Eastern BOT approves paid sick leave policy

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The Board of Trustees approved a temporary emergency paid sick leave policy during its meeting Friday afternoon.

The policy follows the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act that provided two weeks of paid sick leave for qualified employees with COVID-19 symptoms that are required to isolate or are advised by a health care provider to quarantine because of close contact with an infected individual.

Those who are eligible for the policy are employees who have completed 30 days of employment and have not exhausted any of the two week paid benefit that they may have received under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.

Employees of the Student Health Clinic are excluded from eligibility under this policy.

Current work schedule and status define the benefit payable under the policy.

The time must be taken in whole day and cannot be taken intermittently.

The policy will be ineffective on June 30 and the board approved the policy retroactively to Jan. 1.

The board also approved a change to the Faculty Senate constitution.

Formerly, the senate’s constitution states faculty members must be in their fourth semester at the university to be eligible to run for elected university committee positions.

The board approved the changed after the faculty approved it with 62 percent of faculty voting in favor.

The rationale for the change was:

· There are fewer total faculty numbers

· The organization of colleges creating three smaller and one larger colleg

· It would allow for new employees who may have similar experiences at other institutions to run sooner

· It creates more equitable access to university service that can be valuable to non-tenured faculty member’s evaluation profile

· Allowing newer faculty members to serve may give the senate a greater opportunity to review existing policies and processes that may need improvement from a new perspective

The board also approved a revision to Board Regulation IV.J.2.B.

The section previously read:

“State appropriations may be used to support the intercollegiate athletics program, but no more than one and a half percent (1.5%) of the University’s annual state appropriation may be expended for intercollegiate athletics unless approved by the Board.”

The change removed “but no more than one and a half percent (1.5%) of the University’s annual state appropriation may be expended for intercollegiate athletics unless approved by the Board.”

A contract renewal and successor agreement for Operating Engineers, Local 399. The agreement was made through mediation with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Nov. 4, ratified on Nov. 10 and is effective Aug 1., 2020 to July 31, 2021.

The contract will see no changes except for wages and compensatory time.

There are currently seven employees in the bargaining unit and the unit will receive a one percent raise across the board and one-time sign on bonus of $250 will be given to each member.

The estimated cost of the increases is $6,992.

The board also approved the purchase of remote Communication Access Real-time Translation and Video Remote Interpreting services.

CART is a computer aided transportation service and VRI is a video communication service that uses devices to provide sign language or spoken language interpreting services.

The recommended vendor for the services was Alternative Communication Services, LLC. The company’s bid is $98/hr. for CART services and $85/hr. for VRI services.

The university will enter into a contract with the company from July 1 to June 30, 2023 with the opportunity to renew the contract for two additional three year     periods.

The other vendors included Natural Languages, LLC ($294.74/hr., $104.40) and Visual Language Professionals, LCC who did not have a technical score high enough to open pricing.

Vancro, Inc. and Purple Communications, Inc. did not meet administrative compliance.

The fund source for the picture is appropriated funds and the rationale for the purchase is the university’s requirement to provide accommodations to hearing impaired students on campus.

During the meeting a Theatre Arts presentation was given during the President’s Report.

Additionally, no new purchases were announced during the meeting and not public comment was made.

Eastern’s Board of Trustees will meet again April 23. The meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube for those who are interested in watching.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]