A&R is aware that some agencies are notifying employees that "your union" will reimburse you for In-Service training...that is incorrect! In-service training is covered by the agency. The costs of in service training are covered by the employer because in-service training is training the employer has determined is necessary for your job. The A&R Professional Development Fund is not utilized to support in-service training (and there is nowhere near the amount of funding available needed to cover the costs of in-service training for our 3,000 members). If you are signing up for In-Service training offered by your agency, your agency must approve and is expected to cover the costs. Any agency that claims professional development funds are meant to cover the cost of in service training is expected to make a correction.
Please know that A&R's position on this has not changed. The only thing that has changed is that we are finding that some agencies are trying to steal monies meant for your professional development (a contract provision that benefits you) and redirecting those monies to cover agency business expenses associated with training. Professional development was never intended for that purpose. Professional development (funds and leave time) provides contract benefits where employees get to choose relevant training. In service training is distinct and separate from Professional Development.
In contrast, in service training refers to a class or program that management requires you to attend. In service training is training you attend at management’s direction. You have little or no choice in the matter. That is why it is handled as a business expense. Business expenses are paid by management. Professional development funds are not earmarked for this purpose. Professional development funds are monies the state has set aside for union members to attend seminars or courses to enhance their professional development. If the agency requires you to attend an in service seminar, and they won’t pay for it, yet they inappropriately take the professional development funds to cover their business expense, in essence they are stealing from you. They are depriving you of the opportunity to avail yourself of professional development funds (and leave time) to attend relevant training of your choice. Instead, they are using those funds inappropriately to cover the costs of in agency training.