Monday, July 23, 2018

SB 1085 Expands “Release Time” To All Public Sector Employees

In February of 2018, State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced Senate Bill 1085. This much needed legislation ensures that public employees are able to take a leave of absence in order to represent their union without losing their job or benefits during time performing union duties.

Under current law, school and community college employee organizations are already granted this leave time. This leave, sometimes referred to as “release time,” permits employees to perform union duties without loss of pay or other benefits.  However, other public-sector unions—including local government employees and transit employees, must negotiate this type of leave with the employer. Unfortunately, some public employers are uncooperative and deny union representatives release time.

To fix this problem, SB 1085 extends the current law for school and community college employees to grant other public employees similar leave in order allow sufficient time off to participate in matters critical to their representation needs.