Updated COVID-19 Guidance

Admittedly, it is getting a bit confusing, but a new guidance is out...this guidance updates a few items related to leave time.  The gist is this:  if you have NOT taken the full 80hrs of LOPD (COVID related time), you can now access any of the time not taken for any of the acceptable reasons to utilize LOPD.  Further, you can access that time intermittently...this is a change b/c it was originally presented as a 14 day clock from the first day you accessed the time even if you didn't use it for 14 consecutive days; now it is an 80hr time "bank" that doesn't need to be taken in full

Meeting with the Governor

Quick update on the meeting with the Governor's staff.  It was as expected; the meeting was related to a request for contract adjustments to our July GWI.  The request however, went well beyond just a brief delay in the GWI...so it was a dud.  No further meetings scheduled, no counter-offer was made.  We will see if there is more, but right now, after 1 wage increase over 4 years in exchange for a $24billion savings deal for the State, this offer wasn't anything A&R was willing to entertain. 

Governor Wishes To Speak

It is expected that the Governor will announce that he wants to speak to the State Employee Unions.  The Governor's office has reached out to union leadership and requested a meeting within the next few days to discuss the fiscal impact of COVID-19.

A&R's 37th Annual Convention - photo album

A&R's 37th Annual Convention was held April 16th, 2020.  Despite the pandemic, great efforts were made to ensure our  organization continued its business and was ready to represent the interests of the membership.  Through extraordinary measures, social distancing was achieved while still allowing the democratic process to be maintained.  Members attending the convention never had to leave the relative safety of their cars, as measures were taken to allow them to electronically register for the convention upon arrival, and to remain in their cars for voting purposes.  A public address system was used to ensure anyone wishing to speak at the convention could be heard by all.

Thank you for all who were in attendance.  A&R leadership is committed to ensuring the best interests of the membership are served, especially during times of crisis such as the pandemic.

Access the photo album through this link



Test Run

To play the game:  follow this link to the registration page (this is so we can confirm that ONLY A&R members are eligible to win).  From the registration page you will need to select a "nickname"...this is VERY important that you remember your nickname when the game starts.

The Rules:

1) Register via the link above
2) From a "non-state" device, navigate to www.kahoot.it at 3:30 pm...(the game will be "locked" at 3:45 and the game will begin)
2)  Enter in the passcode listed on the Registration Page (from the link above)
3) Answer the 20 questions
HINT:  the questions are timed, so answering correctly quickly equals more points
4)  A&R will verify the top 3 winners are members and contact them for their prize
5) Enjoy and wait for the next competition to begin!

Quick Updates 4/22/2020

Masks:  the Governor has issued Executive Order 7BB, which orders that face-masks be worn whenever social-distancing can't be maintained in a public setting; that includes state office buildings.  Employees who report to an office can either make their own mask or receive one from their agency.  Each agency has a limited supply of masks available for distribution but they should be available to all employees who report to the office.  Masks are difficult to purchase due to the high demand (easier to get than Lysol wipes, but still very difficult to purchase).  So do your best to maintain your mask.  The fabricated masks purchased by the State for employees are intended to last a week.  It is also recommended that you attempt to make your own cloth mask as it is pretty simple; a home-made cloth mask should be washed daily.

Dental Care and Healthcare: As we reported last month, our annual Healthcare Open Enrollment has been delayed until September 2020 (normally it would occur in May). The transition from UnitedHealthcare to Anthem will also be delayed and will not occur on July 1, 2020 as originally scheduled.  Further, the "aging" out of 19 year-old dependents will not occur until December 31, 2020.   So if you have a 19year-old dependent on your dental plan, they will be covered through the end of the calendar year.

COVID-19 Guidance Letter:  This is the latest OPM/DAS guidance letter.  It is simply the original guidance letter which has been updated and the associated Q&A continues to grow, if you have questions about your situation, please read through this.

Power of Attorney Form:  This is not intended to be morbid, just as an FYI.  There is a POA form granting retirement decisions to a designee if you feel the need to do so.  If you are in a situation where it makes sense to complete this form, please read it carefully before signing.

Your Sanity Check: 

Today is Wednesday April 22 (we also like to refer to it as Blursday March 53rd).
It is the 113th day of the year and there are 253 days left
It is the 17th Wednesday out of 53 in 2020
Today is Earth Day, National Girl Scout Leaders Day, and (of course) National Jelly Bean Day
On this day in 1914 Babe Ruth pitched his first professional game with the (then minor league) Baltimore Orioles before being signed by the Red Sox later that same year.
1978, the Blues Brothers debuted on SNL
1994, former President Richard Nixon passed away