New Vested Sick on Your Paycheck

By Laura Kelly

Some of you may have noticed a positive change on your January 30, 2001 paycheck. General Order 01-A4 explains this change in detail and I encourage everyone to read it. Basically, if you were represented by Local 798 between July 1, 1993 and July 30, 1996 you were eligible to earn up to 29.25 vested sick days (equal to 351 hours if you’re in suppression). In addition, if you earned more than 106 sick days during that three-year time period, you were eligible to earn up to 24 unvested sick days (288 hours) as the maximum ceiling for sick leave accumulation was raised to 130 days.

So, for some of you, both your total sick leave balance and your vested balance may have increased. For others, just one balance may have increased. And, for those who used too much sick time during the three years, your balances did not change.

I am currently going to each battalion house on every watch to meet with people on an individual basis to discuss this three-year period. Many have questions as to why their balances did or did not increase, particularly those who don’t remember using sick time between 1993 and 1996. I am able to show how figures were calculated and I have everyone’s work history that shows sick days used during this period.

Based on questions that I have been asked by different people, here are a few important points to keep in mind about vested sick:

• Your vested sick balance is a part of your total sick balance. Do not add the two numbers together and think this is how much sick time you have on the books. For example, if your total balance shows 500 hours and your vested balance shows 100 hours, that means you have 400 unvested hours and 100 vested hours for a total of 500 hours.

• Vested sick is used last when you go off sick. Using the example above, this means if you are sick one watch your new total balance would be 476 hours and your vested would remain at 100 hours.

• If you want to be paid your vested sick when you retire, you need to keep your total balance at or above your vested balance. Again, using the above example, you would be in jeopardy of using your vested if your total balance dropped from 500 hours to 100 hours.

• If your current total sick balance shows more than 1272 hours (which equals 106 days), you are currently over the maximum. This means that you will not accrue any more sick hours until your balance drops below 1272 hours. For example, if your balance currently shows 1424 hours and you call in sick for one watch, your balance will drop to 1400 and you will not accrue additional sick time as you are still above the current maximum of 1272.

• Currently, there is no way to earn more vested sick.

If I don’t see you at your battalion house on my scheduled day, please note I will be holding additional meetings at the Division of Training in March (dates and times TBA – please ask your chief in March when a schedule will be available).

On a personal note, if anyone is interested in purchasing a 1985 Volkswagen Scirocco that’s in great shape, please get in touch with me. It’s a perfect get-around-town car! I’m also selling a 1994 Ford Ranger XLT (2.8L 4-cylinder) if you’re looking for a nice truck. I can be reached at 558-3414.


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