September 29, 2010

Important settlement on monthly leave accrual for DSHS members

The Federation has won an important grievance settlement affecting monthly leave accrual rates for DSHS members. 

The contract says an employee will earn leave each month after working 80 hours in a month. 

“However, HRMS would not post it until the 16th of the month and human resources/management were telling employees they could not use this accrued leave until HRMS has posted it,” said Federation Council Representative Phedra Quincey. “This posting sometimes occurred well after the employee worked 80 hours in the month, hence creating a violation of the contract by not allowing them to use the leave once they worked 80 hours.” 

After the Federation filed the grievance, management agreed that that glitch in the HRMS system can’t be used to justify violating the contract. 

In addition to reinstating leave to the employees involved in the grievance, DSHS issued the following memo to all human resource staff statewide: 

“Due to questions arising during grievances, we are reminding everyone of the following:
 “Article 11.3 of the Washington Federation of State Employees collective bargaining agreement provides that employees accrue vacation leave after 80 hours in pay status.  This means that the leave is available for the employee’s use after the 80th hour is completed, even if HRMS hasn’t computed the accruals and put them in the employee’s leave bucket.  An employee may use the leave in the same pay period in which it is earned.   Therefore, if an employee requests to take leave that does not appear in HRMS, care must be taken to evaluate whether the employee has met the 80-hour threshold.  If an employee has met the threshold, the accrual is available for their use.   In calculating the 80 hours, count all hours in pay status except overtime.  Holidays and other paid leave days count towards the 80 hours in a pay status.”

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