Q: Why wasn’t vacation and sick leave counting towards the 480 for paid vacation accrual negotiated and improved?
A: Improving the 480 was definitely on the table. The JNC tried very hard to recapture vacation counting towards the 480 for purposes of vacation accrual in JCBA negotiations, but management was adamantly opposed. It was one of the very last items that the JNC very reluctantly took off the table at the end in order to reach a TA. That strategic decision was made only after considering all factors and in consultation with the MEC.
Although this does not fix the “hard 480” for vacation, the JNC was able to achieve tangential improvements to vacation:
- Elimination of the 1/12 reduction to vacation accrual when there is no paid time in a month (meaning no more ‘double jeopardy’ of the “hard 480” and the 1/12 reduction);
- Paid and unpaid vacation and Longevity PTO applies towards achieving the new Productivity Premium Program (PPP); and
- Paid and unpaid vacation and Longevity PTO entitlement can all be used for minimum coordination under §15.M.2 for purposes of retaining medical insurance at the active employee rates. This “vacation coordination bank” includes one’s full possible vacation entitlement per §23.B.1.c even if the 480 requirements are not achieved in the previous year.
Based on management’s approach to the 480 in JCBA negotiations, it seems extremely unlikely that management’s position on the 480 would change in regular Section 6 negotiations.