UPDATE: An email has been sent to OOD state employees indicating they would not be affected by a government shutdown since they already received their full Fiscal Year 2019 appropriation in Sept.
While it is yet unclear if a federal government shutdown will occur at the end of this week, it’s looking more and more likely that a short-term spending bill will keep the doors of government open until at least early February.
That’s good news for some state employees, as well, since employees in agencies like OOD, JFS and others that are funded by the federal government could be affected by a shutdown.
In case such a shutdown would occur, OCSEA has bargained contract language that gives some rights and relief to employees who could be furloughed in the event of a federal government closure.
While employees would go unpaid, the employer will temporarily pick up the employees’ share of health care and the dental and vision benefits under the Union Benefits Trust. Employees then must pay back their share of health care under a payment plan, not to exceed $50 per pay period. Employees will also continue to accrue leaves and earn seniority and service credits during a furlough. According to the contract, the employer also agrees not to contest an employee’s unemployment. Any decision to reimburse wages after a shutdown will be made by Congress, and distributed by the State. Please see Appendix T – Furlough under the state contract for all the details.