Telework Arbitration Victory

Three agencies continued to misapply the current SEBAC Telework agreement (DOT, DSS, and Office of the Attorney General).  Although we had already prevailed in arbitration on the issue of an agency/unit "cap" on telework, all 3 agencies continued to set some type of "cap" on telework (instead of individual evaluation of telework capabilities).  So A&R, along with other SEBAC unions, again filed a grievance regarding the telework non-compliance by these agencies.  An arbitrator ruled this week that the agencies were in violation of the SEBAC Telework agreement and ordered these agencies to provide a full remedy to the individuals named in the grievance who had appealed their telework denials.  Further, this decision rendered moot a second arbitration that was to take place this week regarding other "caps" instituted by these agencies. 

Impacted employees at the identified agencies should be receiving notification from their agency about the arbitration and their new/improved telework approval.  While this was a SEBAC action, we can't ignore that A&R Chief Steward Patrick Lamb along with A&R steward Sean King were instrumental in the formulation of this arbitration and in prepping witnesses for this action.  It is crucial to prevail in arbitrations during the infancy of a program (such as telework) in order to establish the tone of the program going forward.  Patrick and Sean carefully put together a case necessary to secure a victory and maintain the future of telework for all A&R employees.   -9/9/22

HEP Non-compliance 2021

Anyone who received a letter from the Comptroller's Office regarding their HEP Compliance for 2021 needs to resolve any issues by August 31 or be removed from HEP.
Removal from the HEP program includes an additional $100 monthly premium and a deductible of $350 per person (up to $1400).

If you are unsure of which medical visits were missed, log into CTHEP.com (create a log-in/password, if you haven't already done so).  From here, look at the "2021" tab to see what is missing and once that visit is complete you can apply to be re-instated into HEP by submitting the CO-1320 form.

If you completed the required visits but the portal indicates that one of the appointments has not been accounted for, then you can call 1-877-687-1448 or send an email to HEPQuestions@connect2yourhealth.com

Remember, HEP requires certain healthcare exams to be completed during a calendar year based on age and gender, the required exams could be:

  • Preventative Visit
  • Vision Exam
  • Dental Cleanings (once per year)
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Mammogram
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening

Additionally, if you have a "chronic condition", then you must complete the eduction portion of HEP annually as well.  The annual education piece can be accomplished through the CTHEP.com portal.  The "chronic conditions" identified for our HEP plan are as follows:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Failure
  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol

2022 Retirements

For those who are curious, there has been just over 4500 retirements from State Service so far in 2022 (January 1 thru July 1, 2022); this includes 470 from A&R.  Most of those retirements occured on April 1 & July 1.  We would like to thank all 470 A&R retirees for their years of service and dedication to the people of CT and we wish them well in the next phase of their life.

Odd Looking Checks for "Providers of Distinction" are legit

As you may be aware, our medical plan has something called "Providers of Distinction" whereby utilizing one of the listed facilities/doctors earns you a small cash rebate/reward.  This week, those reward checks were mailed out to roughly 2,000 State Employees, unfortunately, the message associated with those checks was not very clear as to why the check was mailed and the checks looked very "odd" (an example is pictured in the thumbnail).  These checks are legitimate and are related to your use of a Provider of Distinction.  If you receive a check from "Navia Benefit Solutions" it is because you utilized a PoD.  All recipients of the checks will soon receive a follow-up message explaining why they are receiving this check, but it is important that you don't mistake this check for "junk mail", it is legitimate and you can deposit that check safely.

To view the list of Providers of Distinction visit this site: carecompass.ct.gov/providersofdistinction

 

Contract Changes

TRAINEE CLASSES and PERSONAL LEAVE
Are you an ACT or CCT?  Please be aware that ACT's and CCT's now are granted 3 days of Personal Leave after successfully completing 6 months of service.  This is a recent change to our contract. Prior to this, persons in trainee classes did not qualify for PL days until they had completed their working test period, which could be up to two years.
(Contract language Article 18, Section 6)

VACATION ACCRUAL and BREAKS IN STATE SERVICE
Do you have many years of state service?  During that time did you take break and leave state service only to return and begin and the entry level vacation accrual rates?  In our recently negotiated contract, we changed the rate of vacation accrual for those who left state service and subsequently returned to state service.  Under the new language of our contract, all state service counts towards the calculation of your vacation accrual rate, rather than just the time since your date of last hire.  This change is prospective only and not retroactive.  If you think this change impacts you, please contact HR about changing your accrual rate.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the A&R office at (860) 953 1316.
(Contract language Article 12, Section 7)

A&R is Seeking the Next Generation of Union Stewards

Looking for a position that requires the skills of an advocate, educator, and organizer?  You should become a union steward.

Union stewards advocate for their colleagues in the workplace, making sure all employees receive fair and appropriate treatment in all aspects of their work.  Stewards also educate fellow members about important notices and contract updates, while making sure managers are educated about employee rights.  Stewards play a key role in organizing individuals into a vocal, active union that can advocate for necessary change and improvements to the state workplace.

We have several vacancies in the steward ranks due to the recent retirement wave. We are looking for the next generation of union stewards to step forward to protect and serve our fellow members. The time to apply is now and we welcome your application. If you think one of your union brothers and sisters may make a great steward, please encourage them to apply.

Applicants for a union steward position should send: (1) a cover letter; (2) a résumé; and (3) the names and phone numbers of two A&R members in the applicant’s agency who will serve as character references. For consideration of your application this year, please ensure you send this information by August 19, 2022.

Please send your application either by email to plamb@andr.org or by mail, attention Patrick Lamb, Chief Steward at A&R, 805 Brook Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.

If you are selected for an interview we will contact you to arrange a time. Applicants must have completed their initial working test period prior to consideration.