Several employees took to Wednesday’s Minooka District 111 school board meeting to call upon officials to take a stand against what they call an unfair practice spearheaded by the governor that prevents those who are unvaccinated from recouping pay from sick days.
The district, however, is poised to return pay requests for 375 sick days only to vaccinated employees, officials said.
Sam Nance approached the school board during public comment, saying the district’s administrative leave policy creates a disparity.
“I believe that we are being treated differently only because we haven’t gotten the shot,” Nance said.
John Troy, the district’s assistant superintendent of business and general counsel, says the unvaccinated staff do not get their pay for sick days returned to them, and the district intends to abide by House Bill 1167.
House Bill 1167 is an act that enables people who are vaccinated to recoup backpay for administrative leave taken in response to COVID-19.
Another problem raised by staff during public comment was that some employees may stay home when a child in their home gets sick and cannot attend school.
Troy replied, saying that it only applies to elementary and secondary schools, it doesn’t apply to preschools or daycare providers.
“We’ve had staff that had to stay home because of their child was excluded from preschool or their daycare provider excluded them,” Troy said. “But those are not in the act and we are following the terms of the act. Of course, that’s something if the board—if they want to—can grant additional days, if they want to.”
There is currently no cap on how much backpay from administrative leave that people who are vaccinated may recoup so long as the governor’s COVID-19 disaster declaration remains in effect.
But the district has been asking employees for test results and vaccination status.
It remains unclear how many district employees are vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Board President Mike Brozovich says he believes the district needs to look into the matter and consider taking action.
Board Member Dustin Heap says the school board needs data in order to discuss it further.
School officials ultimately directed district staff to get back to the board with its request.
Also at the meeting, the school board agreed to a property tax abatement deal with Kendall County for the potential development of Molto Properties.
The applicant, MP Minooka Ridge Industrial LLC, plans on constructing two spec buildings on the property.
No tenants have been identified for either of the buildings, to date.
The property tax abatements will incur at 75% in the first full year, 50% the second year, and 25% the third year.