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Northborough, MA 01532
Office Phone: (413)272-2459
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Employer’s Re-enforcement of Requirement that Current Training Requirements Must be Met as a Condition of Active Employment

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

DYS received the Union President’s October 3, 2011 Demand to Bargain over the impact over what was, initially, the employer’s proposed change in the overtime policy.  The change would have resulted in those member’s whose training certifications had expired being unable to work overtime. 
The union's demand further requested that DYS cease implementation of the proposed policy until such bargaining can occur.   DYS had participated in meetings with the union on the overtime issue, and we had hoped for a fruitful exchange and an effective airing of the issues and drafting the proposal.  The union had an opportunity to raise its concerns and try to reach agreement with DYS.  The union’s identification of the issue of staff working without required training was very helpful. 
The Union raised the concerns that under the Employer’s proposal, staff would be allowed to work their regularly scheduled work week but not voluntary over time.  We stated that was unfair and would cause harm, causing the employer to force mandatory overtime, and this would create many more issues.
Not withstanding these lengthy and complex discussions, DYS was not willing to cease implementation efforts, and chose an effective date for implementation of June 17, 2013.  DYS did undertake extensive efforts to ensure that program managers work with their staff to ensure that all staff were trained and up to date with all subsequent required annual recertification training. Further, DYS heard the union’s concerns and worked on resolving any issues with the CPR eLearning and sent its staff a communication about this and possible solutions. AFSCME Local 1368 having articulated our concerns on the eLearning and training issues was very helpful.
DYS believes the steps it is taking will eliminate the need for impact bargaining this issue and will alleviate the union's objection to the language in the policy that no staff can work overtime who aren't fully trained.  If the union disagrees, however, DYS is willing to schedule another meeting to discuss this. DYS is committed to ensuring a fair overtime procedure for its entire direct care staff and to working with the union to resolve as many related issues as possible.
On a much broader issue, since the June roll out of the overtime policy staff were informed by managers that those who were not up to date on their training would not be allowed to work at all and would be sent home.  This, of course, raised grave concerns with the union. 
The union entered into discussion with DYS Central Office about the issues with such unfair treatment, noting particularly that staff were not informed by the department of such change in working conditions. The union requested the employer cease and desist from engaging in this change, limiting our members’ ability to work, until we could enter discussions on such.
On October 15, 2013 the Local 1368 President filed a Prohibited Practice charge with the Division of Labor Relations, the state agency that regulates the relationship between public employers and their unions.  The number one issue was the unilateral change in conditions of employment, resulting in our members who did not have current training certifications not being able to work at all.  Such a restriction is a mandatory subject of bargaining. 
On October 22, 2013 DYS and AFSCME Local 1368 executive Board held a labor management meeting at which the department agreed to hold off restricting employees who were non – compliant with their annual training review from working until such time that employees are given notice by the department.
Notice is forthcoming sometime in December 2013, advising employees that, prospectively, the requirement of completion of training will be necessary to work.
Foot note:
All trainings are full day training with paid time.  No employees will be required to use personal time. If travel to and from the training location