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Health and Dental Open Enrollment runs from May 3 to May 28, 2021...this is the only time during the year you can change your insurance plan (unless there is a life changing event).

Look over the options and the pricing and submit any changes to your agency HR/Payroll before the May 28 deadline.  Here is the link to the Open Enrollment information

There are some new pieces to the healthcare plan, including a new dental option and a new medical plan: Anthem Prime (this was actually introduced last year but many were not aware of it).  Both new plans are a little more affordable than the


HEP News: Complete the Diabetes Prevention Program & Earn $200

The Health Enhancement Program is sponsoring a diabetes prevention program.  Successful completion of the 12 month program can earn you a $200 reward.  Fellow union member Angie Russo (Department of Banking) can be seen in a brief video below describing the benefits of the program.

From the HEP program:

Did you know over 88 million Americans have prediabetes - and many don't even know it? The Digital Diabetes Prevention Program is being offered to state health plan members to help enact healthy habits and lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of diabetes. The program is run by the same group that administers the Health Enhancement Program (HEP).

This is a 12-month program focused on improving lifestyle behaviors to reduce diabetes risk. The program brings powerful education and motivating support right to your computer, smartphone or tablet. Successful completion of the program can now earn you a $200 reward!

To enroll, call the Health Enhancement Program
(HEP) at (877) 232-2674

We know the pandemic conditions are getting to all of us and we have not been able to provide trips for the first half of this year and we need a break from the malaise.  Therefore, A&R is going to hold some games for prizes over the next few Wednesdays!

These games will involve interaction with our Facebook page and can be found at: @AREmployeesUnion or  Please feel free to “like and follow” for more information on upcoming contests/results and union updates as well.

The first Facebook contest that we will be starting with is a Scavenger Hunt on


General Updates

Longevity: for those that qualify, Longevity payments were made in this week's paycheck.  The longevity chart can be found here.

Negotiations: Six sessions with the state have been held thus, with three more scheduled in May.  While negotiations are moving along at a relatively brisk pace, we are still in the initial stages of exchanging proposals.  As might be expected, the state's original position on wages is far from what we might consider acceptable to the membership (this is normal).  This should not be discouraging, as meaningful negotiations between the parties over wages have yet to occur.  Discussions over contract language have been productive, with both sides in general agreement that certain sections of the contract need revision.  Our contract, having been around for 40 years, is what can be described as "mature", meaning that we are essentially fine-tuning language to address issues that have arisen over the past few years.  Our main concerns still revolve around firmly implementing a proper Telework agreement, securing fair wage increases over the next contract, and addressing issues related to the anticipated retirement wave in 2022 and its impact on staffing.  As is often the case, the wage pattern ultimately offered to us will determine whether we can come to an agreement with the state.  It is much too early in the process, with meaningful negotiations over wages yet to occur, so we can only report that we are still hoping to reach an agreement but we do not have a time-table for that to occur.

Vaccinations:  No they are not required as a condition of employment.  If you do get a vaccination shot then you are eligible for 1hr of Comp Time for each shot you receive (you must validate that you received the shot to receive the Comp Time).  While you are NOT required to report your vaccination status, an hour of Comp Time is available for each shot administered, if you do.

Work From Home: the most important issue is the current Work From Home (WFH) directive.  Clearly, telework has been effective on a large scale.  Nonetheless, we all know that at some point, the Governor will lift his WFH directive to all agencies.  We do not have any insight as to when this will occur.  At the very least, we still have a "pre-pandemic" Interim Telework program in place that allows for 50% telework, we expect most people will opt to continue telework via this program when the time arrives. We understand the importance of Telework to the membership, it is one of our top priorities at the bargaining table.  Our goal is to maximize employee choice for telecommuting.


A&R held its Annual Convention on April 22nd.  We thank all of the members who were able to participate.  This was our union's 38th Annual Convention, maintaining a long standing tradition.  We are proud we were able to conduct the consitutionally required business of the union in a safe manner, despite the pandemic. While little business was before the Convention, plenty of comraderie could be found.  With only the Annual Budget up for consideration, the business portion of the meeting was brief. Treasurer Ally Sexton (Department of Transportation) presented the budget to the assembled


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.