PEF agreement saves vacation accruals for computer pros


By KARA E. SMITH

The so-called "year 2000 (Y2K) computer glitch" may cause problems for the state's computer system come January 1, 2000, but thanks to a new agreement, it won't wreak havoc with the vacation accruals of the many PEF members who are working overtime to stave off a millennium meltdown.

PEF has negotiated an agreement with the Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER) that allows PEF members working on Y2K compliance to carry up to 50 extra days of vacation accruals.

Heading off the millennium bug
Since the state ordinarily prohibits its employees carrying more than 40 days of vacation time from one fiscal year to the next, many members who had banked a lot of vacation hours but who have to put off vacationing to meet the millennium deadline, stood to lose chunks of their accrued time.

"This agreement acknowledges that due to the Y2K deadline, many members may choose or need to put off vacationing at this time," said PEF Associate Counsel Elizabeth Hough who negotiated the agreement.
"However, we want to stress that the agreement does not mean that we have given up our rights to grieve vacation denials in appropriate cases," she added.

There is a way
The PEF-GOER agreement creates a "special vacation" category for storing vacation accruals in excess of the 40-day state max.
Employees can accrue up to 50 additional days of vacation time under the special-vacation category, while still retaining their regular vacation accruals.

The agreement, which took affect April 1, allows the affected employees to accrue up to a total of 90 vacation days - 40 days of regular, plus 50 days of special vacation time.
Affected members will be able to carry the special vacation credits until April 1, 2002.

They will be back to living with the 40-day vacation cap after April 1, 2001.
"We're really pleased that for once the state stepped up and decided to do the right thing from the start," Hough said.

"These members are putting in a lot of hours to make the state's system Y2K-compliant. It's good to see the state acknowledge their efforts."

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