The County and Association agree that professional, productive, and positive labor relations can be accomplished when Association and County representatives work together to support the services we provide to the public. To support this philosophy, the parties have agreed to the provisions regarding attendance at meetings and handling of meetings. Paid release time is intended to support the collaboration and cooperative spirit of labor relations by ensuring that Association members have access to resources designed to help support their continued success as public employees and that Association leaders have an opportunity to work together to support the success of their members.
3.1 Release Time for Meet and Confer
County employees who are official representatives of the Association shall be given reasonable time off with pay, including reasonable travel time, to formally meet and confer or consult with management representatives on matters within the scope of representation; to be present at hearings where matters within the scope of representation are being considered; to testify or appear as the designated representative of the Association in settlement conferences, hearings, or other proceedings before PERB, in matters relating to an unfair practice charge; or to testify or appear as the designated representative of the Association in matters before the Civil Service Commission. The use of official time for this purpose shall be reasonable and shall not interfere with the performance of County services as determined by the County. Such representatives shall submit written requests for excused absences to Employee Relations at least two (2) working days prior to the meeting whenever possible. Except by agreement with Employee Relations, the number of employees excused for such purposes shall not exceed three (3) at any one time. Any denial of requested time off may be appealed to the Human Resources Director whose decision shall be final.
3.2 President Release Time
The County agrees to provide the Association President with sixty (60) hours of release time each pay period. The Association agrees that the start of the term of office for a newly elected President will coincide with the start of a County pay period.
During this County paid release time, the Association President shall engage only in the following activities: (1) preparing for and participating in meet and confer or consultation with representatives of the County or Sheriff’s Office on matters relating to employment conditions and employee relations, including wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment; (2) investigating or processing grievances or appeals; (3) conducting Association business; (4) participation in Association Board and general membership meetings; (5) attendance at Association related training, conferences and workshops. All approved release time will be coded appropriately on the employee’s timecard using pay code RTE.
While on release time, the President will utilize accrued leave in accordance with the terms of this agreement for any absences.
The Association President shall not participate in any other activity, including but not limited to political activity, during this County paid release time. Paid release time is not authorized to be used for political activity, any type of activity that is precluded by law or County policy as a conflict of interest, conducting membership drives, or soliciting membership from other County employees or applicants.
The Association President shall provide documentation to the Sheriff certifying that during each pay period, the Association President used the sixty (60) hours of County paid release time only for authorized purposes. The Association President shall provide this certification at the conclusion of each pay period. Use of the paid release time for unauthorized purposes may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
This agreement for sixty (60) hours of release time per pay period encompasses forty (40) hours per pay period of County-paid release time. In recognition of the Association’s responsibility for payment for the remaining twenty (20) hours per pay period of release time for the Association President, effective upon Board of Supervisors’ approval of the successor MOU in 2022, the February 12th (Lincoln’s Birthday) holiday will be converted to a floating holiday, and the floating holiday will be reduced from eight (8) to six (6) paid hours.
The Sheriff shall fix the release time and work schedule hours of the Association President in accordance with Section 7 of the MOU. Release time shall be scheduled during regular business hours unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. Unused release time hours are not transferable. Unused release time hours resulting from approved time off or lack of Association business cannot be banked for later use, nor shall it be cashable at separation.
If Association representation expands, this agreement does not create precedence or provide guarantee of the addition of release time hours for the Association President or the Association Board.
3.3 Association Board Release Time
The County shall provide an annual Association release time bank of two hundred and forty (240) hours for use by the Association Board. The Association Board members may use these hours to perform their Association functions, or attend seminars, meetings and conferences designated by the Association for the purpose of professional development, and/or leadership training. The released Board member(s) shall not participate in any other activity, including but not limited to political activity, during this release time. Paid release time is not authorized to be used for political activity, any type of activity that is precluded by law or County policy as a conflict of interest, conducting membership drives, or soliciting membership from other County employees or applicants.
The Association President or designee, shall request use of this time from the Sheriff’s Office and Employee Relations at least forty‐eight (48) hours in advance of the Board members who will be utilizing the release time. Release time may only be used by a sitting member of the Association Board. All approved release time will be coded appropriately on the employee’s timecard using pay code RTE.
Release time for the Board may only be used during the calendar year in which it is provided. Release time for the Board shall not roll over year to year, shall not accrue to any individual employee, nor be cashable at separation.