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Article Seven — Hours of Work

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7.1 Benefit Fund.

The Employees covered by this Agreement, as provided herein, are participants in and covered by the Health Care Chapter United Federation of Teachers Benefit Fund (“Fund”).  The Employer shall pay monthly contributions to the Fund at the following annualized rates (or pro rata portion) for each Regular Full-Time Registered Nurse. 

The Employer will make contributions on behalf of new Registered Nurses hired prior to the fifteenth (15th) day of a month on the first (1st) day of the following month and will make contributions on behalf of new Registered Nurses hired on or after the fifteenth day of the month on the first (1st) day of the second (2nd) month. For Registered Nurses hired on or after April 1, 2016, the Employer will make contributions on behalf of new Registered Nurses hired prior to the fifteenth (15th) day of a month on the first (1st) day of the second (2nd) month and will make contributions on behalf of new Registered Nurses hired on or after the fifteenth (15th) day of the month on the first (1st) day of the third (3rd) month.

The Employer Contribution Rate effective January 1, 2016 shall be $18,750.00 per year.  The Employer Contribution Rate will be increased effective January 1, 2017 to the lesser of (i) $20,062.50, or (ii) the amount necessary to cover the actual cost of Fund benefits then in effect, as actuarially certified by the Fund Actuaries as of such date.

For mail order of maintenance drugs, an Employee may order a 60‑day supply with only one co-payment.

During the term of this Agreement, Regular Full-Time Registered Nurses and Regular Part-Time Nurses, but not Per Diem Nurses (“Eligible Employees”), may voluntarily opt out of coverage by the UFT Health Care Chapter Fund once a year, during the month of open enrollment, or upon hire, for new nurses.  Regular Full-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of coverage shall receive an annual payment of $1,500 to be paid six (6) months following the Regular Full-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage. Regular Part-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of coverage shall receive a pro-rata annual payment to be paid out six (6) months following the Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage.  Effective January 1, 2017, Regular Full-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of all coverage by the UFT Health Care Chapter Fund shall receive an annual payment of $2,000 to be paid six (6) months following the Regular Full-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage.  Effective January 1, 2017, Regular Full-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of medical coverage only shall receive an annual payment of $1,500 to be paid six (6) months following the Regular Full-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage.  The Employer shall make a contribution to cover the costs associated with the premiums for dental and life and AD&D insurance benefits.  Regular Part-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of coverage shall receive a pro-rata annual payment to be paid out six (6) months following the Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage. To be eligible for this benefit, Employees must demonstrate that they have generally comparable health insurance.  Employees opting out of coverage shall not be considered to have opted out in future years.  Each year, during open enrollment, an Eligible Employee who desires this benefit must affirmatively opt out and provide evidence of other generally comparable health insurance.  An Eligible Employee who fails to affirmatively opt out and provide evidence of other generally comparable health insurance shall be covered by the Fund. 

An Eligible Employee who has opted out of coverage may enroll in the Fund during the Plan year if the Employee loses the other health insurance coverage for any reason except failure to pay premiums or voluntary withdrawal from the other coverage for which the Employee is still eligible.  Upon enrollment pursuant to the prior sentence or upon termination of employment subsequent to the opt-out payment, the Eligible Employee will be obligated to reimburse the Employer with respect to the applicable opt-out payment on a pro-rata basis.  Upon enrollment pursuant to the first sentence in this paragraph or upon termination of Employment prior to the applicable opt-out payment, the Employer will be obligated to pay the Eligible Employee a pro-rata share of the applicable opt-out payment.

An Eligible Employee who has opted out of Fund coverage may enroll during the Plan year only if coverage is requested within thirty (30) days after the other coverage has terminated, unless an unforeseeable circumstance prevented the request for enrollment from being made within the thirty (30) day period.

No contributions will be made by the Employer to the Fund on behalf of employees who elect to opt out of coverage by the Fund except as described above with respect to the premiums for dental and life and AD&D insurance benefits.  The Employer will provide the Union with a list of employees who have elected to opt out of coverage by the Fund.  Upon enrollment to the Fund, the Employer shall commence contributions to the Fund on the first (1st) day of the following month after enrollment.

For each Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse, except those that have opted out of coverage and Weekend Infusion Staff Nurses, the Employer will contribute a pro rata share of the above-stated amounts plus $113.00.  Weekend Infusion Staff Nurses, except those that have opted out of coverage, shall be treated as Regular Full-Time Employees for purposes of, and a Regular Full-Time (36.25-hour) contribution made to, the Fund.

Regular Part-Time Employees who are hired or transferred into Regular Part-Time positions after January 31, 2016 are not eligible for hospital only coverage and are only eligible for coverage offered to Full-Time Employees.  If such Employee chooses to enroll in the Fund, the Employer shall contribute a pro rata share of the Employer Contribution Rate plus $113.00 and the Employee shall pay the difference.

Other Part-time and Per Diem Employees who meet Affordable Care Act coverage requirements will be offered the option to enroll in the HIP HMO Plan available to regular Full-Time Employees; however, such coverage will be at the Employee’s Expense.
Contributions shall be paid monthly by the Employer for enrolled Registered Nurses on a paid status, no later than the third (3rd) week following the month for which they are computed.  Part-Time Registered Nurses, except those that have opted out of coverage, may elect to contribute, by payroll deduction, the difference between the Employer's pro rata share and the monthly contribution payable on behalf of the Full-Time Registered Nurses in order to be eligible to receive full-time benefits.

Contributions shall be paid monthly by the Employer for enrolled Registered Nurses on a paid status, no later than the third (3rd) week following the month for which they are computed. Part-Time Registered Nurses, except those that have opted out of coverage, may elect to contribute, by payroll deduction, the difference between the Employer's pro rata share and the monthly contribution payable on behalf of the Full-Time Registered Nurses in order to be eligible to receive full-time benefits.

  1. This contribution shall be used to provide health and welfare and related benefits for the Registered Nurses on whose behalf contributions are made.
  2. The Fund shall be held and administered under the terms and provisions of the Trust Agreement and any amendment thereof.
  3. An independent audit of the Fund shall be made annually and a statement of results thereof shall be furnished to the Employer.
  4. The Fund shall secure and retain any necessary approval of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a qualified benefit fund as well as any other governmental or other approval.
  5. The Employer will continue Workers' Compensation Coverage and Short-Term Disability Coverage in accordance with law.
  6. The foregoing are expressed conditions of the contributions under this Section and any obligation to make contributions shall cease and any amount contributed shall be returned on failure of any of the foregoing conditions.

Effective January 1, 2002, the parties will support, and the Employer will pay for, coverage of Domestic Partners of Employees of the Employer who are participants in the Fund under this Agreement if the Employee elects such coverage on a form provided by the Employer. Domestic Partners as used in this Section 7.1 (Benefit Fund) refers to an individual who meets the standards set forth in Mayoral Executive Order 48 of 1993 and Section 2, Chapter 2 of Title 3 of the Administrative Code set forth below, and who have registered as domestic partners or executed an equivalent affidavit if ineligible to register because neither are residents of the City of New York, and have not terminated the domestic partnership.

    1. Both persons are eighteen (18) years of age or older.
    2. Neither of the persons is married.
    3. Neither person is a party to another domestic partnership, or had been a party to another domestic partnership within the six months prior to registration.
    4. The persons are not related to each other by blood in a manner that would bar their marriage in the state of New York.
    5. The persons have a close and committed personal relationship, live together, and have been living together on a continuous basis.

    Proof of Registration, or the equivalent affidavit if applicable, shall be provided to the Fund together with the form for election of domestic partner coverage. The Fund shall advise the Employer of an Employee’s election of domestic partner coverage for tax purposes.

    7.2 Pension.

    During the term of this Agreement, the Employer shall maintain in effect the current level of pension benefits (as amended by the Pension Agreement executed March 8, 1985 which is attached hereto as Exhibit B and made a part hereof) to the extent currently provided by the Employer, for the Regular Full-Time and Regular Part-Time Employees covered by this Agreement in the active employ of the Employer on February 28, 1997 (including Employees on authorized leave of absence on that date who return to work with the Employer following the expiration of such leave).

    Except as otherwise required by ERISA, Employees who are employed as, or become, Regular Full-Time and Regular Part-Time Employees on or after March 1, 1997, shall have the current level of pension benefits (as amended by the Pension Agreement executed March 8, 1985 which is attached hereto as Exhibit B and made a part hereof) as further amended by the Pension Agreement executed herewith and made a part hereof, as set forth in Exhibit G.

    The Employer shall continue its participation in the Social Security Program.

    Other Employer pension plan improvements instituted by VNSNY Home Care during the term of this Agreement for VNSNY Home Care Employees generally will also be instituted for Employees covered by this Agreement.

    7.3 Long Term Disability.

    The Employer has arranged with an insurance company for the establishment of a voluntary Long Term Disability Plan to be funded entirely by Employee participant payroll deduction contributions.

    7.4 Employer Obligation.

    The Employer will observe all applicable health and safety laws.

    7.5 Employee Obligation.

    Every Employee will observe all applicable health and safety laws and comply with all Employer health and safety rules and instructions.

    7.6 Health Examinations.

    Both parties recognize that there are legal requirements and practices concerning health examinations and it is the intention of the parties to comply with these legal requirements.

    7.7 Injury during Working Hours.

    If an Employee sustains an injury during working hours, and as a result is entitled to payment for loss of work and medical expenses under the New York State Workers' Compensation Law, the Employer shall pay such Employee the Employee's regular compensation rate, less any amount payable for that week from Workers' Compensation (if any), for loss of work during the first week, i.e., five (5) workdays (four (4) workdays for Employees working four-day (4) workweek schedule), after such injury during working hours. A Regular Full-Time Employee absent more than five (5) workdays (four (4) workdays for Employees working four-day (4) workweek schedule) will have the option while on Workers' Compensation leave of absence of taking his or her accumulated sick leave on a day-to-day basis at the rate of one-third (1/3) sick time per day. Regular Part-Time Employees will receive pro rata benefits under this Section.

    7.8 Flexible Spending (Payroll Deduction) Account for Dependent Care.

    The Employer shall continue a Flexible Spending (Payroll Deduction) Account for dependent care for all Employees covered by this Agreement through IRS Code §§125 and 129. Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the Employer from modifying or discontinuing such Program after consultation with the Union.

    7.9 Flexible Spending (Payroll Deduction) Account for Health Care Expenses.

    The Employer shall implement a Flexible Spending (Payroll Deduction) Account for medical care for all Employees covered by the Fund under this Agreement through IRS Code §§125 and 129. Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the Employer modifying or discontinuing such Program after consultation with the Union.

    7.10 NYSUT Benefit Trust Payroll Deduction.

    Upon receipt of a written authorization from an Employee in the form annexed hereto as Exhibit O, the Employer shall, pursuant to such authorization, deduct from the wages due said Employee each bi-weekly paycheck (except in the two (2) months in a calendar year in which three (3) paychecks are issued, then no deduction will be taken from the third paycheck) the amount certified by the NYSUT Member Benefit Trust to the VNSNY Home Care Payroll Department, 5 Penn Plaza, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001, Attention Manager of Corporate Disbursements, at least one month preceding the date for the payroll deduction or change in deduction amount to commence, and remit such sum to the NYSUT Member Benefit Trust by a single check covering all such deductions, together with a list of all Employees from whom amounts have been deducted, and their social security numbers and amounts deducted. Otherwise, the administration of this NYSUT Benefit Trust Deduction shall be the same as the dues check off under Article 3.4, hereof. It is specifically agreed that the Employer assumes no obligations, financial or otherwise, arising out of the provisions of this Section, and the Employee will, in all circumstances, remain fully and solely liable for any and all premiums and fees due and owing to the Trust, and the Trust will, in all circumstances, remain fully and solely liable for any and all benefits due and owing to any Employee Member.