Given the budget shortfall we are proud that we protected our wages from any cuts.
- All workers will receive a 15-cent increase on April 1, 2018. This will raise our base rate to $14.65/hr, one of the highest in the nation.
- Protected workers who are grandfathered in at 50 hrs/week from being cut down to 40 hrs/week as proposed by the Legislature.
New 14-Day Pay Cycle
Beginning Sunday, October 1, 2017, our pay periods will change to every 14 days (two weeks). This 14-day pay period will match the new 14-day voucher cycle being implemented by DHS. Each workweek will begin on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. This will make it easier for you and your consumer-employers to create and follow a weekly schedule and track your time.
Why make this change so quickly? October 1st falls on a Sunday, which means that we will not experience any pay delay making this transition:
|Former pay cycle
|Former pay processing date
|New pay cycle
|New pay processing date
|Oct. 1st pay period
|Oct. 2nd pay period
Key benefits of moving to a 14-day pay cycle:
- Establishes a more consistent pay processing date (the day checks are mailed or direct deposits are sent to the bank). We will now have our paychecks consistently cut every other week.
- We will get paid more often—26 paychecks a year vs the current 24.
- The voucher submission deadline will continue to be three business days after the end of the pay period. We also won language that clarifies that we can submit our vouchers prior to the end of a pay period as long as we have completed all work shifts for the applicable Consumer. This will allow the Local Offices to start processing timesheets as soon as possible, allowing more time for any errors to be caught and fixed.
- The current system is confusing because the work week of Sunday-Saturday doesn’t match the monthly authorization of hours. This confusion is causing close to 3,000 of us to accidentally submit more hours than we were authorized for in the pay period. These voucher errors can lead to our provider numbers being terminated. This change should help correct this issue because now our new pay cycle, two work weeks of Sunday-Saturday, will exactly match the 14-day voucher period.
- Additionally, Consumers will no longer have to figure out how to make their hours stretch over months that are 28 vs 30 vs 31 days long. The State will be adjusting the monthly allotment of hours into a 14-day cycle. There will be no loss of hours over the course of a year due to this change. Your new hours will be determined by dividing your current authorized hours by the average number of days in a month (30.4 hours). This is then multiplied by 14 (the number of days in each pay period).
- To make sure no consumer loses any hours because of this change, the State will round up to the next whole hour. This means if your new hours equaled 36.4 (for example), they would be rounded up to 37, not rounded down to 36.
Here’s an example of how the current amount of monthly hours will be adjusted to fit into the 14 day cycle.
Consumer A: Currently authorized 80 hours a month (40 hours for 1/2 month)
80/30.41 = 2.63 hours a day
2.63 X 14 = 36.8, will round up to 37 hours.
Old system: 960 hours per year; New system: 962 hours per year
- Allows workers to establish more consistent schedules. For instance, a worker who normally works Mondays for a Consumer will no longer have to adjust their whole schedule when a month happens to have five Mondays.
- Workers can continue to submit their voucher every other pay cycle if they prefer.
- Knowing that any payroll change can be confusing, we secured daily out-of-cycle payments during the first two pay periods following the transition, then biweekly out-of-cycle payments during the third and fourth pay cycles following the transition.
Additional Payroll Improvements
- Agreement that workers will be notified if there is an error on their timesheet or voucher, and given an opportunity to fix it in order to get paid on time. This is a big win for our those of us who have had a pay delay due to a small error like circling AM instead of PM.
- We secured language that an out-of-cycle check will now be run within 24 hours of the late pay error being discovered. Right now if a worker submits their timesheet/voucher correctly but isn’t paid on time due to an error by the Local Office, they sometimes have to wait until the next pay period to get paid.
- Language that the state must pay any fees we incur (like overdraft fees) when we’re paid late through no fault of our own.
- Comprehensive language regarding what processes will be followed when any new system is implemented that impacts Workers’ pay, including daily out-of-cycle payments during the first two pay periods following any payroll transition, online and in-person trainings available in multiple languages, and the ability for Local offices to print and distribute any paperwork that workers are required to complete.
- If a Local Field Office is unexpectedly closed during any of the days Workers have to submit their timesheets/vouchers, the submission deadline will be extended proportionally to give Workers more time.
- Workers who provide urgent/emergency hours at the end of a pay period will have their regularly authorized hours paid on time. The additional hours they worked will be paid as soon as possible, but no later than the next pay period. This will ensure workers aren’t discouraged from claiming emergency hours for fear of it delaying their regular pay.
- We also won an letter of agreement that we will get to negotiate over additional improvements to the payroll timeline when the new online provider time capture system is rolled out for homecare workers in the Fall of 2018.
PDC .50c Training Differential Improvements
- Improvements that make the .50c Professional Development Certification (PDC) training differential more accessible to providers across geographic locations and language preferences, including:
- By April 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes online in English.
- By July 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer five hours of safety training and at least five hours of elective training online.
- By April 1, 2018 the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes and required safety courses in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, and Arabic, both in-person and online.
- Any materials required for the certification, like the application and competency assessments will be available in more than five languages.
Many of us have experienced delays getting our provider number credentials (e.g. background checks) renewed in time. This results in issues for both workers and our Consumers. We know that broader improvements are needed to the background check system. In the meantime, we agreed to the following changes in order to improve the process around timely credential renewal:
- We must submit any required credential renewal paperwork at least 70 days before the expiration date. This will allow plenty of time for our background checks— including fingerprints, if required—to be processed before the expiration date.
- The State will send out two reminders about our credential expiration dates at least 120 days and 90 days prior to the dates.
- We will now be able to view our individual credential expiration date on every Remittance Advice (paystub). Once our credentials have been successfully updated it will be updated immediately in the OHCC Registry.
- If we get our credential paperwork in on time, we can request an exception to continue working past our credential end date if our paperwork doesn’t get processed on time.
- A worker who continues to work without updated credentials (like an expired background check) may face discipline.
- Improvements to the grievance process we use when the contract has been violated.
- Established a consistent email address for all workers to direct issues or concerns that aren’t covered in our union contract.
- Processing a worker Professional Development Certification application can take no longer than 45 days by the OHCC. We previously had no timelines tied to this process.
- Clearer notification processes for workers to follow when they no longer plan to provide services for any future Consumers, including notifying the Local Office in writing so their final check can be processed during the next payroll processing cycle.
- Car Insurance Requirements: If a worker uses their personal vehicle to transport a Consumer during work time, they must notify their car insurance provider. This will help reduce the risk of personal liability for the worker if they are ever in an accident with their Consumer during work time.
- No later than July 1, 2018 DHS/OHA will develop consistent policies regarding: 1—The ability for Consumers to direct service hours to be used in conjunction with medical services (such as having a worker join them at a medical appointment); and 2—the process workers should follow to communicate a new or urgent Consumer service need.