386 W. Main Street, Suite 10
Northborough, MA 01532
Office Phone: (413)272-2459
frankfixer2011@gmail.com
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Welcome to AFSCME Local 1368

Welcome to the web site for AFSCME Local 1368, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Employees. Most of the content on this website is only visible once you are logged in, so please be sure to register here to receive our updates. Be sure to take some time and go through the entire site, as you will find a great amount of information. Be sure to send your comments and suggestions directly to me. Thank you.

In Solidarity,
Francisco Ojeda Jr., President

ASFCME 1368 News

  • Incentive few highlights of this historic agreement

    •The agreement includes a $5.00 or $10.00 hourly differential for employees working during the Crisis and will be effective Sunday April 12, 2020 through May 30, 2020.

    •The hourly differential paid is dependent on role and professional licensure and will be paid in addition to current differentials and included in overtime calculations.

    •The agreement also offers a $500 recognition bonus to those employees in the twenty-four seven operations (the Soldiers’ Homes, hospitals and group homes) who have not missed a shift or regular work day, from March 10, 2020, the date that Governor Baker declared a state of emergency, through April 12, 2020. 

    •This differential and bonus does not apply to employees who are able to telework from their homes.

    •Any extensions to this agreement will be revisited by May 30th.

  • Corona-virus Response Act / State creates sick time for core essential staff

    To all unit 2 employees can get paid sick leave if needed for specific reasons related to COVID-19: those who are not classified as “emergency responders” can apply for up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave under FFCRA and those who are “emergency responders” will be granted up to ten free additional sick days paid at their full salary rate.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a developing situation efforts to conform to The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, while continuing to provide its vital services to the Commonwealth, are evolving as well.  While more information will follow in the near future, we wanted to provide you with a few relevant pieces of information.

    The COVID-19 Flyer will provde the helpful information: 

  • COVID-19 concerns

    Hope to fine all safe and well during this time, please share and tell members sign up onto AFSMCE Council 93 Web-site for information able to write concerns and issue to the union. http://www.afscme93.org/ 

    See the attachments of helpful information.

    If the employee does not have sick time available, and is symptomatic of a COVID-19 like illness, said employee shall be advanced sick leave to cover up to ten days from the date the employee became ill.  Should an employee require more than ten days, additional sick time may be advanced subject to the approval of the Agency and the Chief Human Resources Officer.  Employees will not be required to use other accrued leave time prior to an advancement of sick time.  Employees who are advanced sick leave will have sick leave reduced as it is accrued each bi-weekly pay period until the advancement is paid back in full.  Should an employee leave the service of the Commonwealth prior to paying back the full advancement of sick leave, the employer may charge the balance owed against the employee’s vacation or compensatory time cash-out.  If an employee has exhausted his/her sick-in-family entitlement, he/she may borrow against their sick-in-family entitlement for the following year. 

    In the event that an employee is quarantined but is not symptomatic, the employer shall make arrangements for the employee to telework if that is a feasible alternative for the employee.  If teleworking is not possible for the employee and the employee does not have sick time available, the employee shall be advanced sick leave to cover up to ten days of the quarantine.  Should an employee require more than ten days, additional sick time may be advanced subject to the approval of the Agency and the Chief Human Resources Officer.

    Although sick time may not be used to avoid contracting an illness, the Employer may explore alternative arrangements for a concerned employee.  This is especially true for those employees who are at significant risk such as those with compromised immune systems.  For example, if reassignment or telework is a feasible alternative for an employee, the employer should consider granting such an arrangement.  The employer may also grant the use of vacation or personal time if it will not compromise operational needs. 

    In Solidarity

    Paul L. Faria

    Human Service Coordinator  

    AFSCME Council 93

    Phone: 774.202.8066

    Fax: 508.991.4266

  • AFSCME COVID-19 Safety inside Facility

    This sheet from AFSCME Safety specialist Keith Wrightson the focuses on correctional officers and staff inside a facility.

    Helpful information

  • Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

    AFSCME provided us with  information on what the CDC and other sources are mentioned for staffing during this COVID-19 pandemic, along with that we need to make sure that those members who are still coming into work are protected adequately. Often times employers deem respirators as the main source of protection but it is really a combination of infection prevention control and personal protective equipment that give an adequate level of protection to workers. I’ve added four documents, all have crucial of what to implement in a long term care setting during an infectious disease outbreak such as COVID-19.

     

    Staffing ( ON the novel-coronavirus-2019 checklist from the CDC)

    •           A contingency staffing plan has been developed that identifies the minimum staffing needs and prioritizes critical and non-essential services based on residents’ health status, functional limitations, disabilities, and essential facility operations. Exclude nonessential staff, students, and volunteers from working with cases until the situation is over. Nonessential staff are any staff who contribute to the care of residents, but that care is not medically required (such as activity coordinators). Facilities will need to determine who is essential for the care of residents.

    •           A person has been assigned responsibility for conducting a daily assessment of staffing status and needs during a COVID-19 outbreak.

    •           Legal counsel and state health department contacts have been consulted to determine the applicability of declaring a facility “staffing crisis” and appropriate emergency staffing alternatives, consistent with state law.

    •           The staffing plan includes strategies for collaborating with local and regional planning and response groups to address widespread healthcare staffing shortages during a crisis.

     

    MA Long-Term Care Staffing Ratios Legislation “Sufficient nursing personnel to meet resident nursing care needs based on acuity, resident assessments, care plans, census and other relevant factors as determined by the facility. (e) The facility shall provide additional nursing services, sufficient to meet the needs, in the event a resident has a minor illness and is not transferred to a higher level facility or unit.”

    https://www.mass.gov/regulations/105-CMR-15000-standards-for-long-term-c...

     

     

    attached OSHA guidance and for more information on CDC Long Term Care Recommendations:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/prevent-...

  • Establish a universal sick leave bank

    Hello Brothers and Sisters,

    During this difficult time,protecting our members at the worksite and in our communities.

    To ensure our state members have the sick time they need, State Representative Jim O'Day, D-West Boylston and Senator Paul Feeney D-Walpole are filing legislation to establish a universal sick leave bank that any state employee could access should they need to take sick time due to the COVID-19 virus. No donations necessary.

    Can you tell the legislature we need this passed NOW? Use the link to urge your State Rep. and State Senator to co-sponsor this legislation: https://tinyurl.com/wbzlw39

     

  • Military Leave

    As many of you know, there has been an issue for some time now with the law that governs paid time off for armed forces related leave and maintaining seniority and the accrual of paid sick, personal and vacation time during such leave. 

    The current law states that paid leave would be provided “not exceeding 34 days in any state fiscal year and not exceeding 17 days in any federal fiscal year.”

    The good news is you don’t have to spend any time trying to figure out what the above language means because we were able to fix it and expand the benefit. 

    As you may recall, attempts to correct this problem at the bargaining table and in the 2015-2016 legislative session were unsuccessful. So at the start of the current 2017-2018 session, Council 93 turned to a legislator who would understand the problem and appreciate the need to fix it. We approached State Rep. Hank Naughton, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and currently serves as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves. 

    Rep. Naughton filed legislation at our request and we are happy to report our bill was recently passed as part of a broader bill entitled: An Act Relative to Veterans’ Benefits, Rights, Appreciation, Validation and Enforcement. 

    The new law will be effective on November 8th, 2018.  It removes the confusing state/federal fiscal year language and expands the paid leave to 40 days annually. It also maintains the requirement that such employees shall “not lose any seniority or any accrued vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, compensation time or earned overtime.”

    We thank our members who brought this issue to our attention and we thank Rep. Naughton for working with us to clarify and expand this important benefit.

    In Solidarity,

    Mark Bernard

    Special Assistant to the Executive Director

    AFSCME Council 93

  • Youth Detention Workplace Violence

    Attached you will find a fact sheet on this subject we hope you can contract your steward to provide information with incidents of staff violence, local 1368 has incident reports to document issues and concerns. 

     There are links to OSHA guidance in the document, We hope you can share important experiences, especially regarding activities to meet the challenges presented by short-staffing and workplace violence....

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