OPEIU Local 453
Office & Professional Employees International Union
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  • New Earned Sick Time (EST) Policy - Effective January 1, 2018
    Posted On: Dec 10, 2017


    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

    contact with).

    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.

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