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Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: Sabbatical Leaves

Article 27 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) affords all full-time faculty – both lecturers and tenured faculty – the opportunity to apply for sabbatical leaves, which both CFA and the CSU recognize are beneficial to the CSU and to the development of teacher-scholars in their research, scholarship, and creative activities as well as in their instructional activities.

Article 27.2 states that, “A full-time faculty unit employee shall be eligible for a sabbatical leave if s/he has served full-time for six (6) years at that campus in the preceding seven (7) year period prior to the leave and at least six (6) years after any previous sabbatical leave or difference in pay leave.  Credit granted towards the completion of the probationary period for service elsewhere shall also apply towards fulfilling the eligibility requirements for a sabbatical.  A leave of absence without pay or service in an academic administrative appointment excluded from the bargaining unit shall not constitute a break in service for eligibility requirements.”

Under Article 27.5 of the CBA, faculty are guaranteed to be reviewed by a “Professional Leave Committee” of their tenured faculty peers, who make recommendations for sabbatical awards to the appropriate administrator. Campus PLC’s are under the purview of the Faculty Senates, which control how the committee is formed, populated, and run.

Faculty who take sabbatical leave continue to receive health, dental, and other benefits provided by the CSU and are considered to be in “work status,” just as if they were not on sabbatical (see Article 27.16).  Moreover, faculty on sabbatical leave continue, according to Article 27.17, “to accrue sick leave, vacation, and service credit toward service salary increase eligibility, eligibility toward promotion, if applicable, and seniority.”

Finally, Article 27.10 states that, “If there are a sufficient number of faculty unit employees eligible for sabbatical leave who meet the conditions of this Article, then a campus shall grant no fewer sabbatical leaves than twelve percent (12%) of the total number of campus faculty unit employees eligible to apply for such leaves in that year in addition to those faculty approved for a sabbatical at one-half (1/2) of full salary. Sabbaticals deferred according to 27.8 shall be counted in the year they are taken.”

Currently, sabbatical leave policies, procedures, and criteria are determined at the campus level. The CSU is seeking to change several provisions in the Sabbatical Article at the bargaining table.

Review Article 27 in the CBA, ask your chair or supervisor about your sabbatical eligibility calendar, and consider applying for a sabbatical when you are eligible to do so. CFA continues to insist upon this important right for faculty, who do so much to advance creativity, innovation, and student learning at our universities.

Want to learn more? Become active with your local CFA chapter Faculty Rights team. Find your representative here.