of one semester and a four course teaching load for the remainder of the academic year at five-sixths annual salary. Note that a faculty member may teach at most three courses in a semester. Hence, this option would require three courses in fall or spring semester plus one course in May Term.

When both parents are faculty members, they are entitled to combined total of either three course releases and a one-sixth reduction in each parent’s salary or two course releases and a one-twelfth reduction in each parent’s salary.

(b) Combined childbearing/childrearing leave for twelve month faculty.

A combined childbearing/childrearing leave of one semester or four months during the summer (May, June, July, and August). Pay for the year will be at five-sixths annual salary.

3) Childrearing leave for male or female faculty.

Faculty members who are parents of children newly placed for adoption or male faculty members with newborns may request a paid childrearing leave of absence for childrearing purposes. The terms of the childrearing leave are the same as those described above for the combined childbearing/childrearing leave.

Health care benefits, life insurance, short term disability, and long-term disability insurance will be continued during the childbearing, combined childbearing/childrearing, or childrearing leave at University expense. The faculty member will continue to be responsible for her/his own premium share of the health insurance. TIAA-CREF payments will be continued based on the amount of salary paid to the faculty member as specified in the summary plan description.

Multiple births/adoptions count as one event.

Faculty members taking semester length (or longer) leaves of absence normally do not receive credit in determining eligibility for tenure, promotion, and sabbaticals.

A nine month faculty member who gives birth after the end of classes in May and whose disability ends prior to the start of classes in late August is not eligible for a childbearing leave. In this case, with reasonable notice, she may choose to apply for a childrearing leave. Any male faculty member whose child arrives after the end of classes in May and prior to the start of classes in late August, with reasonable notice, may also apply for a childrearing leave.

Faculty also has the option to request a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Eligibility requirements and other guidelines can be found in Chapter VII “Faculty Benefits” of the Faculty Handbook. FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights. Any faculty member anticipating the need for a family or medical leave should consult with the Provost/Dean.

The faculty member should discuss the delivery date of the baby or arrival date of the adopted child and the timing of the leave of absence with the Provost/Dean to determine the option that works best. The Provost/Dean will consider special circumstances.

Requests for childbearing leaves, combined childbearing/childrearing leaves, or childrearing leaves of absence should be made directly to the Provost/Dean, who will consult with the Department Chair or School Director and the President before acting on the request.

8/21/2008

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About bethacunningham

Professor of Physics
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2 Responses to Final Childbearing/Childrearing Leave Policy – Effective 8/1/2008

  1. cbrownkr says:

    Thank you for your hard work with faculty and staff getting an official leave policy on the books.

    I do have a concern about the policy as it stands, however. The policy states that “When both parents are faculty members, they are entitled to combined total of either three course releases and a one-sixth reduction in each parent’s salary or two course releases and a one-twelfth reduction in each parent’s salary.” This means that a dual-academic couple working at IWU receives no additional leave benefit beyond an academic individual, but rather that they must split the benefit due an individual between themselves.

    Assuming both parents earn about the same amount and each teach a 3/3 load, then their shared leave adds up to 3 course releases and a 1/3 net reduction in salary–which is the same as the leave for one person (“A combined childbearing/childrearing leave of one semester and a three course teaching load for the remainder of the academic year at two-thirds annual salary”).

    My concern is this: If one parent is a faculty member at IWU and the other works elsewhere, then the first parent would get a 3-course reduction and a 1/3 net reduction in salary, and the second parent would get some additional leave from his/her employer, which would total MORE THAN what they would receive if they both work at IWU.

    In other words, it seems that dual-academic couples are being penalized for both parents working at IWU, relative to the leave benefits they would receive if one worked at IWU and the other worked elsewhere.

    This issue seems like an important one to many IWU faculty members, and I would like more information on why an academic couple receives no additional benefit than an academic individual, in terms of family leave.

  2. Here’s some background about the childbearing/childrearing leave policy. We gathered childbearing and childrearing leave policies from like-institutions through the Higher Education Data Sharing consortium of which IWU is a member. The shared leave for two full-time faculty members at the same institution seems to be a common practice for many of these institutions. We also had our attorney review the policy and the response was that very few employers seem to provide the same childbearing/childrearing leave benefit to dual career couples at their institution or company. One exception is the U.S. Postal Service! We also learned that the shared leave is certainly within the law in the state of IL. Finally, we want to be consistent with the policy for exempt and non-exempt staff members.

    Faculty members always have the opportunity to take an FMLA leave so a dual-career faculty couple at IWU has this option allowing both to take leaves. Faculty couples are encouraged to consult with their chairs/directors and the Provost/Dean to explore the options.

    This is the first childbearing/childrearing leave policy to be put into place at IWU which is an exciting first step. The policy will be reviewed in a few years once we’ve had the chance for faculty to use it.

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