(June 8, 2006, Robert Lorenc, Local 332 President and CSEA Statewide Board Judiciary Representative)
The CSEA/UCS Sick Leave Bank exists pursuant to an agreement between the parties dating back to February 8, 1994. The agreement was negotiated by a subcommittee appointed by CSEA, comprised of Tom Jefferson and Robert Lorenc, and a designee appointed by UCS, Robert Herrick. That agreement outlined in specific detail the intent, benefits, guidelines, and operational aspects of the Sick Bank. The agreement remained unchanged until the contract negotiations and collective bargaining agreement between UCS and CSEA agreed to on August 4, 2004 covering the contract period 2003-2007. The newly agreed to agreement, only slightly modified from the original, is printed in its entirety in the current contract as Appendix C, pages 99 thru 104. That printed agreement represents the proverbial "bible"governing the operational aspects of the bank.
In broad terms, the bank is administered by one representative each from UCS and CSEA. Each designee has veto power relating to any particular application, that is, an application requires two "yes" votes to be approved. The representatives are in more than frequent contact with each other reviewing applications. On occasion, the applicant is asked to submit additional medical documentation. All information in the application is strictly confidential, discussed neither with local management or local union representatives. Coverage to an applicant can be awarded for up to a year at either full- or half-time rate. Given the fact that medical conditions are not static and, hopefully, subject to improvement and change, grants are not made for extended periods of time. Rather, a grant of a mutually agreed to reasonable period of time is made and the applicant is encouraged to reapply as needed.
When reviewing an application, five criteria are utilized for evaluation purposes. Said criteria are: 1) length of service, 2) nature of the disability, 3) reasonable expectation of return to work, 4) attendance history record, and, 5)the maximum number of days that can or have been granted.
The bank cannot make retroactive grants to cover any lapsed periods wherein the employee is on off-payroll status. Thus, it is vitally important to have completed applications submitted well in advance of the expiration of total leave credits.
Employees transferring in from another union who were members of the former union's sick bank may apply to join the CSEA/UCS bank within sixty days of transfer. They must pay the initial full contribution charge. It is analogous to changing insurance carriers. Carrier B will not give you credit or a refund for what you paid to Carrier A. One would be expected to pay Carrier B's full charges for coverage.
The bank functions to serve in a fair and equitable fashion to applicants "in need." It also has an equally important mission, to shepherd and protect that precious commodity, the time paid into the bank by all of the members that have joined the bank. Since its inception and to date, the bank has been a huge joint labor/management success. Countless members /employees have been permitted to utilize the grants to get well and return to work, thus benefiting both labor and management.