Friday, September 30th, A&R will again participate in the Habitat for Humanity Build-A-Thon in Hartford. All members are encouraged to sign-up as a helper or donate through our crowd-funding page
You remember how much fun we had last year right? Well guess what, we’ve decided to do it again!
A&R is joining Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity again this year to sponsor a build day on South Marshall Street in Hartford on September 30thduring Build-A-Thon 2016.
A&R is currently seeking volunteers from our membership to participate in the build. Note there are limited spaces so if you’re ready to build, let A&R know right away!
A&R has set a goal to help fundraise $2,500 for Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity. To create your own crowd-funding page or to donate from the goodness of your heart on behalf of those going out to build all day click below:
Employees who qualified for the $100 HEP Compliance payment can expect the payment to be included in the August 4th paycheck (retirees in the August 30th check). Taxes are deducted from the payment.
To qualify for the $100 payment, full compliance for "chronic conditions" had to be achieved between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Chronic conditions under our healthcare plan are:
A contract extension agreement has been reached between the State and A&R. An extension agreement is NOT a new contract, it is sort of a “bridge” between the expired contract and the successor agreement. The extension is effective until a successor agreement is reached through the Collective Bargaining process. According to the terms of this agreement, most, but not all of the rights in our expired contract will continue to be in effect until a successor agreement is approved. In essence, the extension agreement carries forward the language portions of the contract but does not appropriate any “new money”. This means we continue to have bumping rights, we continue to have AWS, sick leave bank, overtime guidelines, winter weather language, grievance procedures, transfer language and all other protections and benefits that the contract affords us. However, we will not receive any of the “money” items until we have a successor agreement.
According to CGS 5-278a, which governs lapsed bargaining unit contracts, the following items, and ONLY the following items needed to remain in effect for the State to be operating within the letter of the law:
- Allowances for uniforms
Some of the notable items that are not available through the “bridge” contract:
- No GWI/COLA in July 2016
- No Step increases/Top Step payment in January 2017
- No new Tuition Reimbursement funds
- No new Professional Development funds
Another notable aspect is that during the “bridge” period, Article 13 section 8 will be expired giving the State the ability to contract out; this protection expired at the conclusion of our contract. We will have it re-established in our next contract.
Separately, after lengthy discussions, OLR has finally agreed to cover 2015/16 tuition reimbursement requests. This is a substantial and beneficial development as OLR had not released the requested funds for nearly 10 months. Any pending unpaid requests should be processed/paid in the forthcoming month.
Another issue of concern relates to Alternative Work Schedules. There was wide-spread speculation that agencies could deny AWS requests absent our contract. This concern can now be allayed as AWS will continue through this “bridge” period. Further, the AWS/Weather Delay MOU will also continue.
Over the past several months we have taken many “pokes” at the Governor’s Office over their approach to contract negotiations. However, it is becoming clear that the Governor’s Office sees the wisdom of operating in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. We will continue the negotiation process for our new contract and we hope further cooperation from the State is forthcoming.
AFT Connecticut recently published an article spotlighting various Connecticut State Employees and the public services these Union members provide. A&R is proud to have had one of our own members illuminated in the AFT Spotlight. With pride we share the AFT article with you:
Our current contract ends June 30, 2016, which leads to the basic question: what happens on July 1st and thereafter?
In conjunction with contract negotiations, A&R is reviewing the current Comparability tables referenced in Article 13, section 4(b) of our contract. Comparability tables are used during layoffs to provide affected members increased employment opportunities. A comparable class must have the same pre-requisites and training to be considered comparable.