St. Johns County school district, union come to agreement on COVID-19 leave for teachers

A St. Johns County classroom (WJXT)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County School District and teachers union on Tuesday reached an agreement on COVID-19 leave for teachers.

Under the agreement, teachers can take up to eight days of paid leave if they are forced to take time off for coronavirus-related reasons.

The district and the union had to put the new rules in place after part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ended on Dec. 31.

“We are pleased we were able to reach an agreement,” St. Johns Education Association President Michelle Dillon said. “There are still a lot of teachers who have had to take time off because of coronavirus.”

Because the emergency leave from the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act ended on the last day of the year, and students returned on Jan. 4, if a teacher who had to quarantine over the break may have had to start the year without special emergency leave.

But the new agreement is retroactive from Jan. 4.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act had allowed teachers to take up to 10 paid days leave if they had to self isolate due to illness or possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The agreement states that if the act is reinstated under the newly installed President Joe Biden administration, those rules would supersede the district agreement.

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