What: This is about a Tentative Agreement covering all Multnomah County Local 88 Bargaining Units regarding a temporary extension of Expanded Family Medical Leave and Emergency Protected Sick Leave retro to May 1 through September 30, 2021. This Tentative Agreement will also modify certain terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreements regarding the use of banked leave during FMLA leave for COVID qualifying circumstances as well as the terms of the COVID-19 Memorandum of Agreement regarding administrative leave/telework after a COVID exposure.
When: This agreement is subject to ratification by a majority of voting members in each bargaining unit. Voting will occur via electronic ballot (“Election Buddy”) beginning Thursday, July 8 at 5:00PM through Thursday July 15 at 5:00PM.
COVID Leaves Benefit Tentative Agreement and Membership Ratification
We have been in ongoing negotiations with the County since mid May about the extension of Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) and Emergency Protected Sick Leave (EPSL). These leaves are for COVID qualifying circumstances including caring for children because of a school or child care closure, recovering from COVID or a missing work for a COVID vaccination and recovery. At our June 16, 2021 membership meeting, we provided an update to members where things stood at that time.
Ultimately the County was unwilling to agree to basic changes that would be in the spirit of our contract and the law regarding supplementing your EFML with your own banked leave so that you could keep your income at 100%. We expressed to the County in late June in a final message conveying our counter proposal that “they entirely missed the core of our message that implementation of E-FMLA, in the way the County insists, creates a substantial disparity between lower paid employees and higher paid employees’ ability to access this leave. Further, it increases the inequitable impact of COVID on single parents, workers of color, and others that have historically not had the same access to economic resources and support.
We were successful in getting an agreement to make these benefits retroactive to May 1 so if you used your own banked leave for a reason that qualifies under EFML or ESPL, you may re-code your time entry to utilize those leave benefits. This “Tentative Agreement” modifies the terms of our contract around sick leave and other banked leave for this specific EFLML purpose. This agreement also protects an employee’s right to file claims with the Department of Labor to enforce their right to use sick and other banked leave with the ⅔ pay EFMLA benefit if they so choose. The draft of the tentative agreement is here for your review. This agreement also modifies the terms of our COVID-19 MOA removing the language enabling employees exposed to COVID to telework or take administrative leave if telework was not available for up to 10 days and instead allows them to take EPSL for qualifying circumstances. If the County directs an employee not to report to work for a reason not covered by EPSL, the County is required to pay for the employee’s cancelled hours.
Qualifying Circumstance for EPSL and EFML:
The employee is obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine
The employee is recovering from an illness, injury or condition related to the COVID-19 vaccine
The employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19 if the employee has been exposed, or the employee’s employer has requested such test or diagnosis
The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19
The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or is unavailable due to COVID-19
The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretaries of Treasury and Labor