URI Professional Technical and Administrative Association (PTAA)

organized for social and economic justice in the workplace

FAQs

1)What do I do if I feel I have been discriminated against, intimidated, coerced, harassed or mistreated at the workplace?
The best practice would be to inform your union of the situation before you take any action yourself. Please contact your Local Steward who will forward your information to the President and/or the Vice President; they will inform you of the best action to take or become active on your account.
Contact your Union Representative

2) How much time can I devote to union matters during business hours?
3.1 Designated Union members and/or officers shall be granted reasonable time with pay during working hours to investigate and seek to settle grievances and to participate in hearings and meetings with the Administration or Labor Relations Board on contract negotiations and contract administration. Such time shall be with the approval of the appropriate supervisor involved, and such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.

3) Is there a limit to the pay I can receive because of filling a vacant position or upgrading to a higher classification within the university?
7.5 In the event a member of the bargaining unit is selected to fill a vacant position of a higher pay grade, as the result of a competitive search approved by the Affirmative Action Office, the starting salary shall be determined by the Vice President/Provost, subject to the approval by the President. In no event will the salary increase be less than 5% above his/her current base rate or exceed the maximum of the higher pay grade.
7.6 In the event a position is upgraded to a higher classification within the bargaining unit through the Personnel Review Committee, the employee shall receive the base rate of the higher classification, or 10% above his/her base rate whichever is greater. In no event will the salary amount exceed the maximum of the higher pay grade.

4) What should I receive as pay if I fill a higher classification position on an interim basis?
8.1 In the event an employee is required to fill a position in a higher classification on an interim basis, said employee shall receive the base rate of said different classification, or 10% above his current rate, whichever is greater, while serving in said position if the interim period extends beyond thirty (30) working days. The additional compensation shall be retroactive to the day the employee began filling the position in the higher classification. This article shall not apply to vacation replacements.
8.2 Upon the employee’s return to the position held prior to the interim assignment, salary currently in effect for said employee position shall be resumed.

5) What are my rights if the Administration takes disciplinary action against me?
According to article IX disciplinary action may be imposed upon an employee only for just cause. Any disciplinary action imposed upon an employee may be remedied in a grievance through the regular grievance procedure as specified in Article XVII.

6) What information is kept in my personal file?
10.1-10.11 Personnel information, reports and evaluationsaccomplishments and professional performance documents, and memoranda.

7) What are the hours that I can be asked to work by administration?
To find out the hours you typically should be working you need to cross-reference your job title from Appendix B, to the hour’s column and the work week which are labeled accordingly, e.g. NSt35. From Article XI, Hours of Work, you may find the explanation for your type of work week.

8) What should I expect for working conditions? 
If you feel you that your working environment has become unsafe, please contact your union representative to discuss procedures to address your particular situation.
Contact your Union Representative

9) What are the fringe benefits for non-classified employees?
Please refer to the Human Resources Administration site athttp://web.uri.edu/hr/files/Nonclassified_benefit_breakdown.pdf
Specific details are available in Article XII of the PTAA contract 2007-2010

10) What are the provisions of the Group Life Insurance?
(A) Each new employee will be automatically covered unless such employee designates in writing that he desires not to be insured.
(B) Each covered employee will be provided with an amount of Group Life Insurance equal to the amount of his annual compensation taken to the next higher multiple of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars plus an equal amount of Group Accidental Death Insurance with dismemberment coverage.
(C) Each such amounts of insurance will be reduced by two percent (2%) thereof at the end of each calendar month following the date the employee attains the age of sixty-five (65) years until the amount of such insurance reaches twenty-five per cent of the coverage in force immediately prior to the employee’s sixty-fifth birthday.
(D) The cost to the employee of such insurance shall not exceed the rate of twenty-five cents ($0.25) bi-weekly for each one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) of his Group Life Insurance.
(E) Upon an Employee’s termination from State Service, the policy may be converted to an individual policy of Life Insurance at standard rates.

11) What percentage of the premium do I have to share to participate in Health Benefits?
Individual Coverage
For salary <$80,000 or >$80,000
FY 1/1/08 9.00% 11.00%
FY 7/1/08 11.00% 13.00%
FY 7/1/09 13.00% 15.00%

Family Coverage
For salary <$50,000 or <$80,000 or >$80,000
FY 1/1/08 6.00% 9.00% 11.00%
FY 7/1/08 8.00% 11.00% 13.00%
FY 7/1/09 10.00% 13.00% 15.00%

Effective July 1, 2008 there will be a ten percent (10%) cap on premium escalation. In the event of mid-contract changes in plan design, the parties agree to open the contract to negotiate the impact of those changes.

12) Am I eligible for Travel Reimbursement?
12.6 Travel Reimbursement – Reimbursement for travel expenses shall be made in accordance with regulations of the State of Rhode Island after approval has been granted by the appropriate Vice President or designee. Required use of a person’s vehicle in accordance with existing travel regulations shall be reimbursed at the prevailing state rate.

13) Am I or members of my family eligible for a tuition waiver?
12.7 Tuition Waiver – General fees or course charges for all full-time employees may be waived when they undertake a regular study program at the University. Spouses and children of full-time employees who are not full-time students may be registered, with the approval of the Registrar, for no more than three (3) courses up to and including 11 credits in any one semester for undergraduate work and no more than two courses up to and including 8 credits in any one semester for graduate work.
12.7.1 Spouses and children of full-time employees, enrolled full-time or part-time in the University, degree or non-degree candidates, shall pay all regular University fees except the General Fee. Children eligible are those who are unmarried and under age 21 at the time of original registration and who remain continuously registered.
12.7.2 General fees or course charges may be waived for all full-time employees, their spouses, and their children when they undertake a regular program of study at the undergraduate level at any post-secondary institution in the Board of Governors’ system other than the University.

14) What are the rules concerning seniority and layoffs?
Artile XIII, paragraphs 13.1 to 13.9 regulate state and department seniority and layoff. Please refer to the referenced paragraphs for further detail.

15) Can I be asked by a supervisor to work overtime?
An immediate supervisor maydirect or authorize overtime work according to rules and regulations as provided for in 14.11.1 – 14.1.8
Call-in timeas stipulated in 14.2 is reserved emergency work after a member has left her/his place of work. It is not to be unbderstood as On Call.
Ship’s Technicians have their own regulations for overtime occurrence and handling as laid out in 14.3.

16) What are the details concerning sick leave? 
15.1 Sick Leave – Sick leaves with pay shall be granted to employees covered by this Agreement. Sick leave with pay is hereby defined to mean a necessary absence from duty due to illness, injury or exposure to a contagious disease and may include absence due to illness or death in the immediate family of the employee or necessary attendance upon a member of the immediate family who is ill.
15.1.1 to 15.1.4 further details sick leave as available to PTAA and family members..

17) Are union members entitled to Parental or Family leave?
15.1.5 Parental Leave – PTAA members with one year or more of service shall be granted six (6) weeks of paid parental leave at the birth of a child or the placement of an adopted child under the age of twelve (12) years. PTAA members should provide at least one month’s notice prior to the start of the leave, whenever possible.

18) Borrowed and shared sick leave for Union member?
15.1.8 Borrowed Sick Leave – Employees shall be permitted to borrow two (2) weeks of sick leave against future accumulation in the next fiscal year, provided they have used all accrued vacation and sick leave and other accrued paid leave.
15.1.9 Shared Sick Leave – The Administration and the PTAA shall establish a Sick Leave Bank Committee, consisting of two members appointed by the PTAA and two members appointed by the Administration. Each member of the PTAA may contribute one (1) day per year of accumulated sick days to the Sick Leave Bank. To be eligible to receive sick days from the sick leave bank, a member must have exhausted all accumulated leave (sick, vacation and personal), must present medical documentation of a catastrophic illness or injury that is not work-related, and must have borrowed two weeks of sick leave in accordance with Article 15.1.8 of the collective bargaining agreement. A PTAA member meeting these criteria may request a specific number of days from the Sick Leave Bank Committee, based upon financial hardship and health prognosis. The Sick Leave Bank Committee shall decide the exact number of days a PTAA member may receive from the Sick Leave Bank up to a maximum of six (6) months or approval of disability.Decision of the Sick Leave Bank Committee shall be final and not subject to the grievance and arbitration provisions of the contract.

19) Can union members request a reduced workload or special time off? 
15.1.10 Reduced Workload – For reasons and period of time listed in Article 15.1.11, employees may request a reduced workload with a commensurate reduction in salary. If the workload is at least 20 hours, health benefits shall be continued at the employer’s expense, as provided in the contract.
15.2 Special Time Off – Whenever it appears desirable, in the best interest of the Board and its employees, to allow collective absence from duty, the executive officer may excuse employees at a stated time, provided that enough employees remain on duty to maintain contact with the public and carry on crucial work.
15.2.1 Employees who are required to work when other employees are so excused shall be paid their regular rate of pay and in addition shall be granted, at the discretion of the President, either compensatory time off or cash payment for this service at the rate of one and one-half times for each hour worked.

20) What are the provisions for leave if I am a member of the military?
15.3 Military Training Leave – Employees covered by this agreement who by reason of membership in the United States Military, Naval or Air Reserve or the Rhode Island National Guard or Naval Reserve, are required by the appropriate authorities to participate in training activities or in active duty as part of the state military force or special active duty as part of the federal military force, shall be granted military training leave with pay not to exceed fifteen (15) working days in any one calendar year.
15.3.1 Should the employee be required to participate in such training activities for a period greater than fifteen (15) working days, he shall be granted leave without pay for this period.
15.3.2 During the period of military training leave without pay, the employee shall accrue sick and vacation leave credits.
15.3.3 Such training activities as defined in this section shall not include weekly drill nights or similar drill period lasting less than one day or training periods voluntarily engaged by the employee beyond the training period required generally of the members of the respective armed service.

21) What are the provisions of bereavement leave? 
15.4 Bereavement Leave – Each employee shall be granted leave with full pay for four (4) days for a death in the immediate family. Immediate family shall is as defined in Article 15.1.4. One (1) day of bereavement leave will be allowed for the death of a brother-in-law or sister-in-law. Days needed beyond four may be taken from sick leave.

22) What are the provisions for jury duty or civic duty? 
15.5 Jury Duty – Every employee covered by this Agreement who is ordered by the appropriate authority to report for jury duty shall be granted a leave of absence from his regular duties during the actual period of such jury duty and shall receive for such period of jury duty his/her regular pay or his/her jury duty pay whichever is greater.

23) What are the provisions for leave without pay?
15.7 Leave Without Pay – It is agreed that, upon written application, an employee who has served his probationary period may be granted a leave without pay, not to exceed six (6) months, subject to renewal, for reason of personal illness, disability, or other purpose deemed proper and approved by the President or his/her designee.
Further detail in 15.7.1 to 15.7.3

24) What is the provision for Sabbatical Leave?
15.8 Sabbatical Leave – Employees in the bargaining unit shall be eligible for sabbatical leave which he may take with the approval of the President for the purpose of advanced study, independent research or pursuance of a higher academic degree at the completion of six (6) years of employment.
15.8.1 An employee on sabbatical leave shall receive for a period of one (1) year, half-pay, or for a period of six (6) months, full-pay, with the understanding that he return to his duties for at least one (1) year upon termination of the leave, unless by mutual agreement between the employee and the President, it is deemed inadvisable.
15.8.2 Upon his return from sabbatical leave, an employee’s salary shall be at the same pay rate the position would have if there had been no leave, and he shall be returned to the same level which he held at the time said leave commenced if it exists, or is not a substantially equivalent level. A sabbatical leave of absence may be extended without pay or increment for one (1) additional year.
15.8.3 As soon as decisions are made regarding sabbatical leaves the President or his/her designee shall furnish the Union with a list of those receiving sabbatical leave, and those denied sabbatical leave. For those whom replacement positions have been provided, notice to the Union will be given as soon as the decision has been made.

25) What are the provisions for vacation time?
15.12 Annual Vacation – The annual vacation for a full-time employee shall be fifteen (15) working days during the first three (3) years of employment, twenty-two (22) working days thereafter. Subject to R.I. General Laws, 36-6-18, employees with twenty (20) years state service will receive an additional five (5) days of vacation. Working days shall refer to five (5) seven-hour days or five (5) eight-hour days per week, Monday through Friday, and exclusive of scheduled holidays. Vacation time for employees who work less than full time, on a calendar year basis, shall be computed on a pro-rata basis.
Further detail can be found in 15.12.1 to 15.2.2

26) What are the provisions for personal time?

15.13 Personal Leave – Each full-time calendar year staff member shall be entitled to up to four (4) days leave of absence with pay each year for emergencies or to attend to personal matters and/or religious observance which cannot be reasonably attended to outside of the normal work day. This personal leave may be used for the one-half day before a day of religious observance, as well as time off for days of religious observance. Staff members shall not be required to give a reason as a condition of utilizing this personal leave, but prior approval must be obtained from the immediate supervisor to assure that the absence does not interfere with the proper conduct of the office. Personal leave credits cannot be carried over from calendar year to calendar year.
The following schedule shall apply for all new employees in their first year of employment for the distribution of personal leave:
Employees appointed between January 1 and April 30 shall be entitled to four (4) personal days as provided in this article. Employees appointed between May and August 31 shall be entitled to three (3) personal leave days as provided in this article. Employees appointed after September 1 shall be entitled to two (2) personal leave days as provided in this article.

27) What are the provisions for disability? 
15.14.1 Disabled Employees – The Administration and the Union shall adhere to Federal and State laws and regulations as they apply to treatment or accommodations for persons with disabilities.
15.14.2 If after a staff member has used all accrued sick, vacation, and personal leave and he/she is still unable to resume the essential functions of the position he/she shall apply for disability insurance (ERS or TIAA) as applicable, apply for a leave without pay or resign his/her position.

28) What if I wish to file a grievance with respect to an interpretation, application, or violation of any of the provisions of the contract?
The best practice with regard to a grievance is to contact your union representatives, at your earliest convenience, to discuss the practicality and options for the case.

29) Is there a remedy if I work out-of-position?
The process to remedy work out of classification is called reclassification and it is being explained in Article XX, Reclassification appeal process, 20.1 to 20.6
20.1 The purpose of this appeal process is to remedy inequities in the placement of positions in pay grades of members of the PTAA bargaining unit.
20.2 During the term of this agreement, any employee who claims that his/her job description has been changed, or that he/she has undertaken additional job responsibilities, or that his/her job situation is unique so as to constitute an inequity with respect to the member’s present grade classification shall have the right to appeal for a grade change as follows: see 20.3 a. to d. and 20.5 a. to e. and 20.6

30) Is the union able to strike or susceptible to lockouts?
21.1 The Union and its members will not cause, call or sanction any strike, work stoppage or slowdown, nor will the Board lockout its employees during the term of this agreement.
21.2 It is agreed that all provisions of this agreement are binding on each of the individuals covered by this contract.

31) What if I feel that the scope of my job has changed and I am responsible for more work?
Letter of Agreement on page 35 explains that “In such circumstances, an employee may initiate a review on the above with a 3-5% in-grade increase if the request is successful.

32) Recommendations for a Request for Salary review.
Check out the recommendations for a Request for Salary Review
Sample Cover Letter for a request for Salary review

33) What are the requirements for Retirement (Basic) 403b plan eligibility?
Any new employee who is eligible for benefits (>=20 hrs/week) can make voluntary contributions to a supplemental 403b (not the retirement/basic 403b); a certain minimum contribution is required; no age requirements, NO URI CONTRIBUTIONS.
When a new employee is hired who wishes to participate in the retirement 403b (also called the basic 403b) the following conditions must be met before he/she is eligible:
1. The new employee has an existing 403b retirement plan at the start of his employment at URI and both he and his former employer have paid into the plan; the employee can continue to contribute and receive URI contributions; no age requirements.
2. Or, the new employee is 30 or 30+ with 5 years experience ( excluding work performed as a student) at the beginning of his URI employment; this employee needs an acceptance letter for the 5 years experience from his department head in order to contribute and receive URI contributions immediately upon starting his employment at URI.
3. Or, the new employee undergoes a 2 year waiting period to participate in the retirement 403b with URI contributions; see following 2 conditions.
3a. If after the 2 year waiting period the employee is under 30 he must make a decision to make minimum contributions to the retirement 403b with URI contributions or wait until he turns 30 to participate.
3b. If after the 2 year waiting period the employee is 30 or 30+ it is mandatory for the employee to make minimum

34) What pay/times does a PTAA member receive for time worked on a holiday?
14.1.4 Whenever an employee is required to work on a holiday which falls on his regular scheduled work day, he shall be credited with the number of hours in his official work schedule for that day plus the number of hours actually worked at the rate of one and one-half times.
a. If a PTAA member falls under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act, see PTAA contract 14.1.3) and that member worked 7 hrs on Veteran’s Day (e.g.) that member receives 7 hrs of standard pay and 7*1.5=10.5 hrs of overtime pay. The entry on the time card reads 7H.
b. If a PTAA member does not fall under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) and that member worked 7 hrs on Veteran’s Day (e.g.) that member receives 7 hrs of standard pay and 7*1.5=10.5 hrs of comp time to be consumed within 30 days. The entry on the time card also reads 7H. At this time the comp time is not recorded by Payroll/HR but by the member and his/her manager.
URI Payroll can automatically distinguish between a member who does or does not fall under the FLSA.
The reference to what classifications fall under the FLSA can be found under 14.1.3.

 

 

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