EIC96-5 Volume 12 Issue 5
Determination of Base Service Days for unused Sick Leave Credit: Minimum Standards for Full-Time Service and Compensation (AB 1122)

Information Circular

Administrative Directive 96-02 outlined the minimum standards for full-time service and compensation as provided in Education Code Section 22138.5, effective July 1, 1996. This section establishes appropriate minimum standards for full-time employment for various classes of employees in kindergarten through grade 12 and community college for the purpose of determining compensation earnable for final compensation and service credit.

Education Code section 22717 states that at the time a member retires for service, he/she is entitled to receive credit for any accrued and unused sick leave provided he/she became a member of the State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) prior to July 1, 1980.

In order for STRS to determine the amount of service credit a member will receive, the employer must certify on the Employment Termination and Sick Leave Report (SR 0554) or the Express Benefit Report (SR 0554E) the accumulated unused sick leave days and base service days.

In accordance with the California Code of Regulations, Title V, Section 20526, base service days are the number of days of service the member would be required to perform in his/her position of employment during his/her final school year if employed on a full-time basis. The section further requires that the base service days for purposes of unused sick leave shall not include school and legal holidays and in no event shall the base service days be less than 175 days.

When reporting the number of base service days for the purpose of determining sick leave service credit, employers are required to reduce the full-time equivalent by the number of school and legal holidays if such are included in the full-time equivalent. “Full-time equivalent” is the number of days that a person would be required to serve in his/her position if employed full-time for the school year. When the full-time equivalent includes school and legal holidays from the full-time equivalent.

For example:

  • If the contract for a K-12 administrator at a county office of education states that he/she is required to work 237 days, which includes 15 school and legal holidays and 22 vacation days, then the base service days to be reported for unused sick leave would be 222.
  • If a K-12 teacher’s contract states that he/she is required to work 180 days which includes ten school and legal holidays, then the base service days to be reported to unused sick leave would be the minimum 175 days, because base days cannot be less than 175.

Because the full-time equivalent varies by program and class of employees, it is important for employers to determine the full-time equivalent that should be reported in accordance with the standards outlined in Administrative Directive 96-02.

If you have any questions regarding the determination of base service days for unused sick leave credit please call Rose Westlake, Supervisor of the benefit Eligibility Unit, at (916) 229-3574.

Employer Information Circulars [EIC] are sent to school district and community college employers as informal guidance that provides immediate information on a single topic.

For an accessible version of this circular, contact ADACoordinator@CalSTRS.com.