CPS tried to deny this teacher her earned sick days, but CTU wouldn’t let them get away with it.

On June 24, 2019 Theresa Dzoga-Borg prepared for a new chapter in her life as she bid students and colleagues at Goode Elementary farewell on her retirement day. That 2018-19 school year was Theresa’s 20th serving CPS students, having been hired on August 19, 1999.

Over those twenty years, Ms. Dzoga-Borg had been a steady presence for her students, rarely missing a day of work. For that reason, she had accumulated 94 sick days in her sick day bank prior to 2012. Article 37-4 of our contract requires that CPS pay any of their employees with twenty years experience 90 percent of their daily salary for every sick day they accumulated in their bank prior to 2012. Incredibly, CPS tried to claim that Ms. Dzoga-Borg, retiring at the end of the school year, had only completed “19 years, nine months and 24 days of service.”

Ahem. That is known as twenty school years for anyone with a modicum of sense.

The grievance

Ms. Dzoga-Borg contacted CTU about this injustice and our grievance staff set to work righting this wrong. They submitted a grievance on her behalf and pursued the issue all the way to arbitration.

CTU field reps and attorneys pointed out what should have been obvious to CPS payroll. There would have been no working days for Ms. Dzoga-Borg between June 24, 2019 and August 20, 2019. So, CPS was denying the payout of the benefit on a meaningless technicality.

CPS relents

Fortunately, as arbitration approached, perhaps seeing the weakness and unfairness of its position in the case, CPS relented and agreed to settle. Under the settlement agreement, Ms. Dzoga-Borg will receive the full contractual payout of her grandfathered sick days, in the amount of $47,268.60.

The grievance process takes a little time, but fair is fair and right is right. Using our contract, CTU staff will make sure that our members get every penny they are owed.