Professional Development Day May 28th / June 4th - Enroll Now

Article 31 of the A&R contract provides that employees may request Professional leave to attend seminars, classes, lectures, and workshops to which aid in the development of professional skills.  To accomodate the membership, and in accordance with that provision, A&R is hosting a Professional Development Day webinar.  The event will be held via zoom.  The webinar will consist of four separate workshops which wiill be held throughout the day.  All attendees will be assigned to each of these workshops:

  • Balancing Work and Life in a Virtual World
  • Building Your Emotional Intelligence
  • Resume Writing and Interviewing Skills That Work for You
  • Embracing Change

A&R has scheduled two dates for this event - Friday, May 28 and Friday June 4, 2021.  Members can attend this seminar only once, and on ONLY ONE of the days.  When registering online at the A&R webiste, you must select ONE and ONLY ONE of the days, May 28th, or June 4th.

Attendance to these webinars is limited to 150 persons per day.  We expect these events to be popular and we are registering members on a first-come first-served basis.  So if you want to attend, follow the link below to register now.

In order to attend you must do two things:

  1. Register for the Professional Development Day event here; and
  1. Submit a request to your supervisor requesting Professional Leave. The request MUST be in writing, and the request must be submitted to management no less than three weeks in advance of the event.  The cutoff dates to request Professional Leave to attend the event are therefore May 7th and May 14th.

HEP Requirements Reinstated for 2021

IMPORTANT: Preventive health requirements for the Health Enhancement Program (HEP) have been reinstated for 2021. Requirements had been suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve overall stress on the health care system. As doctors offices and health care facilities have re-opened with safety protocols and protections in place, it is critical that the life-saving preventive health measures of HEP continue as well.

Vaccinations and Comp Time

Most have seen the memo governing Comp Time for COVID vaccinatiion.

The gist is this:

If you get your vaccination during non-work hours or if you use accrued sick/vacation/PL time to go get vaccinated, you will be eligible for 1 hour of Comp Time for each shot you receive (coded as CVCCE) .  You will need to provide documentation that you received your vaccination to be eligible for the comp time (doctor's note or vaccination card will suffice as verification)

The Comp Time needs to be used within 12 months (Coded as CVCU).

A&R employees who work at UConn Health or for the BOR are eligible.  However, if your agency holds an on-site, employer-sponsored vaccination program, you are not eligible for the comp time. 

If you have special circumstances that don't fit neatly into the above (unpaid leave, worker's comp, etc), please see the State's Vaccination Q&A for some additional information.

No, the vaccine is not required.

Vaccine Comp Time Memo

Vaccine Comp Time Q&A

 

"Easing of COVID Restrictions"

Telecommuting, the Pandemic, and other such questions.

Clocks are changing this weekend, winter is slipping into Spring, vaccines are going into arms and COVID-19 restrictions are easing.  So it is reasonable that employees begin asking the questions about if or when state office buildings will start to open up full-time.  Honestly, we are not sure of that answer.  We do know that “easing restrictions” and “re-opening” are not the same thing.

We also know that telecommuting works!

Throughout the pandemic, the workforce has been operating under Governor Lamont’s emergency directives, which included more liberal telecommuting guidelines than the 2017 SEBAC telework agreement.  As statewide restrictions are lifted, it is likely that the workforce will be asked to be onsite at their agencies with greater frequency.  While terrible in every respect, the pandemic provided the opportunity to demonstrate that telecommuting works.  The A&R workforce has done just that – successfully carrying on the state’s business remotely over the past twelve months.

We have shown that telecommuting works! 

So at this point, telework will continue under the directive of Governor Lamont.  There have not been discussions on when or how or if this will change.  At the very least, we do expect that the Governor will grant us enough respect to hold those conversations with the unions and address the myriad of issues faced by the workforce if a return to the offices is under consideration (child care issues, health concerns, working conditions, the success and benefits of teleworking). 

We will remind the Governor that telecommuting works! 

As the world slowly returns to normal, we will do all that is necessary to ensure employee health and safety concerns are addressed.  We will also continue to push the point that telecommuting works, and that it should be maintained across the workforce wherever feasible.  At the very least, we still have an operable Teleworking Agreement with the State that allows telecommuting up to 2 days per week.  We expect that as the transition to normalcy progresses, how things are handled will vary from agency to agency.  While we expect a reasoned approach by the Governor’s Office and the Office of Labor Relations, we also expect that at various agencies such a reasoned approach will be ignored.  And of course we can predict how this will be handled by certain managers.  We will work through those situations as they arise.

 

A Few Upcoming Events That May Be Of Interest:

Saturday March 13, 9:30AM – Senator Steve Cassano will hold a Town Hall for A&R members to discuss the State Budget and other current  pending legislative issues.  If you would like to join this Zoom event, please follow this link  

https://zoom.us/j/96429809470

Meeting ID: 964 2980 9470

 

Monday March 15, 11AM – SEBAC will be hosting a Facebook Live event on the State’s “Re-investment Budget”.  If you would like to watch this press event live, follow this link  https://www.facebook.com/connecticutSEBAC/live/

               

Tuesday March 23, 6:00PM – SEBAC will be holding a seminar on the COVID Vaccine and Roll-Out.  If you would like to register to join this learning session:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScG59I9IdnwS9AlMV4jK1uoGs8j2Tt7Cf3Ekl5m3jzMDXibqQ/viewform

-posted 3/12/21
 

Good News

Let's start with the obvious good news...your 1/29/2021 paycheck should reflect either a "Step" increase or a Top Step Payment!  This will conclude any raises for our current contract which expires on 6/30/21.  We have begun negotiations for our successor agreement and we held 2 negotiation sessions with the State in January.  We will meet with the State again in mid-February.  So far, our discussions have been helpful but uneventful; we will keep you up to date but there really isn't anything to report at this time.

UPDATED WITH NEW DATE ADDED...Skiing and Tubing March 6 at Powder Ridge:  Yep, we are sick of being indoors too, so the A&R social committee has put together a combination Ski or Tubing outing at Powder Ridge...this isn't really an event, we are offering a reduced price for skiing/snowboarding and/or tubing at Powder Ridge.  If you sign up on-line through A&R (using this link), you will get $15 off an all day pass for skiing/snowboard or you can sign up for $15 off Snow Tubing.

Tubing for 11AM March 6 sold out quickly, so we have added tickets for 3PM on Friday March 5th

This is not a bus trip, nor is there a "check-in" at the mountain, this is simply: sign up through this link and the cost of a ticket will be reduced by $15/ticket. 

View the flyer for further details.

A&R Scholarship Application:  A&R will be awarding 16 scholarships again this year.  If you have a high school senior or a post-secondary student and are interested in submitting an application, follow the link below for the application and the guidelines.  The deadline for submittal is April 8th and winners will be selected just prior to the A&R Annual Convention which is on April 22nd.

Scholarship Application (MSWord version)

Scholarship Application (PDF version)

AFT and AFTCT Scholarship Information

Legislative Session:  the 2021 Legislative session has begun, we are monitoring the proposed bills and have already spoken against the DMV proposal to privitize its own agency SB261 (yes, the agency claims it was unintended but the language of the bill allowed for unfettered privitization; to be fair to DMV, the agency is willing to fix the language so we will see how they intend to do that and whether they intend to do that with involvment from labor).  Thus far, there are only a couple of bills remaining that A&R objects to and will be speaking against, however, we are thankful that it is only a couple of bills this year (we can't forget 2017 when we objected to 92 bill proposals).  If you see a bill that has "bad" language for A&R, please let us know.

-1/28/21

 

Updates

Vaccination Plans: It is expected that today (Friday 1/15/21), Governor Lamont will release the next phase of the statewide vaccination plan.  We have been advocating to vaccinate state employees as soon as possible since we are highly interactive with the public, but we won't know what the final determination is until later today (at best). 

Phase 1a included first responders, direct patient care employees, and long-term care residents/employees.  The 1a vaccinations are still taking place and phase 1b has also started, including individuals over age 75.  Click to see who is included in phase 1b.  If there is an announcement relating to a widespread vaccination of state employees, we will let you know.

Fleet Vehicles: The State has purchased and is installing GEOTAB tracking devices for all state fleet vehicles.  Be aware that these tracking devices report out far more than a GPS location.  These trackers are plugged into the car's on-board diagnostic system and will also be able to report driver behaviors such as vehicle speed, acceleration, hard braking, idling time, etc.  and all of this can be compiled into a driver score...basically it has the capability of becoming an electronic version of someone sitting next to you and rating you as you drive (kinda like your spouse).

Inauguration Day: there has been quite a number of inquiries regarding the reported threats to state buildings during the Presidential inauguration.  As such, state agencies are increasing security around buildings and many agencies are imposing "work-from-home" directives.  There is no statewide rule on this, but work-from-home seems to be the optimal way of addressing the security issue.  If you have not been told to work from home on 1/20/21 (if possible), feel free to ask your management staff if you can work from home that day.