DO YOUR MEMBERS A “LEAVE” FAVOR
Decades ago the federal employee leave rules were simple. If you want a vacation take annual. If you are ill, take sick leave. If you are out of annual or sick, ask for LWOP. And if you do not want to come in on time, the agency will gift you with some AWOL. But thanks to a more sensitive culture and a few flexibilities, there are now leave rules for adopting a child, caring for an injured veteran, caring for a newborn, mourning a family member, and tending to your mom’s broken hip–not to mention leave transfers, banks, and set-aside accounts. Most federal employees move through their careers with only a superficial understanding of all the rules, but wouldn’t it be great if there was some thing or place that would help them easily understand all the leave options they have. Well, there is.
In April 2015, OPM issued the, “Handbook on Leave, Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption and Foster Care.” It turned out to be a great guide to the now very complicated world of federal employee leave rules. We recommend that union leaders let their members know about this resource. Circulate the link. One of the best favors a union can do for its members is make them aware of their rights. If one of your stewards has the time and wants to be the local’s leave expert have him/her draw some situations from the Handbook and circulate one to members each week for a couple of months to let them test their knowledge of the rules.