You received an email from Human Resources in early February about leave. Below is a copy of the section of that communication pertaining to Personal Option Leave (POL) contract language and the comment regarding the use of the 4th and 5th day of POL from the District.
6.2.2 Personal Option Leave (POL)
22.214.171.124 The personal option leave permits the unit member to use a total of five (5) days. Three (3) days of the twelve (12) personal leave days quoted in Article 6.1 for personal necessities not included in that definition may include family related matters that occur during the workday. These three (3) days may not be used for: other employment, withholding of services, or activities normally considered to be related to recreation or vacation. Personal option leave days may not be accumulated and/or carried over from year to year.
126.96.36.199 Up to five (5) days of personal option leave may be used for professional growth to attend conferences, travel/study programs, or other professional activities
Comment: Your 3 days of POL come from your PL balance. The 4th or 5th day of POL must come from professional growth to attend conferences, travel/study programs, or other professional activities.
VTA has been discussing this section about Personal Option Leave with regards to the use of the 4th and 5th day with the District, as we have a difference in the interpretation of the language.
VTA has interpreted this language to mean that the 4th and 5th day “may” be used for professional development, not “must” be, as was stated in the District email. We have communicated this interpretation to our members in the past. We are concerned that the discrepancy in the interpretation may now result in members being docked in pay if they use a fourth and fifth day of POL for something other than professional development.
We have been unable to come to an agreement with the District as to the interpretation, and basically, have agreed to disagree for the remainder of the year. The language will most likely be rewritten and clarified during the negotiations process this spring.
Please be aware that if you use a fourth and fifth day of POL for something other than professional development between now and the end of the year, you could be subject to action by the District to dock your pay. VTA will intervene and support you through the grievance process in this event, but, we can not guarantee the outcome.
We want to make members aware of this situation and hope to have clear language in place in the contract for next year.