SICK LEAVE BANK OPEN ENROLLMENT
As many of you are aware the sick leave bank open enrollment period was delayed due to COVID-19. The Sick leave bank committee has had several discussions since March, regarding when to conduct open enrollment. The intention was to wait until as many staff were back in the office, on a regular basis, as possible so that there would be no issues of employees not receiving the information and therefore missing the opportunity to enroll. The committee understands that concerns have been expressed regarding the delay and has decided to move forward with the enrollment at this time.
The attached memo announcing open enrollment was sent out to DE’s, Chief Clerks and HR Admins who will distribute to membership as well, in order to get the word out. Open enrollment will run from August 20th through September 16th and aside from taking place later than usual, the same rules apply. There will be no exceptions to the rules which are: employees must have a minimum of 56 hours of sick leave accruals (prorated for PT employees) by close of business August 19th and enrollment forms must be submitted no later than September 16th.
URGENT FEDERAL UPDATE
CSEA has been sounding the alarm bell for a while now and without action from our representatives in Washington, we can expect budget cuts to come. Without the federal aid we’ve been pushing for, more and more government offices will be forced into cutting jobs. Our membership can still make an impact by taking action. Watch our “time is running out” video, please share it, and visit https://cseany.org/help-save-new-york for new resources to send the message to Washington.
Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121 and ask them to support the funding levels in the HEROES Act – $35 billion to New York State and $33 billion to municipal governments in New York over the next two years. Our state and local governments have seen an unprecedented loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York State is projecting a $12 billion deficit this fiscal year and $16 billion for next year. Local governments, school districts, and State agencies are facing billions of dollars in cuts this year due to this revenue shortfall.
Without additional funding, our state and municipal governments will be forced to eliminate vital services and lay off employees. These actions will hamper our economic recovery and hurt our communities for years to come.
STATE JUDICIARY EMPLOYEE TRAVEL POLICY
The New York State travel advisory remains in effect, to date 34 States and territories are included on the list. OCA’s policy accompanied by the Governors Executive order, mandate Judicial and Non-Judicial employees travelling into New York from these states, must quarantine (utilizing your own accruals) for 14 days if unable to telecommute. The most up to date list can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory (under “Restricted States” tab). Should you have concerns regarding how this policy will affect any travel plans, please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the other Local Officers.
CLASS ACTION GRIEVANCE / IMPROPER PRACTICE
On August 4th CSEA filed a Class action Grievance on behalf of all CSEA represented members employed by UCS. The grievance is in regards to the travel ban policy that affects all members, by prohibiting the use of sick leave accruals or quarantine leave as provided for by the bargaining agreement, in the event that they travel to, or are required to quarantine after returning from, one of the NYS DOH banned states. The grievance seeks the remedy of allowing all CSEA represented employees, the ability to utilize contractual benefits as provided for by the negotiated and agreed to contractual agreement.
On August 6th CSEA filed an improper practice (IP) charge on behalf of CSEA represented non-judicial employees who are employed by the NYS Unified Court System. The IP charges that UCS did not negotiate in good faith in regards to policies enacted on July, 7th (Mandatory quarantine for certain out of state travel), July 10th (Self-assessment and thermal temperature screening) and July 14th (Telecommuters Self-assessment and thermal temperature screening). CSEA views this as UCS unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of employment absent negotiation with the Union and has requested that the Public Employee Relations Board require UCS to begin good faith negotiations and “make whole, any employee who suffered any adverse employment action as a result of these new work rules”.