Frequently asked questions – Tentative Agreement 2018

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding our Tentative Agreement with the state.

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1) Article 9.4 – Holiday Pay

How does this affect me?

This article ensures that all full-time employees get a full day’s wage for a paid holiday, not to exceed 8 hours.

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2) Article 9.4.1 – Part-Time Holiday Pay

How does this affect me?

If you are a regularly scheduled part-time employee, you will be paid the number of hours you are normally scheduled on the day of the week that a holiday is observed.

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3) Article 9.6 – Floating Holidays (will become Article 9.5)

When do I have to use my floating holidays?

Floating holidays must be used in the fiscal year in which they are earned. For example: we will receive 3 floating holidays between July 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019. All three must be used no later than June 30, 2019, which is the last day of the fiscal year. Current floating holiday accruals on the books must be used by June 30, 2019, if the contract is ratified.

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4) Article 10 – Annual Leave

Where in the current contract does it require 5 days’ notice to request annual leave?

Article 10.3.b states “the employer agrees to indicate approval or rejection of the requested leave within one week after receiving a properly executed application for leave.”

The one-week timeframe is understood to mean 5 work days. Therefore, the proposed language in Article 10.3.f. which states “nothing contained in this section or under the terms of the application for leave shall be construed as preventing the employer from granting requested leave without a five (5) day notice” is mere clarifying language.

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5) Article 11 – Sick Leave

What happened to the proposal on part-time sick leave benefits?

In response to SEA’s proposal, the State said they would discontinue the annual payout benefit provided in the Personnel Rules, meaning that part-time employees could lose over a thousand dollars per year. SEA will continue to negotiate the inclusion of part-time employee sick leave benefits in future bargaining rounds.

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6) Article 11.1 – Bonus Leave

Please explain the additional floating holiday and the removal of bonus leave.

One-third of employees currently receive some amount of bonus leave. Under this tentative agreement, two-thirds of employees would see an additional day of leave that they weren’t getting before, and 100% of employees would receive a guaranteed day as opposed to a potential amount of bonus leave. Upon retirement, sick leave payout is 50% of total days whereas annual is 100%. It benefits employees to keep annual leave on books.

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7) Article 11.1.1 – Bonus Leave

When do I stop accruing bonus leave?

Employees will accrue current fiscal bonus leave through June 30, 2018, and will be available for use through June 30, 2019.

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8) Article 11.1.1 – Bonus Leave

What happens to bonus leave that I currently have?

All employees will be able to keep “old bonus” accrued before July 1, 1995, with no expiration.

In addition, employees will be able to keep 64 hours of bonus leave to their credit with no expiration, regardless of any amount of “old bonus” on the books.

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9) Article 11.1.1.c – Bonus Leave

Will bonus leave be counted towards my retirement calculation?

Bonus leave is considered wages and will still be counted towards retirement calculation

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10) Article 11.2 – Sick Leave

Can I use my annual leave for sick leave purposes?

Once sick leave has been exhausted, an employee may apply for any other accrued leave for sick leave purposes.

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11) Article 11.2 – Sick Leave

What does the addition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or their clinical representative accomplish?

This addition allows medical professionals other than physicians to provide a note to employers who require one when an employee is out sick.

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12) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

What does totally disabled mean?

The term is an industry standard. The STD-IP plan is designed to provide financial support for employees recovering from a non-work related injury or sickness that has left them totally disable and unable to perform the activities of their employment with the employer and unable to perform the functions and duties of a person of the same age and gender. To be eligible for total disability, an employee may not be working at any job.

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13) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

Is pregnancy a qualifying condition under the STD-IP plan?

Pregnancy, prenatal complications, labor, delivery, postnatal recovery are typically considered disabilities under the Family Medical Leave Act and are therefore covered under the STD-IP plan.

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14) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

How is STD-IP plan funded and who runs it?

The plan is funded through Fund 60 (state employees self-insured plan) and there is no cost to employees. The plan is currently managed by Managed Medical Review Organization (MMRO), a third party vendor hired by the State.

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15) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

Can an employee who would not qualify for STD-IP plan apply for SSL instead?

Employees are not eligible for supplemental sick leave until and unless they have qualified for and have exhausted STD-IP plan.

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16) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

Do I have to exhaust my leave before qualifying for STD-IP?

There is a 30 calendar day waiting period before STD-IP benefits begin. This means that an employee who has any sick time on the books must use it before qualifying for the plan.

For example, an employee who has 20-22 days of sick leave (which equates to 30 calendar days minus weekends), would be required to use all 20-22 days.

An employee who has less than 20-22 days of sick leave accrued can use other types of leave to supplement the remainder of the waiting period. Note that the use of other types of leave is not required, however, if an employee chooses not to use their other leave, the employee is not in paid status.

An employee who has more than 20-22 days of sick leave accrued would be required to use all of their sick leave before qualifying for the plan.

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17) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

Are probationary employees eligible for STD-IP?

Yes, probationary employees are eligible.

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18) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

Who pays for my medical insurance and retirement while I’m on STD-IP?

The employee remains responsible for their current contributions ($20, $40, $60) which will continue through payroll deductions.

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19) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

Does the 30-day waiting period count towards my 26 week benefit?

No. Day one starts after the 30-day wait or when sick leave is exhausted, whichever is later.

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20) Article 11.8 – Short-Term Disability-Income Protection Plan/Supplemental Sick Leave

If I have any leave accrued, do I have to use it before moving from STD-IP to SSL?

Yes, all leave must be exhausted.

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21) Article 19.2.2 – Wages

When am I eligible for a step increase to step 7 or step 8?

Any employee who has more than 2 years at step 7 or will have 2 years by January 1, 2019 will be moved to step 8 effective the first pay period following January 1, 2019.

Any employee who has more than 3 years at step 8 or will have 3 years by January 1, 2019 will be moved to step 9 effective the first pay period following January 1, 2019.

Note that anniversary dates are not affected.

If an employee is not eligible to move to step 8 or 9 by January 1, 2019, their step increase will occur on their anniversary date after fulfilling the waiting periods already in effect.

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22) Article 19.2.4 and 19.2.5 – Wages

When are the percentage raises effective?

There will be a 1.5% wage increase effective the first pay period following the execution of the contract.

There will be a second 1.5% wage increase effective the first pay period following January 1, 2019.

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23) Article 19.6 – Footwear

What is the difference between over the life of the contract and per fiscal biennium?

The new language guarantees reimbursement up to $200 every two years, even if we are in evergreen status.

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24) Article 19.8 – Health Promotion Eligible for $300 in 2018 and $300 in 2019 before July 1.

When will I be able to earn Health Promotion rewards?

As soon as Anthem reactivates the benefit, employees will be able to begin earning their 3, $100 gift cards through the end of 2018. Between January 1 and June 30, 2019, employees will be able to earn another $300 through this program.

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25) Article 19.8.2 – Health Insurance

Are there any changes to my health insurance?

No, there are no changes to any part of the current health insurance plan which includes medical and dental coverage.

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