Section 26.3 Rules Applicable to Employees in Negotiating Units - March 22, 2001
TO: Manual Holders
Questions concerning this material should be directed to the Attendance and Leave Unit of the Department of Civil Service at (518) 457-2295.
12.1 (d) Holiday Observance - Floating Holidays
12.8 (b) Use of Sick Leave Credits for Health Insurance in Retirement
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 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.
12.15 Leave for Professional Meetings
For example, such leave is available for an employee who holds the position of attorney to attend required continuing legal education sessions. However, employees are not eligible for leave for...
...this purpose to maintain or obtain licensure or accreditation in a profession in which they are not employed by the State. For example, an employee who is an attorney by profession but who is employed by the State as an engineer would be eligible to use leave under this Article for programs for licensure or accreditation as an engineer, but not for programs for continuing legal education.
Other provisions of this Article remain unchanged. Professional meeting leave continues to be available to attend conferences or seminars of recognized professional organizations which are directly related to the employee's profession or professional duties. The employee need not be a member of the professional organization in order to be eligible to request use of leave to attend professional meetings.
The number of days available under this Article for all purposes, including travel time, remains capped at a total of three days per fiscal year. Such leave is not cumulative and unused leave for this purpose is cancelled at the end of each year of this Agreement. There is no cash payment for unused leave at separation.
Leave under this Article requires prior approval. Agencies continue to have the discretion to restrict absence under this Article for any conference or at any one time to five percent of the profession in the operating unit (e.g., institution, hospital, college, main office or other appropriate facility) and to base approval to attend on a determination that the activity to be undertaken will benefit the agency and that the absence will not interfere with the proper conduct of governmental functions.
This contract item does not guarantee that every eligible employee will receive three days leave with pay each year. Because of the timing of employee requests for the leave, the need to conduct governmental functions and imposition of the five percent of staff limitation, some employees may receive less than the maximum number of days allowed. Whenever possible, employing agencies should take appropriate steps to ensure that the leave is equitably distributed among eligible employees in the operating unit.
12.17 Maintenance of Time Records
A detailed record of attendance showing actual hours worked includes the time the employee begins work, time of departure and return from meals and time of departure at the end of the work period, as well as any additional departures and returns. The record must indicate credits earned and charged and a certification statement attesting to the accuracy of the record.
Forms may be paper or electronic. An electronic form on which an employee makes entries on a self-accounting basis in the same manner that entries would be made on a paper time record is not an electronic recognition system.
It is permissible to use a two-part form as the official record of attendance. Such a two-part form exists when an agency requires employees to both 1) record times of arrivals and departures on a sign-in/sign-out sheet, and 2) complete a time record showing total hours worked each day, including a daily record of absences and leave credits earned and used. In such cases, these two documents together comprise the official record of attendance. Where a two-part record of attendance is used, overtime ineligible employees can now be required to record times of arrivals and departures on the sign-in/sign-out sheet.
Overtime ineligible employees continue to be expected to work the hours necessary to do their job. This includes their basic workweek plus any additional hours necessary to do their job. Although they are now required to keep a detailed record of attendance showing actual hours worked, this does not make them eligible for overtime payment or compensatory time for additional hours worked beyond their basic workweek. They are not entitled to work schedule adjustments.
The new requirement regarding maintenance of detailed time records supercedes provisions contained in Section 20.2 of the Attendance Rules which permit agencies to request that the Department of Civil Service exempt certain overtime ineligible positions from keeping a detailed...
...record of attendance showing actual hours worked. That exemption is no longer available to employees in the PS&T Unit. Any previously granted exemptions for PS&T Unit employees are cancelled pursuant to this Agreement.
The appointing authority may require that time records be retained in a central location (e.g., a time card wall rack), except when removed for posting time and leave entries, or be placed in such central location for collection at the beginning or at the end of each workday so long as such retention or filing requirements do not involve the recording of arrival and departure times under the direct and immediate observation of a supervisor or other person acting as a timekeeper. The review at the close of each workday of daily time records to verify the accuracy of such records for one or more employees in a work unit does not constitute the recording of attendance with a timekeeper.
A supervisor continues to have the right to require employees in need of close supervisory control because of tardiness and/or attendance problems to sign in and out at his/her desk. A supervisor who imposes this requirement under such condition is not a timekeeper within the meaning and intent of the subject contract item (see Manual Section 20.2, p. C-1).
Where an agency uses a two-part form as the official record of attendance, as described above, overtime ineligible employees can now be required to record times of arrivals and departures on the sign-in/sign-out sheet. However, an overtime ineligible PS&T Unit employee may not be required to record times of arrival and departure on a sign-in/sign-out sheet used to verify the accuracy of a separate official record of attendance. All employees in this unit may be required to record times of arrival and departure on sign-in/sign-out sheets established for operational or programmatic purposes.
Employees in this Unit may be required to use electronic recognition systems for operational and programmatic reasons, including but not limited to improving health and safety at State work locations, but data from such systems cannot be used for any time and attendance purposes.
Certification of Time Records
...their time records to ensure compliance with this new provision.
All employees covered by Article 12.17 may be required to submit their time records on a daily, weekly, biweekly or bi-pay period basis to their supervisors for review and shall be required to maintain such records on forms prescribed by the appointing authority.
The record of attendance, regardless of its format, continues to be subject to supervisory review and certification.
The official time record is the only time record. It is not permissible to have any informal or unrecorded timekeeping arrangements.
Overtime ineligible employees are not subject to agency tardiness penalty schedules. Tardiness must be charged to leave accruals. Overtime ineligible employees are subject to disciplinary action for excessive tardiness.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
12.24 Telecommuting Program
Side letter - Use of Vacation Prior to Separation
Agencies are encouraged, where possible and subject to operational needs, to permit employees prior to separation from State service to liquidate accumulated vacation credits in excess of 30 days.
This policy is consistent with Manual Section 21.2, p. C-8 and Section 23.1, p. 3 [R-3]. The 30-day limit on vacation lump sum payments remains unchanged.
Side letter - Use of Other Credits as Sick Leave
Employees who have exhausted accrued sick leave credits shall be permitted to charge absences otherwise chargeable to sick leave to other leave credits (vacation, personal leave, etc.) subject to the same approval procedures and documentation requirements as apply to the use of sick leave credits.
Side letter - Health Option Program (HOP)
...which results in three fewer days of sick leave earned over the calendar year in exchange for a reduction in biweekly health insurance premiums of up to $300. The program will be in effect for calendar year 2001 and may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.
Detailed information on this program may be found in the HOP Program description issued by GOER dated October 25, 2000, and the Department of Civil Service Attendance and Leave Manual Policy Bulletin 2000-02 on the Health Option Program dated October 25, 2000.
Appendix III - Leave Donation Program Memorandum of Understanding
Family for this purpose is the Attendance Rules definition as follows: Any relative or any relative-in-law regardless of place of residence, or any person with whom the employee makes his or her home.
Donations made across agency lines must be used prior to donations made within the agency. Credits donated across agency lines which are not used by the recipient will not be returned to the donor.
Leave donations continue to be available only for personal illness. However, in cases of catastrophic family illness, employees who provide a written explanation of the catastrophic situation and submit satisfactory medical documentation supporting personal disability associated with the family member's illness and who have exhausted all leave credits including sick leave may receive leave donations if otherwise eligible. This policy applies to an employee's use of his/her sick leave credits, and to the use of other credits as sick leave, as well as to eligibility for leave donations.
All other Leave Donation Program provisions remain unchanged. Revised Leave Donation Program Guidelines will be issued shortly. The program guidelines are not grievable.
During 2001, the State will review and evaluate experience with cross-agency donations between family members. Agencies are therefore requested to retain data on donations made across agency lines during the term of this Agreement. A form to collect this data will be forwarded to your agency in the near future.
Appendix IV - Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule (VRWS)
Beginning with the first full biweekly payroll period in October 2000, the following eligibility criteria for participation in the program apply to VR agreements entered into on or after that date:
Employees are required to be employed to work on a full-time annual salaried basis for a minimum of one biweekly payroll period immediately prior to the time of entry into the VRWS program. Time on paid or unpaid leave from a full-time annual salaried position satisfies this requirement;
Employees must remain in a full-time annual salaried position during the term of the VR agreement;
Employees must have one continuous year of State service on a qualifying schedule (any schedule that entitled the employee to earn leave credits, not necessarily a full-time schedule).
Consistent with the way in which creditable service is counted under the Attendance Rules, separations of less than one year and periods of leave without pay of any duration are not counted toward the one-year service requirement, but do not constitute a break in service. Employees who separate from State service (through resignation, termination, layoff, etc.) for more than one year cannot count service preceding that break in service toward the one-year requirement (unless the employee is reinstated by the Civil Service Commission or Department or appointed while on a preferred list). Payroll periods of VRWS participation, sick leave at half-pay, workers' compensation leave and time on the Leave Donation Program will count toward the one-year service requirement.
The Program has also been modified to provide that an employee who is absent on sick leave at...
...half-pay for 28 consecutive calendar days, who is absent on leave donation for 28 consecutive calendar days or who is absent because of a work-related injury or illness for 28 consecutive calendar days will have his/her VRWS agreement suspended. Previously, such agreements were cancelled, not suspended. For accidents occurring on or after July 1, 1993, PEF employees covered under the Medical Evaluation Program will continue on VRWS until the first day they are placed on workers' compensation disability leave with percentage supplement at which time they will have their VR agreement suspended, and those who decline participation in the Medical Evaluation Program will have their VR agreement suspended the first day of leave without pay. Suspension of a VR agreement does not extend the agreement beyond its scheduled termination date. An employee who returns to work prior to the point at which his/her VR agreement would otherwise have lapsed resumes participation in his/her VR agreement and continues until the scheduled termination date of the agreement, unless both parties agree to terminate the agreement.
All other program provisions remain unchanged. However, the parties agreed to make editorial changes in the VRWS Appendix to clarify program provisions.
For further information, refer to revised VRWS Program Guidelines issued by GOER dated September 22, 2000. Revised Attendance and Leave Manual Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule Program Guidelines will be issued shortly. Until revised guidelines are issued, please refer to Attendance and Leave Manual Advisory Memorandum No. 93-02, dated June 23, 1993, for information about the leave benefits under the VRWS program.