FROM: 453 Executive Board
TO: Local 453 Members
DATE: December 7, 2017
SUBJECT: New Earned Sick Time (EST) Policy - Effective January 1, 2018
This memorandum is in response to General Manager Ramirez’s implementation of a new EST
Policy for the MBTA that goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
Hopefully it will answer most of your questions and concerns about the new policy.
The good news is our Union’s attorney has reviewed the policy and for the existing Local 453
members there are no adverse consequences regarding sick time, and in fact our Collective
Bargaining Agreement (CBA) supersedes any new policy. The attorney said, “I don’t see anything
to cause concern because in some places, the CBA is better and in some places, the new policy
may provide some additional protections.”
He goes on to say, “In short, the new EST policy was clearly developed so that the MBTA complied
with the provisions of the amendments to MGL c. 149, 148C and the regulations adopted for
compliance. Those amendments provided protections to all workers in Massachusetts and provided
paid sick leave and sick leave protections for those workers who may not have a CBA for
protection. The new amendments provide for a floor, not a ceiling. Where a CBA provides for
greater benefits, the CBA prevails.”
The Local 453 CBA provides for the use of ten (10) sick days for family-related illness or injury
while the amendments provide for five (5) days. The CBA prevails in this instance. The Local 453
Contract also provides for SLP days and to the extent the amendments provide greater protection
for use of EST days, the amendments will prevail. The same goes for medical notification.
Q & A
1. Question – Does this affect Local 453 members from being able to carry over more than
forty (40) earned sick days, and for those who have already accumulated a large number
of sick days – do they have to forfeit them?
Answer - The terms and conditions of the accrual and carry-over of the sick leave
provisions of Article VIII (E) (1)(b) cannot be changed by the issuance of a new MBTA
policy. Our current Contract provides for the accumulation of 1 and 1/4 sick days per
month for an annual accrual of fifteen (15) days. The Contract also provides for
unlimited accumulation of unused sick leave. As with any MBTA issued policy, the terms
and conditions of the CBA prevail over any conflicting policies regarding working
conditions that might be contained in a new policy.
2. Question - At retirement time, for those valuable sick days that were accumulated, can
the pre-determined amount we are allowed under either our Contract or the Pension
Contract still count toward our Pension?
Answer - Relative to the Pension "cash-out" of sick time for creditable service time at
retirement, this is likely a factor of the Pension Agreement and should not be affected by
this newly issued policy. The Pension Agreement also expires June 30, 2018 and only 589
can speak to what will come of those negotiations (of which the 453 Executive Board is in
3. Question - What about the new people who have just started and may not be past their
120 days probationary period – what happens to them?
Answer - Again, the CBA is what controls the terms and conditions of our members.
Newly hired employees have all the rights and benefits of the CBA with the
exception of the right to challenge discharge for just cause until they reach 120 days and
get past their probationary period.
4. Question – The new policy states we do not earn sick time during vacation time.
Answer - The CBA expressly provides that employees using paid leave continue to
accrue sick leave.
5. Question - Our CBA is expiring 6/30/18 – what happens next?
Answer - The Contract stays in full force and effect past its expiration date during the
period of successor negotiations. This is spelled out in Article II of the CBA which
contains the “new” Evergreen Clause that we fought for so hard for two negotiations
Please feel free to contact any Executive Board member (see 453 website for contact
information) if you have additional questions.