Big Win for Council 4, BoE Unions as Paid Quarantine Leave Restored

In a victory spurred by board of education employees and their unions, Gov. Lamont  on Feb. 4 signed an executive order that requires local school districts to provide paid quarantine leave for public school educators and staff.

The advocacy of Council 4 and the other unions that comprise our school employee coalition played an instrumental role in this outcome. Unions working together – with members signing petitions and contacting their legislators and the governor – made a positive difference. 

“Gov. Lamont’s executive order makes sure that school employees will continue to be paid when they are being forced to quarantine,” said Council 4 Director Jody Barr. “It’s is another step in the right direction in our coalition’s push for consistent policies regarding how school districts handle COVID-19.”

The Board of Education Union Coalition, representing teachers, paraeducators, custodians, food service workers, nurses and other support staff, sent the governor a letter in January calling for an extension of paid quarantine leave for educators and staff in our public schools.

Executive Order 10 requires all local and regional boards of education to provide paid leave consistent with the leave provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired on December 31, 2020. The order allows full-time employees 80 hours of paid leave and part-time employees leave for the average number of hours they work over a two-week period.

The governor’s executive order is a result of front-line public education employees and their unions pushing to make things better and safer for students and staff. We’re going to keep pushing, too, through our coalition, and do everything in our power to protect staff and students where local school districts are unable or unwilling to do so.

Council 4 thanks all of you for your advocacy: making phone calls, sending emails and postcards to legislators, and putting pressure on the governor to issue this executive order. The governor and his staff listened to our voices and took action on this important issue.

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