On May 1st, 2023, representatives from UPE met with the Department of Finance over their plan to create an official telework policy for the Department. During the pandemic, the Department operated under an ad-hoc telework system. With the ‘official’ end of the public health emergency, the Department needs to develop a formal policy. The Department’s policy includes an extensive telework agreement and checklist that must be completed. UPE is concerned about the consequences for employees that complete the checklist inaccurately. It appears to be an attempt to shield the Department from liability if an employee gets hurt while teleworking. Additionally, the Department’s plan for telework is to assess workers on a case-by-case basis and develop criteria for evaluating each employee individually.
UPE is worried that this can lead to uneven standards between workers doing the same tasks. UPE requested extensive information about who teleworks, what the current arrangements are, and how the Department evaluates teleworkers.
Once the Department provides this information, the two sides will meet again.