Provides information regarding employee leave for union business
that was negotiated between the New York State and various unions
who represent our employees.
A. Employee Organizational Leave (EOL) for Internal Union
Through the collective negotiating process, the state has agreed
to make available to each union representing state employees, a
specified block of time for use by state employee union officials
to participate in the internal affairs of the union. This time is
typically used for such activities as attendance at board meetings,
committee meetings, and delegates’ meetings. Absences of
individual employees to participate in such activities, with the
time charged to the union’s block of employee organizational
leave (EOL) days, are subject to the following restrictions among
others (please see applicable contract language):
- There must be advance notice from the union to the state as to
the date of the meeting and the specific employees designated by
the union to use EOL.
- The individual employee must obtain the advance approval of the
supervisor to be absent on the specified day(s). Such approval may
be withheld where the absence of that specific employee, on that
specific day(s), would unduly interfere with business
B. EOL for Employee Representation
Through the collective bargaining process, the State has agreed
to make time available to state-employed union officials to
represent employees in a variety of situations, including contract
negotiations, labor/management meetings, and the investigation and
processing of grievances. Any absences for these purposes are also
subject to the advance approval of the employee’s supervisor.
Such approval may be withheld when the absence would unduly
interfere with business operations.
EOL for collective negotiations and for labor/management
meetings is also subject to the approval of the management
representative with whom the negotiations, meetings, etc. are being
held, i.e., Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER),
agency Employee Relations Office.
Facility-level EOL for grievance representation continues to be
subject to the limitations promulgated in OER Memorandum 74-3. Such
leave may be granted only to authorized designees of the employee
organization and may be used only for the specific purposes of
investigation and processing of grievances. Grievance
representatives as well as other designees of employee
organizations who may be entitled to use EOL for specific purposes
at specified times, are required to comply with the same attendance
requirements as all other employees. They are required to be at
their work stations performing their assigned work duties except
when they are using leave credits or are on EOL for a specified
purpose at a specified time with the advance approval of their
An approved union representative does have the right to EOL per
the applicable contract language; however, the union representative
is expected to fulfill his/her work obligations. Within that
context, it should be possible for both parties to agree upon
workable arrangements. The following guidelines should assist in
- There should be an agreed upon process by which the union
representative informs his/her supervisor in a timely fashion of
necessary appointments, meetings, etc. and the anticipated time
- Where possible, the union representative will arrange his/her
schedule to conform to the needs of the department. The arrangement
may include specific blocks of time.
- Whenever possible, union representatives should not be
conducting union business in a department or work area, or at a
time that would be disruptive to a department.
- Mutually agreed upon arrangements should be made for
telephone calls to employees who are being represented, preferably
during that employee’s break or lunch period.
- Emergency situations may occur, but should be infrequent.
- Time necessary for grievance investigations and hearings must
be provided. This activity should occur as explained above.
It is understood that flexibility may be requested (in the case of
- Professional employees, may have more scheduling flexibility
than a classified employee, but are expected to complete assigned
tasks, regardless of the time frame.
Director, Employee Relations
120 Crofts Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260