11.14.1 Union Business Release Time Bank
The Union is authorized a total of 100 hours of paid Union Business Release Time each Fiscal Year, starting with the Board of Supervisors’ approval of the 2019-2023 Memorandum of Understanding between the parties. Additionally, on July 1, 2021 and also on July 1, 2022, the Union will be authorized an additional 25 hours of paid Union Business Release Time, resulting in a total of 125 hours of paid Union Business Release Time for Fiscal Year 2021/22 (July 2021 to June 2022) and Fiscal Year 2022/23 (July 2022 to June 2023).
Upon request from the Union Business Agent or designee, the County agrees to authorize stewards and other member(s) of the Union release time to attend to Union business related to County of Sonoma. In all cases use of Union Business Release Time will not unreasonably interfere with the Department’s operations and the Union member(s) shall secure permission from their supervisor before leaving their work assignment. The Union’s request for Union Business Release Time shall not be made capriciously or arbitrarily, and time demands on any one employee shall be within reasonable limits and with the approval of the designated supervisory representative.
Effective July 1, 2019, after one year of service, a represented employee in the bargaining unit may contribute up to twenty-two (22) hours per year of accrued compensatory time off or vacation hours. A contributor must have 80 hours vacation balance after contribution. There is no compensatory time off minimum balance. Represented employees may donate up to a total of one hundred twenty-five (125) hours of accrued vacation and/or compensatory-time-off- hours to the union release time bank each fiscal year. Donations must be made in minimum one (1) hour increments and shall be used before County- provided Union release time. Donations shall be irrevocable.
Starting on the date when the Union notifies the County of its intent to re-open the MOU, the County shall allow the Bargaining Team three (3) four-hour blocks of paid release time to prepare for negotiations.
The Union shall normally request Union Business Release Time four (4) business days in advance of the release date. The Union and the County agree that issues will come up where four (4) business days advance notification is not possible. The Union will make every effort to notify the County as soon as possible and consider department operations when designating employees for Union Business Release Time in these situations. For any requests for Union Business Release Time, the Union shall specify in the request whether the time to be used will be paid time (which shall be subtracted from the Union Business Release Time Bank) or unpaid time.
11.14.3 Unpaid Release Time
Unpaid release time requested by the Union may be taken as paid time if the employee uses accrued vacation or compensatory time off.
11.14.4 Travel Time
Travel time related to Union business shall be handled in one of the following ways:
- The Union shall request the travel time as Union Business Release Time and such time shall be subtracted from the Union Business Release Time Bank,
- The employee shall use accrued vacation or compensatory time to cover the travel time, subject to advance approval of the employee’s supervisor, or
- The employee may take unpaid time off, subject to advance approval of the employee’s supervisor.
The Union shall provide a monthly reporting to the Employee Relations Manager with the names and hours used by Union member(s) during County work hours.
When paid release time for Union Business will result in overtime to backfill the position, the County will charge the Union Business Release Time Bank at the overtime rate. The County shall communicate to the Union the identity and number of hours worked by the replacement employee.
11.14.6 Carry Over Hours
Up to 50 hours of unused Union release time may carryover at the end of the fiscal year. Total available hours in any fiscal year shall not exceed two hundred (200) hours.
11.14.7 Union Business
Union Business Time for employees shall be provided as specified in this Memorandum of Understanding and as required by law. The table below is provided as a guide only.
The Union shall defend, indemnify, hold harmless, release and save the County, its agents and employees, from and against any and all claims, demands, suits, orders, judgments, expenses or other forms of liability arising out of or in connection with this Article and/or any action taken by the County and/or the Union under this Article 11.30, including, but not limited to, Union members taking paid release time to attend to Union business. This indemnification clause shall be in addition to any other remedy available to the County under this contract or provision of the law.
Back to top