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School Principals Sean Balking at Religious Holiday Observance Without Loss of Pay

The Association of Orthodox Jewish Teachers disclosed today that their public school principals may oppose their efforts to use a newly-created option to take time off for religious holiday observance without loss of pay. Philip Kipust, president of the association, reporting on the problem, said the association was urging its 2,500 member-teachers to file immediately for time off for Passover under a clause in the current contract between the city board of education and the United Federation of Teachers. That clause, incorporated in a new three-year contract signed last September, provides that teachers may apply for three days of absence annually for religious holiday observances as “personal business.” Under this arrangement, teachers are not docked for pay, as they are now, for taking time off for such observance. Mr. Kipust said that time off clause included in the current contract at the association’s specific request, is deducted from accrued sick leave. This is the first test of the application of this clause since it went into effect last fall after the Jewish New Year.