Service Rating Time

September ushers in the beginning of Autumn, local harvest festivals, and our annual service ratings.  The annual service rating is important as it is connected to your Step increase in January.  An "overall good or better" will grant you the Step increase (no rating given will also grant the Step increase).  However, if you receive an "overall less than good" rating you can be denied your step increase ("less than good" = 1 Unsatisfactory mark or 2 Fair marks)

There are also a few procedures surrounding the service rating...of course this year may be a little different than in years past, so here a few things about conducting service ratings this year.

Our service ratings require that the immediate supervisor meet and discuss the rating with the employee.  Due to COVID/teleworking, reviews do not need to be done in person, we will accept a meeting conducted via Zoom/Teams.  If your supervisor wants to meet in person and you are hesitant or unable to do so, please feel free to request a Zoom/Teams conference. 

Also, our service ratings require that the employee signs the document acknowledging that they have seen the document and discussed it.  We will accept an email communication from the employee as acknowledgement of the requirements and the physical signature can be obtained at a later time.

It is still expected that the direct supervisor sign the document prior to review and that the appointing authority also signs the document in a timely manner.

If you receive 1 Unsatisfactory mark or 2 Fair marks, the rating should be contested so please contact a steward (or the A&R Office 860 953 1316 or the A&R Chief Steward Patrick Lamb plamb@andr.org).

Often times, employees are upset that, this year, they were not reviewed as being as stellar as in years past, yet all marks are above the line; in most cases, this is not contestable/greiveable, but you can talk to a steward about it, in some cases there is an unacceptable reason for the downgrade that goes beyond just the supervisors annual assessment.

Lastly, the Top Step Payment is not contingent upon the service rating.

Healthcare Open Enrollment

All members should be aware that our Healthcare Open Enrollment period is occurring now and will remain open through the month end of September.

This is your (only) opportunity to change your healthcare plan until July 2021 (with the exception of life changes like birth of a child, etc).   Also remember, if you were recently divorced or your kids "aged" out of the healthcare plan, make sure you remove them as dependents to your plan.

A&R Is Recruiting New Stewards

A&R has a couple of steward vacancies we are looking to fill and we need the next generation of union stewards to step forward.  Our primary coverage priorities are at: DAS, DRS, DDS, and DMV.  If you are an A&R member and interested in becoming a steward (especially at one of the listed agencies),  send a: (1) cover letter; (2) a résumé; and (3) the names and phone numbers of two A&R members in the applicant’s agency to serve as character references.

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.

 

Labor Day

This has certainly been an unusual year, but none-the-less, Monday is Labor Day already.  Created and maintained as a national holiday for over 120 years., Labor Day is exactly what it sounds like: it is a day set aside to honor and commemorate all that labor unions have contributed to the work environment.  All of the gains achieved through the labor movement have had a tremendous, positive, and noteable impact on the wages, hours, and working conditions of this country.   Enjoy your holiday, celebrate safely.  9/4/2020

Human Resource Centralization

We are not sure how each agency or our members will be impacted by this change, we just wanted to make everyone aware that this change has taken place.

Today marks the "go-live" day for the changes to Human Resources.  It was announced by Gov Lamont in July of 2019 and goes into effect today.   The Centralization plan separates Labor Relations issues from all other HR functions; Labor Relations issues will now be handled through the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) within OPM while all other HR roles will be handled under DAS (items like FMLA, retirement, job classes, job postings, exams, benefits, salaries, etc). 

There will still be "on-site" staffing at many agencies, just fewer.  Most HR staff will now conduct the business from a centralized location (Human Resources will be centralized at 450 Columbus with DAS, while OLR operates out of 450 Capital Ave).  For HR issues (non-Labor Relations issues), each agency has been designated a "pod" (they haven't come up with better names yet, so there is Pod1, Pod2, Pod3, etc).  As this is new, we are not clear when individuals should contact their on-site HR staff or reach out to their "POD".   There is a matrix that identifies which POD each agency is connected with.  view the pod matrix.  

-8/28/2020

 

 

Guidance on Schools, Power Outages, & Travel

3 Items of Popular Interest: How to handle Back-to-School, the power outage from Storm Isaias last week, and the guidelines for out of state travel:

Power Outages From Storm Isaias (August 7):
A new Override Reason Code (ORC) has been created for use when an employee who has been teleworking during the COVID period is unable to do so, because of power/connectivity issues at the telework site.  The employee is responsible for contacting the supervisor to determine if the standard workplace can accommodate the employee’s coming to work while the power/connectivity issues persist, in light of current COVID guidelines for facilities.  For any day that the workplace cannot accommodate the employee’s reporting to the regular state worksite, the employee will be allowed paid leave in accordance with CGS 5-248(a).  The new Override Reason Code is PCC19 and is effective dated July 31, 2020.  The new ORC should be used in conjunction the Time Reporting Code (TRC) LOPD.

Back-to-Schools (August 10):
As the 2020-2021 school year approaches, employees are being informed that school districts in which their children are enrolled are offering multiple options, including returning to full-time in-school, remote learning, or a hybrid of in-school and remote learning methods; many are allowing families to select the method of learning they prefer.  As employees seek to address specific family situations, they may come forward to request a variety of scheduling options, including extended telework. How do we handle these various circumstances?  

Consideration of telework or schedule modifications that coincide with the academic needs of the child are made at the agency level on a case-by-case basis.  Decisions should be based on the organizational needs of the agency/agency operations, the agency’s approved re-opening plan, and the ability of the employee to remain
productive, including the employee’s level designation.   Employees should be encouraged to make such special requests as soon as possible, so that management may respond timely.

Out of State Travel (August 12)
An employee has returned to Connecticut after spending more than 24 hours in a state that is on the list of affected states. While the employee is quarantining, that state is removed from the list. Must the employee complete the required quarantine period, or can they return to work as of the date that state is removed from the list?
 
The employee must complete the quarantine period. If the employee is able to work remotely, the employee should work remotely; if not, the employee must code the absence in accordance with this guidance.

On June 24, 2020 Governor Lamont announced a travel advisory that individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact with the identified state. Many employees will continue to telework, so for those employees, resuming work after travel to an identified state does not involve return to the workplace. However, for those employees who must return to the workplace following travel to an identified state, the agency and the employee must recognize that additional time away from work will be necessary due to this reason. If paid leave under 5-248(a) has not been exhausted, then the employee may utilize that entitlement. Otherwise, leave accruals will need to be used or the employee risks being placed on an unpaid leave of absence. See Guidance under Level B.

The CDC recommends all nonessential international travel should be avoided.  Employees who travel outside of the U.S. must self-monitor at home for 14 days following their return. Many employees will continue to telework, so for those employees, resuming work after travel does not involve return to the workplace. However, for those employees who must return to the workplace, the agency and the employee must recognize that additional time away from work will be necessary due to this reason. If paid leave under 5-248(a) has not been exhausted,
then the employee may utilize that entitlement. Otherwise, leave accruals will need to be used or the employee risks being placed on an unpaid leave of absence. See Guidance under Level B.