Mental Health wins, brings back ETAs

Posted May 29, 2019 by

In a big win for the union, management and OCSEA leadership from the Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services recently inked a settlement that will ensure management uses Established Term Appointment types to fill temporary positions, instead of intermittents. The agreement means these temporary employees will receive step increases, prorated health benefits and personal leave.

The union filed a grievance against management nearly two years ago after management refused to abide by a settlement between the parties. The agency-specific contract language in question determines how temporary employees would be used. Nor could they get management to budge on the issue during contract negotiations.

A mediator recently sided with the union on the issue, which brought the parties back to the table. After prolonged negotiations, management agreed to use the temporary workforce as the union sought with some compromises.

In the terms of the settlement, ETAs will accrue 8 hours of personal leave a quarter, but will not accrue sick leave or vacation. Step increase calculations will include their time as an intermittent back to one year. ETAs will have access to a prorated health care benefit. The agency is expected to convert the current intermittents back to ETAs beginning July 1.

“This settlement is a big benefit for our members since they will have access to benefits and for the workforce overall since it forces the state to not rely on temps with no benefits. Management wasn’t following the contract, and the union held their feet to the fire. It’s a win-win,” said Jason Underhill, the Vice President of the MH/DD/OVH Assembly.