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Leaves of Absence

This FAQ is an attempt by BFT to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about unpaid leaves of absence under the BFT/BUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement. For more information please feel free to consult with your Site Rep, email BFT at president@berkeleyteachers.org and/or consult Article 12 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

1. Who can apply for unpaid leaves of absence?

Anyone can apply for a leave of absence. Employees who have achieved permanent status and who have served three years in the district are automatically guaranteed a full-time leave. For other employees the decision is at the District's discretion.

2. Is the leave request automatically granted?

Requests for full-time unpaid leave of absence in the subsequent year that are received BY MARCH 1st are automatically granted for a maximum of one year for employees who have achieved permanent status and who have served three years in the district. After March 1st such requests MAY be granted at the District’s discretion. IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR REQUEST SUBMITTED BY MARCH 1st.

3. How do I apply for an unpaid leave of absence?

Members CURRENTLY on full or part-time leave of absence, the deadline (extended) to notify BUSD is Friday, February 4th 2022. Whether you will be returning next school year or whether you want to request an extension on your leave, complete the 22-23 complete this Intent to Return form Leave Survey by Feb 4th.

Members NOT on a current leave and would like to request a Leave of Absence or a Partial Leave for 22-23 school year, then fill out this BFT NEW LEAVE SURVEY. by Tuesday, March 1st, 2022.

Contract Lona Kelly, BUSD Senior Human Resources Technician at lonakelly@berkeley.net for questions.

4. When am I officially notified that my leave has been approved?

The District is obligated to let you know by April 15th.

5. Can I go work in another school district while on leave from BUSD?

No, this is expressly prohibited in Article 12, Section 1.7.

6. What happens to my benefits while I’m on unpaid leave?

While on unpaid leave of absence you are permitted to remain on BUSD group coverage but you must pay the full cost of the coverage. To find the full cost of your medical and dental benefits plans you can go to the “Benefits” section of the BFT website and look under the row labeled “rates”.

7. What about part-time unpaid leaves of absence?

The contract states that the District will “endeavor to make available part-time and part-year leaves of absence….” If you are interested in a partial leave for next year it is best to submit your request by the March 1st deadline.

8. Can I change my mind after I request a leave?

No, you cannot unilaterally change your mind.  You can request to have your leave request rescinded, but BUSD must agree.  If BUSD has already hired someone to fill the full or part-time position they will not allow you to rescind your request, so if you change your mind you want to request to rescind your leave request ASAP.

Updated 1/31/22