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 to meet and confer or consult with management representatives or to be present at hearings where matters within the scope of representation are being considered. 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. 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.
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. 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, four (4) hours of paid release time each pay period under the LEU “me-too” language under the same terms of usage as identified above, and 16 hours paid for by Association members. In recognition of receiving release time for the Association President and Association Board (described below), employees enrolled in Tier 2 sick leave conversion shall pay a cost share of .3% for a period of six years as specified in Section 21.3 in lieu of elimination of the cost share; and employees in pension tiers 1, 2, and 4 shall receive a reduced salary offset for payment of 50% cost of retirement COLA.
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. 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. 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.
3.4 Dues Deduction for Members
As soon as administratively possible, the County shall create up to five (5) additional dues deduction lines for members and Associate members of the Association who shall be allowed to have their dues deducted post tax from their paychecks. The amount of the deduction shall be determined by the Association, employees shall then authorize the county to deduct the stated amount.