Telework Denial Form

Unfortunately we have run into a situation where an agency has ignored the Telework Agreement and the arbitration award which established the final agreement.  As such, many A&R employees are looking to file an appeal and some members are having trouble with the link to the "Telework Denial of Request Appeal Form" (especially at DOT where they released a very nice guidance book on Telework and then completely ignored the agreement [insert confused emoji face]).  As an FYI, as of Feb 20, 2022, A&R has transitioned over to the common SEBAC Telework Denial of Request Appeal Form and we prefer that everyone use this common intake form.

If however, you are having trouble loading the common SEBAC form, our prior A&R Telework Denial Form is still available and can be used.  This is JUST A BACKUP!  We really need everyone to use the common SEBAC form if possible, but if that fails for you, you can still use this link and your appeal will be received.

If you are denied your Telework Request and wish to file an appeal use only 1 of the 2 links below:

Primary and Preferred Denial Form

Secondary/Backup Denial Form only if the Primary Form does not "load" for you on your device.

-2/28/22

Update 2/24/22

MEMBERSHIPE CONTRACT VOTE ANTICIPATED
BE CERTAIN YOU CAN PARTICIPATE

Contract negotiations are nearly finalized.  A&R has reached tentative agreement with the state on a variety of contract language changes.  With no outstanding issues concerning our contract left to resolve, we expect that final talks over wages will occur in the coming week(s) at SEBAC.  Although nearly finalized, coalition bargaining will not continue until all issues are resolved at all bargaining tables.  We remain confident in the process and support those unions in our coalition still fighting for a fair contract at the table.  In the meantime, A&R is making preparations to hold a membership vote on the contract.  The vote will be held on line.  Voting credentials will be physically mailed to your home.

IMPORTANT!
All active members of the A&R union get to participate in the ratification vote.  We want to ensure all A&R members have the opportunity to vote on the contract so if you have not enrolled as an A&R member, please do so by using this link to our online registration.  We will be communicating with A&R members via this website, and via email blasts to your home email.  If in the past, you have not been receiving A&R e-blasts, it is for one of two reasons:

Prior to a membership vote, in addition to the e-blasts and web publications, we will hold several informational meetings via Zoom.  These Zoom meetings will be interactive, allowing members to ask questions of the leadership team.  As always, we are available by phone or email to respond to your questions.

Vaccine and Testing Mandate Ended

Although House Bill 5047 (which passed the CT House and Senate) extends Governor Lamont's Executive Order 13G (the Vaccination/Testing Mandate for State Employees), HB5047 excludes provisions concerning State Employees who are not in a state hospital setting...this appears to mean that the vaccination/testing mandate for the vast majority of A&R employees has expired as of today, February 15, 2022.

Be cautious with this, however. This does not necessarily mean that testing can't still be required.  The State, as our employer, still has the authority to re-introduce testing.  For now, the Executive Order has expired and it appears that weekly testing will most likely cease, but this has not been confirmed.

This brings us to a little reminder: in March 2021, the State announced they would award Comp Time to employees who showed proof of COVID vaccination.  Each employee who verified with their agency that they had received a COVID vaccination dose was awarded 1 hour of comp time for each dose received...this Comp Time expires after 1 year from the date it was credited to the employee.  If you received 1 or 2 hours of Comp Time as a result of this policy, please make sure you use that Comp Time within 1 year of it being credited or it will expire.  This time will not be compensable upon separation from the State; it is use or lose it. VaxCompTimeAgreement

Updated COVID Guidelines For State Employees

The latest set of COVID-19 guidelines for State Employees has been released and there are some noteable changes from prior guidance.  The key take-aways:

Testing:

The State will currently accept "home test" results to support quarantining and/or compliance with the Testing Mandate.  Those required to test should upload a picture of their test result to WellSpark.

Those who are under the Testing Mandate and Teleworking 100% do not have to test until their 100% Telework period ends.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic should immediately isolate for 5 days and may return to the office after 5 days but wear a mask and social distance for an additional 5 days.

Illness:

Those who are showing symptoms (even if not yet tested) should isolate and contact their agency about teleworking.  Those showing any symptoms of illness should get tested quickly.  For those who need to isolate due to symptoms or a positive test, the 80hrs of LOPD is still available (if you have utilized your 80hrs of LOPD, there may be an additional allotment of LOPD allowed under certain circumstances before utilizing your own accrued time)...but the default option is to telework if possible and to supplement that time with LOPD if necessary.  You can return to the worksite no sooner than 5 days from the start of symptoms but not until there are no signs of a fever for 24hrs.

Exposure:

If you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive but you have received your booster shot, you can still report to the office but should wear a mask for 10 days and social distance at all times.  Get tested 5 days after the exposure.

If unvaccinated or vaccinated but not boosted, you should quarantine out of the office for 5 days then you are able to return to the office (if asymptomatic) but continue to mask and social distance for an additional 5 days.  Get tested on day 5 from exposure.

The CDC continues to recommend vaccination/booster, wearing a mask in congregate/public areas, social distancing at all times, and washing/sanitizing hands.

Lastly, you may start to hear the different terms "isolate" and "quarantine"...in non-scientific language,  "isolate" refers to how a person with confirmed COVID should conduct themselves, while "quarantine" refers to the period of pre-cautionary separation prior to a confirmed result (either positive or negative).

View the guidance document released by DAS/OPM for more details.

-1/4/22

 

Telework Arbitration Decision (and short-term expansion)

TWO TELEWORK ITEMS:

(1) Telework Constraints Temporarily Relaxed

Josh Geballe, a.k.a Connecticut's Chief Operating Officer, has advised agencies to loosen up Telework constraints over the next couple of weeks.  This is for several reasons including that  testing requirements have been temporarily suspended and the COVID positivity rate is spiking. If you wish to expand your current telework schedule as a result, discuss this with your manager as directed by Josh Geballe, COO of CT.  His instructions to agencies reads as follows:

    • Consider situational telework.  Employees who wish to maximize their telework around the holidays should discuss with their managers, and managers are encouraged to accommodate such requests as much as possible.

(2) SEBAC Prevails in Telework Arbitration

In further Telework news, the arbitrator has ruled that the union's Last Best Offer governing telework caps was the most reasonable. As a result, employees may request any amount of Telework (consistent with job duties and operational needs).  The award provides that agencies can require one day of physical presence in the office per week.  An agency's determination that an employee must be in the office more than 1 day per week is subject to appeal...generally, this means that employee telework requests exceeding 80% telework can be denied without appeal. However, and more importantly, requests of 80% or less, if denied, can be pursued through the appeal process.

[We just received this Telework arbitration award and are still digesting it ourselves.  We know it is an important decision for our members so we wanted to let everyone know right away.  There will be more news on this as we implemented the agreement]

FULL AND FINAL TELEWORK AGREEMENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 2022

-12/27/21

Mandatory Testing Requirement Temporarily Suspended

COVID-19 Testing: The State has temporarily suspended the COVID-19 Testing Requirement for State Employees who have not been vaccinated.  This is due to the high volume of demand on testing infrastructure and the desire to prioritize resources for symptomatic individuals.   The testing requirements have been suspended from thru January 3rd and enforcement of the testing policy will resume on January 11th.  However, Agencies that are currently conducting on-site testing will continue to do so, but there will be no enforcement action taken for non-compliance during the suspension period.

PL Time: A final reminder that your 2021 Personal Leave time expires on December 31, it is "use it or lose it"...please ensure that you use your PL time before the end of the year or it will be forfeited.

-12/21/21