Policy Information

Date Established: 5/15/2002
Date Last Revised: 7/10/2009
Category:
Human Resources
Responsible Office:
Human Resources
Responsible Executive:
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Contents

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Employee Organizational Leave (EOL)

This policy is in effect even though it has not gone through the policy review process.

Summary

Provides information regarding employee leave for union business that was negotiated between the New York State and various unions who represent our employees.

Policy Statement

A. Employee Organizational Leave (EOL) for Internal Union Purposes

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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 operations.

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 supervisors.

Guidelines for Implementing Employee Organization Leave Policy

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 implementing EOL:

  • 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 frame.
  • 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 grievance hearings).
  • Professional employees, may have more scheduling flexibility than a classified employee, but are expected to complete assigned tasks, regardless of the time frame.

Contact Information

Jeffrey Reed
Director, Employee Relations
Human Resources
120 Crofts Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
716-645-4463