Sick Leave Bank: Union-Created, Employee-Owned

Prior to 1993, when APS educators ran out of sick leave because of a catastrophic illness or injury, they were financially on their own. When they used up their sick leave they were left with only one choice—leave without pay. Stress about paying the bills compounded the effects of their debilitation, as they were left to wonder how they would make ends meet without the paycheck they had come to rely on. Co-workers looked on with concern and asked why there was no mechanism through which they could donate their own sick leave to help a colleague in need.

That’s when the benefits of having a strong union to negotiate for us kicked in.  Albuquerque Teachers Federation negotiated the creation of the employee-owned Sick Leave Bank (SLB). The SLB relies on small contributions from those of us who are healthy enough to work. The value of the peace of mind and financial stability for educators in recovery cannot be calculated. Just $5.75 per paycheck ensures that, collectively, we are able to help those who have exhausted their sick leave because of a catastrophic illness or injury.

The Sick Leave Bank is available to all employees covered by the APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement. It exemplifies one of the basic tenets of unionism: all boats should rise together. For this small contribution, our co-workers and their families can rest assured that they can hold out and keep their bills at bay until they return to work serving our students.

Open enrollment for Sick Leave Bank began August 1, 2019 and ends October 31, 2019. SLB Guidelines can be picked up at 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE, Suite 210 East or downloaded from the APS website  or at ATF’s website. Call APS’s Sick Leave Bank Specialist at 889-4858 for more information.

This is just one more great benefit of our union’s advocacy.  Not a member yet? Join now!