NEWARK – Worcester County’s school board this week approved a COVID-19 sick leave policy for staff for the 2021-2022 school year.
The policy, outlined in a memorandum of understanding with the Worcester County Teachers Association (WCTA) and the Worcester County Education Support Personnel Association (WCESPA), provides school system employees who test positive for COVID-19 with eight sick leave days.
“This provision is above and beyond,” said Beth Shockley-Lynch, WCTA president. “No one else has done it.”
According to Dwayne Abt, the school system’s chief safety and human resources officer, federal paid leave benefits afforded to employees through the Family First Coronavirus Act expired in March and the school system’s extension of those benefits expired June 30. The school system collaborated with the Worcester County Teachers Association and the Worcester County Education Support Personnel Association in developing an employee COVID leave agreement for the current school year.
The agreement will allow employees with a verified positive COVID-19 test to use eight COVID sick leave days during the school year. Any sick leave days beyond that will require employees to use their regular accrued leave.
Shockley-Lynch thanked the school board for working with the WCTA and WCESPA to develop the memorandum of understanding, which runs through June 30, 2022.
“You are the only board in the state of Maryland that’s made arrangements for teachers if they come down with COVID…,” she said. “To me that’s a sign you really care.”