General Updates January 23, 2023

TELEWORK DECISIONS AND APPEALS

Telework Decisions should have been released at this point.  If you are going to file an appeal then do not delay; a delay in filing the appeal will move you further down the list for review.
Here are the 3 basic scenarios and what you should do:

  • If you were denied your telework request of 80% or less Telework, please ensure that you quickly file your appeal using this link.  Continue to TW at the level deemed acceptable (or the TW schedule you had last year [whichever is better])
  • If you requested to increase your Telework but have not receieved a response from the agency, then treat that as a denial and quickly file your appeal using the same link as above.  While your appeal is pending, continue to do your current Telework schedule.
  • If you requested the same amount of telework but have not received a response from the agency, simply keep doing your current TW schedule and there is no need to file an appeal.

NEW (AND MUCH IMPROVED) AFAO JOB SPEC
Anyone in the "Fiscal" series knows that we have had an issue with the "Associate Fiscal Admin Officer" job spec for quite some time; mainly that this job title should have been an Advanced Working Level/Lead title but was instead used as a Supervisory title...after several years of pressing this issue, it has finally been changed!  View the new (and improved) AFAO job spec.

This is huge for anyone in the Fiscal job series.  The gist of the change is that the AFAO title no longer requires supervisory responsibility; it is now a working lead/advanced working level position as it should have been.  This will now allow many FAOs to progress to the AFAO title where their responsibilities are vast even if they do not have staff to supervise. 

VACATION ACCRUAL RATE FOR THOSE WITH PRIOR STATE SERVICE
Under our new contract, there was a change to Article 12 Section 7 which now grants credit for prior state service towards determining your vacation accrual rate.  If you have prior State Service and that time was pensionable, it will count towards determining when you move up to the next level for vacation accrual (Note: if you are already earning 13.33hrs/mo then this change will not impact you, you are already at the top accrual rate).  However, and this is big: it is the responsibility of each individual to notify HR that they have prior state service.  While our hope was to have this process automated, this was not possible.  Therefore,  if you have prior, pensionable time in State Service and are accruing at less than 13.33hrs/month, then it is your responsibility to notify HR so they can identify the records and make the adjustment to your vacation rate, if appropriate.  This will only be retro-active to the June 1, 2022 accruals, it will not be an adjustment to your accrual rate prior to June 1, 2022.

STEPS AND TOP STEP PAYMENTS
The December 30th Step Increase/Top Step Payment will be reflected in this week's paycheck.  To find your new rate or TSP, folllow this link.  Those on the AR2 payplan will recieve a 3% Annual Increment.  Those who were first hired after July 1, 2022 were (most likely) not eligible for a Step Increase on December 30.  Those in 2-year training classes receive their increment on their 1 year anniversary rather than the schedule for permanent employees.

TELECOMMUTING AND WINTER WEATHER
A reminder to those on telecommuting schedules that major winter weather events do not automatically impact your work day.  As a general rule, if you have the capability to telework during the weather event, you should do so, regardless of the impact the weather event has on office operations.  Consider it this way: shift cancellations, late openings, and early dismissals decisions are  usually made with safety in mind to keep us off of the roads during hazardous conditions.  Those hazardous conditions will not be encountered by telecommuters.  We also want to remind those deemed "essential" for snow storms (and thus required to leave your home to report to work during a Governor's closing of the offices) qualify for compensatory time.
[Appendix A of contract; Agreement on Final Telework Policy, section 8]

YEAR END REMINDERS

PERSONAL LEAVE
Don't forget to use your PL time before the end of this calendar year, there is nothing we can do to recover the time for you if you don't use it by 12/31/2022.  "Use it or lose it" applies.

TRAINEE/DURATIONAL POSITIONS & PL
Personal Leave is now available to full-time trainees as well as full-time durational employees who have completed six months of service since date of last hire.  This was a negotiated contract change we sought; in the past, PL was only available to full-time permanent employees.  However, CORE is not yet set up to automatically allocate the PL time to your records - these changes must be input manually by HR.  If you are a full-time trainee or a full-time durational employee with six months or more of state service, we suggest you monitor your records to ensure the time is credited to you.  After crossing the six month threshold, if you do not see the PL time appear in your records, contact your HR representative to ensure the manual input occurs.  Contact us if you encounter a problem or have any questions.
[Article 18, Section Six]

STEP INCREASES/TOP STEP PAYMENTS
Step Increases become effective January 1, 2023 and show up in your January 27, 2023 paystub.  Those already at the 9th Step cannot receive an increment and will instead receive a 2.5% Top Step Payment.
[Article 24, Section Two (a)]

ACCRETED CLASSIFICATION STEP INCREASES
As a result of the last contract negotiation, employees in accreted classifications using the "modified/range” plan are now eligible for a full three percent (3%) increment.
[Article 24, Section Two (a)]

TELECOMMUTING AND WINTER WEATHER
A reminder to those on telecommuting schedules that major winter weather events do not automatically impact your work day.  As a general rule, if you have the capability to telework during the weather event, you should do so, regardless of the impact the weather event has on office operations.  Consider it this way: shift cancellations, late openings, and early dismissals decisions are  usually made with safety in mind to keep us off of the roads during hazardous conditions.  Those hazardous conditions will not be encountered by telecommuters.  We also want to remind those deemed "essential" for snow storms (and thus required to leave your home to report to work during a Governor's closing of the offices) qualify for compensatory time.
[Appendix A of contract; Agreement on Final Telework Policy, section 8]

OPEN BUDGET MEETING
A&R's Budget Committee, lead by Treasurer Ally Sexton, will be holding its annual Open Budget Meeting at the A&R Office on January 19, 2023 at 5:30pm.  This annual meeting is an opportunity for any A&R member to propose budget items for consideration and to view the upcoming budget as it is being prepared.  All members are invited to attend and participate.

A&R CONVENTION
The A&R Annual Convention will be held on 4/13/2023.  It will be held at the union office in Rocky Hill (805 Brook St, Rocky Hill, CT).  The Convention will begin at 5:30pm.  All active members are invited to attend.

Happy Holidays to all and have a safe New Year's celebration!

- 12/21/22

Service Ratings Due Sept 30

Service Ratings are due no later than this Friday (September 30). 

The Rating Categories have not changed (Quality,Quantity, Dependability, Ability to Deal w/others, & Supervisory) .
The Evaluation Scoring has not changed (Excellent, Superior, Satisfactory, Fair, & Unsatisfactory).

However, the new Annual Rating actually comes in 2 parts now: the actual "Rating Form" (PER-127) and then a seperate "Comments Form" (PER-127A).

The 2 forms work like this: the Rating Form PER-127 must be signed after receipt and discussion with your supervisor/manager and will go into your personnel file...you must sign it, it doesn't matter if you agree with the rating, you are signing that you received it, not that you agree with it.   However, the Comments Form 127A is optional if you received a rating considered overall Good or better.  (Overall Good or better means no more than one category is rated as Fair AND there are no Unsatisfactory scores).  In this instance, if you do not want the comments attached to your Rating Form, then simply do not sign the Comments Form and they will not be included in your personnel file.  You may keep a copy of the Comments Form even if you do not sign the Comments Form. 

If you do sign the Comments Form, then you have 3 days to revoke your signature and have the Comments Form (PER-127A) removed from your personnel file.  If you receive a rating that is "Less than Good" (meaning multiple Fairs or a single Unsatisfactory) then the comments are required to remain with your Annual Rating.

There are some changes around "Less than Good" ratings.  There are 2 types of "Less than Good" ratings...an "Overall Fair" rating is when you receive 2 Fairs.  The first time this occurs it will not lead to the denial of a Step Increase (this is new this year).  The second type of "Less than Good" is an "Overall Unsatisfactory" rating which is comprised of either a single rating of Unsatisfactory in any category or 3 Fairs on the Service Rating.

A single Fair rating and every other combination of Excellent, Superior, and Satisfactory scores is considered an "Overall Good" rating and this year will lead to a Step Increase if you are not yet at top step.

If you receive an "Overall Less than Good" rating, then we strongly suggest you contact an A&R Steward and file a grievance (must be grieved within 30 days of receipt).  If the rating is not given to you by this Friday September 30 then it is considered late and can be removed.

A&R Holiday Party 2022 - Registration is Open!

Planning for the 2022 A&R Holiday Party is underway!  The party will be held on Friday December 2, 2022 at the Aquaturf in Plantsville (Southington)  (view the flyer). 

This will be an in-person event...for the first time since 2019!  This year's party will have all of the flair of our "old" parties: there will be games, raffles, contests, prizes, photobooth, music/dancing, drinks...and of course a great meal!

To register, you can either complete the flyer and mail a check to the A&R office (or personally drop off the registration form at our office at 805 Brook St, Rocky Hill)...or you can register and pay by credit card online by following this link.

Of course, it wouldn't be an A&R Holiday Party without our annual Toy Drive (food donations and cash donations are also welcome).  Anyone who donates an unwrapped toy, or food, or cash will receive an extra raffle ticket!

Either way, we have a limit of 1,000 guests so don't delay! (registration closes November 22).

Hope to see you there!

 

Labor 2 Labor Walks 2022

UPDATED SCHEDULE OF WALKS (as of October 1, 2022)

Labor 2 Labor walks are a "boots on the ground" door-knocking campaign to support candidates who pledge support to the labor movement.  These walks are only visits to fellow labor union members and they are geared to encourage/remind people to vote in the upcoming election (Tuesday Nov 8, 2022).

To participate in these "get out the vote" campaigns, all you need to do is show up at one of the designated locations and get your street assignment from there.  These walks are held every Saturday from now until election day.  If you have never done a Labor Walk, they sound more intimidating than they are, they are actually quite simple and fun to do (especially on a crisp fall morning).

A&R has also added a little "bonus" incentive to anyone who attends a Labor 2 Labor walk: any A&R member who participates gets a raffle ticket for each walk they attend; we will pick a winner in November for a $250 prize.  Also, anyone who attends three Labor 2 Labor walks will receive an A&R fleece jacket.

This year is especially big for A&R as AFT-CT President Jan Hochadel is running for State Senate in Meriden (A&R is an AFT-CT affiliate)...Jan's pursuit of a State Senate seat is a big deal for the labor movement as the State Senate is nearly split, so anything we can do to support Jan will be hugely beneficial to labor unions in this state.

The Labor 2 Labor walk schedule is attached here...just make sure you identify yourself as A&R (local 4200) when you arrive so we can credit you with a raffle ticket and/or an A&R fleece jacket.