Section 26.3 Rules Applicable to Employees in Negotiating Units - September 21, 2000
(Part 1 of 2, P-1 through P-7)
TO: Manual Holders
TABLE OF CONTENTS
[The topics below are covered in Part 2 of this bulletin, P-8 thru P-18]
The following material has been prepared to assist you in implementing the new or revised attendance and leave provisions contained in the 1999-2003 agreements negotiated with CSEA.
References to applicable sections of the State Attendance and Leave Manual (Manual) are included.
Questions concerning this material should be directed to the Attendance and Leave Unit of the Department of Civil Service at (518) 457-2295.
Unit and Item:
Manual Reference: Section 21.1, pp. C-4 through C-5
These Articles have been modified to provide that employees cannot be required to use floating holidays in units greater than one-quarter hour. This provision does not supercede any local agreements which provide for liquidation in smaller units of time. Previously, employees were required to use floating holidays in full day units. All other provisions regarding the designation, crediting, use and expiration of floating holidays remain unchanged.
Unit and Item: Side Letter-ASU, ISU, OSU
Manual Reference: Appendix C, Alternative Work Schedules, pp. 1-2
There has been no change in the calculation of holiday benefits for employees whose work schedules contain extended days of more than 7.5 or 8 hours (for example, four 10-hour days per week). The number of hours for which such employees may receive holiday benefits remains capped at 7.5 or 8 hours, based on the employee's basic workweek. Employees scheduled to work more than 7.5 or 8 hours on a workday holiday but who are observing the holiday, continue to be required to charge hours in excess of 7.5 or 8 to leave credits or be placed on leave without pay.
However, the parties agreed to discuss at local labor/management meetings the possibility of scheduling options in connection with time off on holidays for employees on extended day work schedules. Such possible options may include rescheduling of time worked to eliminate the need to charge credits on holidays, and the opportunity for the employee to work a regular five-day work schedule for the week in which the holiday falls. Where the union requests a meeting to discuss possible scheduling options, the parties shall meet within 30 working days of the date the request was made.
Unit and Item:
Manual Reference: Section 21.2, pp. C-6 through C-8
These Articles have been amended to remove the requirement that employees must have a vacation request denied in order to exceed the 40-day vacation maximum during the fiscal year. The 40-day maximum remains in effect on April 1 of each year. Employees may automatically exceed the 40-day maximum during the fiscal year, but will forfeit vacation credits in excess of 40 days on April 1 of each year.
The 30-day limit on vacation lump sum payment upon separation from service remains unchanged. However, agencies are encouraged, where possible subject to operating needs, to permit employees to liquidate accumulated vacation credits in excess of 30 days prior to separation.
Unit and Item: ASU Article 10.6
Manual Reference: Section 21.3, p. C-1
This Article has been revised to increase the maximum amount of sick leave an employee in this unit can accrue from 190 days to 200 days. Part-time employees are subject to a maximum of 200 prorated days.
Unit and Item:
These Articles have been revised to increase the number of accrued sick leave days an employee who retires on or after January 1, 2000 can use to pay for health insurance in retirement from 165 to 200 days. The number of sick leave days that can be used for retirement service credit remains capped at 165.
Subject to the maximums described above, the same accrued sick leave days can be applied for both purposes. Application of sick leave balances for these purposes provides benefits based on an employee's sick leave balance at time of retirement, but does not actually liquidate those credits. Therefore, employees who return to State service within one year following retirement or who are reinstated at any time by the Civil Service Commission or other process of law are entitled to have their sick leave balance restored in full, despite the fact that they received retirement service credit and credit applied toward their health insurance premiums in retirement based on that sick leave balance.
Unit and Item:
These Articles have been revised to provide that approval of requests for leave for both bereavement and family illness shall not be unreasonably withheld. The benefit is now consistent in all three units.
The maximum number of accrued sick leave days which can be used for these purposes remains capped at a total of 15 days per calendar year. The definition of family for these purposes continues to be any relative or any relative-in-law, regardless of place of residence, or any person with whom the employee makes his or her home.
Employees who request sick leave for reasons of family illness may be required to present evidence of the illness, family relationship and need of the ill person for the services of the employee. (In some instances employees may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act in connection with the serious illness of certain family members. While the amount of family sick leave available in such cases remains capped at 15 days, the FMLA provides employees with certain entitlements and imposes certain restrictions on the information employers may obtain. See Attendance and Leave Manual, Appendix I.)
Employees who request sick leave for reasons of death in the family may be required to present evidence of the death, the family relationship and the need for the total amount of leave requested.
Although prior approval is normally required, such requirement may be waived at the discretion of the appointing authority and should be waived if the employee presents a satisfactory explanation of the reasons for failing to secure such prior approval.
Appointing authority denials of employee requests are grievable as contract grievances.
Unit and Item: OSU Article 10.17
Manual Reference: Section 21.3, pp. C-16 though C-19
This Article provides a benefit identical to that available to employees in the Administrative Services Unit and the Institutional Services Unit.
Specifically, this Article refers to medical examinations required of employees in accordance with Subdivision (e), Section 21.3 of the Attendance Rules. (This Article does not apply to workers' compensation injuries or to actions pursuant to Section 72 of the Civil Service Law.) This Article confirms the appointing authority's right to require an employee who has been absent due to personal illness, as a condition of returning to work, to undergo a medical examination at the appointing authority's expense by a physician selected by the appointing authority. This Article is designed to provide specific protection from loss of income when employees are denied return to duty because of employer-caused delays in the scheduling of medical examinations as a condition of return to work.
When an employee in this unit has been absent because of illness or injury, he/she may be required to provide medical documentation confirming his/her fitness for duty and to submit to a medical examination by a physician selected by the appointing authority as a condition of return to work. If an employee is required to submit to such a medical examination, the 20 workdays within which the appointing authority is expected to complete the examination should be calculated as follows:
If no decision is reached concerning the employee's request to return to duty within the time limits, the employee shall be placed on leave with pay without charge to credits and not allowed to return to duty. However, leave with pay is not granted where the delay in determining the employee's fitness is caused by the employee's failure to appear for the medical examination or otherwise to cooperate in its scheduling and holding.
If the physician selected by the appointing authority finds that the employee is not fit for return to duty, the employee is placed on appropriate leave charged to credits or, if necessary, on leave without pay as of the date of receipt of the physician's report. Reexaminations by the appointing authority's physician (where the employee is found unfit for duty) are not required more often than once a month and if the physician has set a date for reexamination or return to duty, not before such specified date.
This Article shall not be construed to require the extension of any employment beyond the time it would otherwise terminate or would be terminated; for example, under Section 73 of the Civil Service Law.
Employees required to submit to a medical examination conducted by a physician selected by the appointing authority are entitled to be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel, meal and lodging costs incurred as a result of travel in connection with such examination. Such reimbursement is to be made in accordance with the Comptroller's Rules and Regulations.
Unit and Item:
Manual Reference: None
This Article provides that an employee's shift, pass day and work location assignment, as applicable, shall be held for three months if the employee is absent on authorized leave due to an extended illness, including sick leave at half-pay, or an on-the-job injury or is on authorized leave for maternity purposes.
This hold does not apply where rebidding occurs while the employee is on leave. It also does not apply where the employee's shift, pass day or work location assignment would otherwise have terminated, for example, because of a change in seasonal shift, the closing of a building or facility, etc.
A comparable provision is contained in OSU Article 50.4. Questions on this Article should be referred to your GOER liason.
Unit and Item:
Manual Reference: Section 21.3, pp. 2, 3 [R-2, 3]
Under the new Health Option Program, eligible employees in these units may elect to accrue sick leave at a reduced biweekly rate in exchange for a reduction in biweekly health insurance premiums.
Employees elect to participate in November preceding the calendar year in which they choose to participate. Participating employees earn sick leave at a reduced biweekly rate which results in three (3) fewer days of sick leave earned over the calendar year in exchange for a reduction...