SCHOOL COMMITTEE BENEFITS POLICY FOR PRINCIPALS
Vacation Time: The Principal is entitled to twenty-two (22) days of vacation annually to be scheduled through and subject to approval by the Superintendent. Unused vacation shall be cumulative to a maximum of forty-four (44) days. Upon completion of fifteen (15) years of administrative service in the local school systems, the Principal will be eligible for twenty-seven (27) days of vacation annually, cumulative to a maximum of 54 days. Should the Principal request 30 or more vacation days for use at one time, she/he will submit such request to the Superintendent at least 6 weeks in advance of the date on which such vacation use is proposed to begin.
Holidays: The following days shall be recognized as legal holidays:
New Year's Day Patriot's Day Columbus Day
Martin Luther King Day Memorial Day Veteran's Day
President’s Day Independence Day Thanksgiving Day
Labor Day Christmas
a. Sick leave is intended to provide insurance against loss of income due to personal illness. An Administrator shall be entitled to eighteen (18) days of sick leave with full pay per contract year. Each eighteen (18) days of sick leave shall exist as of the beginning date of contract, provided that the administrator is present to assume his/her contractual obligations. In the event of non-appearance caused by accident or illness, the administrator's pay may be withheld, with due notification to the person, pending the assumption of contractual responsibility. Sick leave shall be cumulative to 240 days.
b. Absence by reason of death or critical illness in the immediate family shall not be charged against sick leave.
c. An administrator who has completed fifteen (15) or more full years of service with the Committee, may upon retirement or the administrator's estate upon death, be compensated for that portion of his/her unused accumulated sick leave in excess of 120 days, at the rate of $20/day for each unused accumulated sick leave day in excess of 120 days.
11. Personal Leave: Up to three (3) days per year of personal leave will be allowed for each full-time administrator. Such personal leave will not be charged against sick leave. Additional personal leave, up to a combined maximum of eighteen (18) days per year may be granted by the School Committee. Such additional leave is normally charged against sick leave at the discretion of the School Committee. Personal leave will be used to take care of problems or business for which absence is not authorized under any other portion of this contract and will be granted without reference to the specific nature of the request. Personal leave shall not be used to gain extended vacation time, and personal leave shall not be cumulative.
So the Superintendent gets the same benefits package as do the Principals and the document entitled "School Committee Benefits Policy For Principals" was attached to Alberto Rodriguez's original contract. But there's something else called Family Medical Leave Act:
This is a federal law which entitles anyone who has worked in a job for a year to twelve weeks unpaid, intermittent sick leave to support a family member or oneself if validated by a licensed physician.
There are forms (FMLA) that must be completed to be granted this. For sake of consistency, the Amherst Schools use these forms as validation of an illness even if someone, like Dr. Rodriguez, has not worked here a full year.
Furthermore, the Schools permit staff to use 10 of their own sick days in a school year to support family illness, so they suffer no loss in pay. They permit staff to accrue up to 245 total sick days. (In general, staff get 12-15 sick days annually.)
In Superintendent Rodriguez's case, he has not been here a year--but was instantly granted 20 sick days upon signing his contract last spring. All staff, regardless of their length of service, are required to complete the FMLA paperwork if they have either a planned sick leave or an unexpected sick leave which is more than 3 consecutive days.
So Dr. Rodriguez's 2/22 "sick day" does not trip the FMLA paperwork--because it's only one day--and neither does the April 15th and 16th sick days; but 4/20 to 4/23 will because it is 4 days.
UPDATE: 1:00 PM Reliable sources confirm that Nick Grabbe, forever reporter with the venerable Daily Hampshire Gazette, is on the story.
And according to this puff piece in the Bully, he can take the heat.