The bill protects workers who are forced to miss time for COVID-19 related reasons, protects hourly employee’s paychecks.

Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 President Terrence J. Hancock applauded Illinois lawmakers for passing HB 2778, the School Employee Benefit and Wage Protection Bill.  The bill provides paid leave for any school district, public university or community college employee due to a variety of COVID-19 related reasons and provides paycheck protection for hourly employees. Several Teamster Locals throughout the State of Illinois represent professional school bus drivers and other support staff.

The bill received bipartisan support in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, passing the House 92 to 23 and the Senate 53 to one. Senator Chris Belt (D-Collinsville) and Representative Jane Yang Rohr (D-Naperville) sponsored the bill.

“The General Assembly knows how critical the American education system is to parents, Educators, and support staff alike. From the teacher that educates your child, to the Bus Driver who picks them up and drops them off, education workers deserve the respect and protections that allow them to do their jobs safely and effectively. This is especially critical for our Teamster Members who work as Bus Drivers and support staff, who have faced an especially tough and uncertain time throughout the Pandemic” Hancock said.

HB 2778 will require school districts to provide COVID-19 administrative days to any school employees to be used for all COVID-19-related absences, such as quarantining and testing, so employees will not have to use all their benefit time during the pandemic.

It also provides paycheck protection for hourly employees. On days when schools switch to remote or hybrid learning, they will still be required to pay their hourly employees, like cafeteria staff and bus drivers.

The bill has passed the Illinois House and Senate, and is awaiting Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature.