University of Iowa faculty deliver petition asking for 'sick leave bank' to administration

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Demanding a "sick leave bank" was the mission of a group of University of Iowa faculty, graduate, undergraduate students, and other community members gathered this afternoon. They say a sick leave bank would be a safety net for faculty that fall ill.

Community members gathered demanding the University of Iowa establish a "sick leave bank" for faculty members to access when they run out of their own sick time. (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)

The group, representing the Service Employees International Union, delivered a petition to the school's administration Friday.

Those delivering the petition Friday said they want the sick leave bank established as a resource for those faculty members that suffers a "catastrophic emergency."

They said it was their goal to allow faculty to take from and donate sick leave time to a bank, allowing faculty members to use it after they have used all of their sick time available.

The petition also suggests the University of Iowa contribute "a minimum of 800 days per year from the University." They want those 800 days to be accessible for any of the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to have the ability to access it.

People that attended said if they or their co-workers had a serious health emergency, they want to make sure they are paid while away from work.

"I would like for colleagues who are, in my case, battling cancer, to be able to concentrate on their health," said Megan Knight, an associate professor at the University of Iowa in the Rhetoric department. "And not have to be afraid of how they're going to pay their bills or how they're going to keep their jobs."

TV9 obtained a copy of the petition, and organizers said the petition received hundreds of signatures. They hope the rally allows for the administration to hear their demands.