HGEA supports properly implemented telework for employees
April 15, 2021
Telework agreements are a bargainable issue and must be negotiated, not mandated by the legislature.
Since the onset of COVID-19, HGEA has strongly advocated for allowing public employees who are willing and able, the ability to telework to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and to provide workplace flexibility for employees who are having to balance work and family responsibilities during this pandemic. While we continue to support the concept of telework, we insist that since telework and alternative schedules significantly impact an employee's condition of employment, the terms must be negotiated and mutually agreed upon.
We stress that the provisions of any telework or alternative work week agreement including policies, guidelines, standards, and procedures, must be mutually agreed upon by the Employer and the Exclusive Representative.
HGEA continues to fight for your rights and benefits, including working conditions and work schedules.
During this year's legislative session, HGEA testified in support of properly implementing telework for state employees, stressing that the Legislature cannot mandate a bargainable issue. S.B. 830, would have allowed the Department of Human Resources Development to create a working group to establish policies and procedures for telework and alternative work schedules and S.C.R. 222, which urged the Legislative Reference Bureau to conduct a study on the best practices for telework and alternative work schedules were both deferred, essentially killing the legislation.
HGEA holds to our position that any changes to employees' wages, hours, and terms and conditions of work are constitutionally protected and must be negotiated and mutually agreed upon prior to implementation.
We recognize the willingness to improve working conditions for public employees and appreciate the intention of the proposed legislation, but we maintain that telework is a mandatory subject of negotiations and should be left between the Union and Employer.