University of Iowa
United States of America

Right now, in the case of a catastrophic emergency, the majority of tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) have no option but to hope that they have enough personal leave to cover themselves. That means that unless the faculty member has saved over five years worth of leave, they can be left without any source of income at the same time as they face large, unexpected medical costs.

No one should be forced to risk their health, as many faculty do, by being forced to return to work before they’re fully recovered, simply because UI refuses to provide an adequate, humane medical leave policy for its faculty.

We're calling on the UI administration to adequately support sick and injured faculty members by taking the following steps:

1) Create a “sick leave bank,” with a contribution of a minimum of 800 days per year from the University, accessible to any faculty member in CLAS after they’ve exhausted their individual sick leave.
2) Allow faculty to contribute their own unused sick leave to the bank, should the need arise.

These changes would cost the University nothing besides the money it currently saves not paying people too sick or injured to work. The University of Northern Iowa already has a nearly identical policy that provides a critical safety net for its faculty. Faculty at the UI deserve the same support. We know that the UI administration has the power to make the improvements we’re asking for, and we ask that they work to improve the lives of all the faculty whose dedication makes UI the excellent university that it is. We expect the administration to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves, and to act without excuses or delays.

In order to protect the health and well-being of faculty on our campus already facing economic hardship due to catastrophic illness, we demand that the CLAS Dean Joe Kearney institute this policy for all tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty immediately. We also call on President Bruce Harreld and Provost Sue Curry to direct the College to do the right thing.

We the undersigned will be following your response closely.

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The Support UI Faculty Demands for Fair Medical Leave petition to University of Iowa was written by Faculty Forward Iowa and is in the category Unions at GoPetition.