The Contract Enforcement/Grievance (CEG) team has compiled answers to the questions they hear most often about major provisions in our contract. Click on any question below to view the answer. Contact CEG to ask other questions and discuss how to proceed on your issue (firstname.lastname@example.org for tenured and tenure-track faculty; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for NTTs and grad workers).
Am I eligible to take a leave of absence without pay?
A leave of absence without pay is available to all faculty under the terms of Article 17 of the contract. Approval is subject to the needs of the academic program and consent of the department chair and dean.
What’s required in order to apply for a leave of absence without pay?
Requests for a leave should “normally” be made one year in advance and require the approval of the department chair and dean. A request may be discussed with the department chair in advance but should also be put in writing in the form of a memorandum to the chair and dean. The request should identify the dates of the leave requested (typically commencing on July 1 or on January 1 and terminating on June 30 or December 31) and state why the leave is requested. If requested for professional reasons, it’s helpful to include information on how the leave will contribute to your professional development or standing in the field.
Do I have to say why I want to take unpaid leave?
The contract provides that leaves may be taken for “professional development, personal convenience, or completion of a terminal degree.” We recommend that you provide as much information as you think necessary or appropriate to demonstrate that the request fits within these parameters. Of course, “personal convenience” is a very broad category, and you are not required to provide information that is sensitive or that you otherwise wish to remain confidential. If you wish to disclose confidential information to support the request, state expressly that the information provided is confidential and should be kept so.
Can I request a leave with less than a year’s advance notice?
We suggest that you request a leave with as much advance notice as possible. If unable to meet the one-year requirement, you may still request a leave and provide information as to why advance notice was either not possible or why the requirement should be waived under the circumstances.
How long of a leave may I request?
The contract provides for leaves lasting from one semester up to two years in duration.
Does time while on leave without pay count in a probationary period for tenure?
A leave without pay does not count in a probationary period. Faculty who take a one-semester leave may also ask to have the entire year excluded from the probationary period. If requesting exclusion of one year for a one-semester leave, do so in writing at the time the leave is requested. The term of appointment is automatically extended by the term of the leave for up to one year. Leaves of a two-year duration do not automatically extend the term of an appointment. Requests for extensions should be made, in writing, when the leave is requested. Note that the contract prohibits extensions to what is deemed a full probationary period.
Will my benefits continue during an unpaid leave?
Continuation of benefits (at your own cost) must be arranged by contacting Human Resources.
Is there any recourse if my unpaid leave request is rejected?
Leave requests may not be unreasonably denied. If denied, the chair or dean must provide a written statement of the reasons for withholding approval, if you so request, within ten working days after learning of the decision. Denials may be grieved under the Article 9 Grievance Procedure.