(Family Leave Issues ad hoc Committee)
Chair: Karen Oslund, Department of History
In Fall 2009, FLIC (Family Leave Issues Committee), presented a proposal on primary caregiver leave to the AAUP membership, which received overwhelming support. After further input from the membership, the committee plans to present this proposal to the University Senate in March 2010. This will be step one in a two-step process. The TU-AAUP/Faculty Association will use the Primary Caregiver Policy, step one, to provide a foundation for the creation of an elder care and family illness care policy--step two--to be completed by December 2010. Anyone wishing to work on these issues or share personal stories relevant to these topics is urged to contact the chair of FLIC, Karen Oslund, Department of History, or Ayse Dayi, Women's Studies Department, who is chair of Committee W.
The TU-AAUP/Faculty Association will hold an open forum on January 29, 2010 to craft the Primary Caregiver Policy that will be put before the Senate. The meeting will be held in Chesapeake 302from 11-1. Lunch will be provided. We encourage all interested faculty to attend. Please RSVP to Jennifer Ballengee by January 26, 2010.
According to the Faculty Handbook, Towson University aims to honor its commitment “to provide a regularized and equitable basis for determining the eligibility of faculty members to receive salary payments during extended periods of incapacity for reasons of illness, injury, or childbirth.” (Faculty Handbook, 2006-2007, Chapter 4, II-2.30)
The Family Leave Issues Committee (FLIC) and Committee W have been gathering information on these subjects, as there has been considerable concern about the implementation of this policy. Below are some real life stories (albeit with names changed) as to how the University has dealt with family issues, specifically with regard to childbirth, over the past several years.
In one of the science departments, “Anne” returned to teaching 3 weeks after her second baby was born. She was asked to teach an 8 unit load. Her agreement with her department stipulated that one of her units would be postponed until the following semester, so she was aware as she was nursing her child that her department wanted her to work harder later to make up for her lack of productivity at the moment. She was not able to do any service or research during this time, so the college granted her an extra year on the tenure clock.
Across the campus, in one of the humanities departments, “Betty” also returned to work after her first child was born. She had several significant service responsibilities, including being director of a program, and taught one graduate level class, and used six weeks of FMLA leave to count as another class. The class met one evening a week, and her colleagues were happy to step in and substitute teach for two of her classes immediately after her delivery.
There are many other stories that FLIC and Committee W have been collecting, some of which were shared at the fall 2009 TU-AAUP/Faculty Association campus wide meeting. The TU-AAUP/Faculty Association will host an open forum, scheduled for January 29, 2010, in Chesapeake 302, from 11-1, in order to develop the policy that will be submitted to the University Senate. This is not just an issue for the mothers on our campus, but also the fathers on our campus.* Please consider attending the meeting to offer your input. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by January 26, 2010.
*This is the first part of a two-part process. The second stage will build upon the childcare policy to develop a care policy for family concerns other than childcare.
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