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  • UPE

Probate Investigator Vacation

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

December 8, 2023-

UPE concluded a series of meetings with Court Management in an effort to improve access to vacation time for Probate Investigators.  Current policy only allows for one investigator off at a time, with the exception of the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, when two are allowed off.  This is simply not enough access to vacation for staff.   It becomes particularly difficult when a member requests 1 or 2 days off during a week and is denied because someone already has the whole week off.   It is also challenging to get time off during school breaks and the summer.

UPE proposed that the Court allow two people off at a time, but the Court dismissed this out of hand.  In response, the Court offered to incorporate a seniority round of vacation requests in addition to the normal 180-day requests.  UPE agreed to the use of 1 seniority round starting next year.  Workers will be allowed to request one block of up to 6 weeks of time off.  The Court will begin with the most senior investigator and proceed in order of seniority until every investigator has guaranteed vacation time off.  

While this proposal will help guarantee that everyone will get some time off in advance, it does not address the larger issue of needing more than one person off at a time.  UPE made two proposals to address this issue.  First, UPE proposed a ‘soft block’ for a second vacation slot, and the Court agreed.  Under this plan, after one person is guaranteed off, they will not be assigned work during their vacation.  A second person can also request the time off, but they will be ‘soft-blocked.’  This means work will only be assigned to them if all the other investigators are assigned up to 48 hours.  This will hopefully create more opportunities for two people to be off while still providing the court flexibility to cover the necessary workload. 

UPE also proposed that the Court allow two investigators off during the week of the 4th of July rather than the week of Thanksgiving.  Historically, the week of Thanksgiving has not been in demand to the degree of the 4th of July.  Guaranteeing two people off during this period will better meet the needs of the investigators.  

These changes resulted from multiple meetings with the Court during which UPE expressed members’ frustrations with working conditions and time off.  UPE is grateful for the support of its members during these ongoing meetings. 

UPE thanks Leava Ong, Lindsay Wainscott, and Robin Pearl for participating and advocating in these meetings.



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