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Appendix C: Examples of Options Based on Survey Results

Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
Members need flexibility in their work schedule to allow them to provide the support and care their elderly parents need. Alternative Work Schedule Reduces employee stress and unscheduled leave; eliminates tardiness, increases productivity and improves employee morale. May face resistance from supervisors. Opportunities for overtime may be reduced. Hard to implement for shift work. Different timekeeping measures may be instituted, such as signing in or punching clock. Longer days may increase. 0
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
Sick leave is permitted only when the employee is sick, not when the parent is ill or needs to go to a doctor's appointment. Employer may unfairly and inaccurately claim sick leave abuse. Change leave policy to permit use of sick leave to care for elderly parent or to take parent to the doctor. Also, personal leave days in addition to vacation and holidays to be used at members discretion. Enables employees to tell the truth, rather than lie about their absences. Decreases grievances and increases employee morale. None Under this policy, the employee could use more sick leave days than he/she would for his/her own illness. Therefore, if the employer does not pay for unused sick leave when an employee leaves, the employer will assume some costs. Cost would be the estimated number of additional days used times average pay, plus the cost of temporary replacement, if required.
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
Employees need to care for family member who is very ill or dying. Negotiate family leave policy. (You may be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or may negotiate a more generous policy. (SeeFMLA) Employee is able to retain job while meeting urgent family needs; employer saves on recruitment and training costs by keeping current employee. Regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employer is not required to provide paid sick leave, paid medical leave, or paid family leave or any such leave. Therefore, AFSCME councils and locals may want to negotiate the broadest type of paid leave language possible. (Request The Family and Medical Leave Act: Questions and Answers from the Women's Rights Department.) Low cost.
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
Employees need to arrange for services or to check on elderly relatives during work hours. Telephone access. Employees are able to take care of necessary business without being away from work. None 0
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
Members do not know where to get the services they need for their elderly parents or they need help with their caregiving responsibilities. Members spend a lot of time during the day trying to find services. Members may be emotionally drained from caring for a sick parent. Resource and referral service (R&R). Makes existing services more accessible to families. Saves employee time in calling around for services and thereby increases productivity. Works well for multi-site employers. R&R program leaders or coordinators also can conduct seminars, set up care fairs, and provide written materials. If the resource and referral service is not required to stimulate services where there are gaps, the system is limited by the inadequacies of the current supply. Also, the union and/or employer must be committed to periodically publicizing the availability of the service or it may be underutilized. Rates are based on usage. Can be moderately expensive depending on percentage of employees using the service. However, if the EAP program can provide the service, it may be less expensive. Educational programs, such as seminars, are low or no cost.
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
  EAP Allows employees to identify and resolve their problems through counseling, assessment, and referral to appropriate organizations. Often provides for family consultations. Without gerontologist on staff, counseling may be useless. No additional cost if EAP already provides this service.
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
Members need financial help. DCAP Offers employees the advantage of tax savings. See discussion on Dependant Care Assistance Programs for disadvantages to members. Some initial administrative cost and maintenance, but more than offset by savings on Social Security tax.< TR>
Survey Result Option Pros Cons Cost
  Voucher and/or vendor program. Does not require capital investment, start-up costs, or management responsibility. It could be tax deductible to the employer if the program meets certain IRS requirements. There is no liability to employer. Also, increased morale, productivity, recruitment, and retention. If community-based care is unavailable or of poor quality, vouchers alone will not solve this problem. Employees must use selected vendors. Employees can be turned away when slots are filled. Can be costly depending on the employer's contribution.