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NATCA News Alert: Recall-of-Employees-on-Excused-Absence

NOTE: The recall of employees in accordance with these provisions does not constitute approval to resume OJT. With the exception of those individuals that are currently training, resumption of additional OJT will continue to be collaboratively determined by the Parties at the national level utilizing the Harvard Global Health Institute metrics.
These provisions are in addition to, and facilities must comply with, the collaboratively developed OJT Resumption Plan.

On March 23, 2020, employees that did not meet identified qualification criteria were placed on excused absence and deemed non-essential. This action was taken in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In accordance with JO 3120.4P, in June 2020, employees on excused absence were recalled to duty for the purpose of receiving an over-the-shoulder (OTS) and achieving the necessary time on position to retain existing certifications without a requirement to enter training.
At the time, the 3120.4P contained the following requirement:

Chapter 4, Section 8, a.Personnel who have not worked an operational position in the last 120 days, but have done so in the last year, must receive instructor-led training, simulation training, and OJT prior to recertification. OJT hours must not exceed 50 percent of the target hours established for developmentals with no previous experience.

On Oct. 30, 2020, the JO 3120.4R became effective and now contains the following requirement: 

Chapter 4, Section 7, a.(2) More than 30 days but fewer than 120 days. The individual must receive OJT of up to 50 percent of Target Time established for a trainee without previous experience. Training may include electronic learning, classroom, PTT, or simulation at the discretion of the TA.

On Oct. 30, 2020, a waiver to the new 3140.R certification requirement was issued extending the period to avoid OJT until the end of November 2020, which is 120 days from the June 2020 OTS.
Over the course of the past eight months, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance has changed; facilities have been provided with an adequate supply of personal safety supplies, the use of face coverings is now mandatory, and the Parties have collaboratively developed a number of initiatives intended to allow for employees to return to duty, and to receive OJT, while mitigating the spread of COVID-19.< As a result of the changes identified above, the Parties at the national level have agreed to the following:

Employees Identified as Non-EssentialEmployees that are certified on at least one position that were deemed non-essential are recalled to duty no later than Nov. 30, 2020, and will be assigned to a crew by the Parties at the local level. This recall constitutes the termination of excused absence for the purpose identified on March 23, 2020. 

High Risk EmployeesHigh risk employees that are certified on at least one position, and only require an OTS to retain current certifications, will be afforded the opportunity to voluntarily return to the facility prior to Nov. 30, 2020. High risk employees electing to return for the OTS will be assigned to a crew by the Parties at the local level and will not be placed back on excused leave. Employees that do not voluntarily return will lose certifications and be required to retrain in accordance with 3120.4R.

Any employee that does not achieve re-certification on positions for which they were previously certified will be handled in accordance with the provisions of Article 20 of the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement and are not subject to the provisions of the HRPM EMP 1.14a and the National Employee Services Team (NEST) process. 

Employees with no position certifications will continue on excused absence until recalled at a later date. 

If you have questions about this information, please contact your regional leadership at the email below, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.