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CUNY Is Imposing New HEO/CLT Time Sheets: PSC Says Record All Your Hours

CUNY management is implementing new time sheets for HEO and CLT series titles, as well as the titles Research Associate and Research Assistant. The new time sheets were first implemented in July at Lehman College, Kingsborough Community College and City Tech. On September 5, Brooklyn College and City College of New York are scheduled to have the time sheets implemented. Other colleges will be implementing time sheets during the Fall 2013 semester.

In a joint statement at the start of July, HEO Chapter Chair Iris DeLutro, CLT Chapter Chair Albert Sherman, and PSC President Barbara Bowen said, “As union leaders, we understand that the new time sheets, which record daily hours worked over a two-week period, represent a significant change from the way most CUNY professional staff have been asked to report their time. For many of us, the imposition of daily time sheets feels like a deprofessionalization of our positions. Many of us in professional staff titles may work more than seven hours in a given day and/or work through our lunch hours.”

Implementation

Union leaders emphasized that CUNY professional staff understand their professional responsibilities, and said there is no objection to a fair and appropriate method for reporting time worked. But while the University and CUNY’s colleges have the legal right to keep track of time worked, the PSC has demanded that CUNY negotiate with the union over the time sheet changes and implementation. To date, the University has rejected the demand, and the union may have to take legal action.

“It is important to understand that as an employee of the college, you must comply with management and fill out the time sheets even if the union is engaged in legal action against CUNY,” the PSC leaders’ statement noted. The union is recommending that employees complete the time sheets and submit them to their supervisors, indicating all hours worked and the actual length of a lunch break, if taken.

If a lunch hour is not taken on a given day because of the nature of an employee’s assignment, then that is how the time should be recorded. “CUNY asserts that the college has the right to schedule a lunch break of at least one-half hour for you, but if your current assignment does not allow for such a break, record the time you actually work,” the PSC leaders said.

Employees required to complete time sheets should always keep a copy of each filled-out, signed time sheet for their records, along with a record of whether the supervisor approves it.

The contractual workweek for HEOs and CLTs is 35 hours as assigned. For CLTs the 35-hour workweek is to be scheduled in not more than five days in any week. The imposition of the biweekly time sheets may lead to employees having to meet with their supervisors to clarify assignments and weekly work schedule.

Some of the union’s specific guidance is different for HEO-series and for CLT-series employees, as follows:

For HEOs

If you are an HEO-series employee and expect to need to work more than 35 hours in a week to complete your assignment/s, you should submit a Request for Overtime/Compensatory Time Form (even if you have been denied in the past). HEOs are entitled to receive overtime/compensatory time, but it must be approved in advance. This procedure is the result of a Settlement Agreement between CUNY and PSC in 2008.

  • If your overtime request is approved, attach the form to your biweekly time sheet.
  • If the request is not approved, you should work only the hours assigned and record the time worked on your time sheet.
  • If you must work overtime in order to complete a special project or assignment and the overtime has not been approved in advance, record the time you actually worked. If the supervisor refuses to sign the time sheet, contact Albert Muñoz at the PSC, at 212-354-1252 or amunoz@pscmail.org.

As a result of the Overtime Settlement Agreement, HEOs should receive quarterly statements of accrued compensatory time. PSC is aware that most HEOs do not receive a quarterly statement, and a grievance about this issue is in arbitration.

For CLTs

If you are a CLT-series employees and you work beyond 35 hours in a week, you should record the time you actually worked. It is the practice on most colleges to pay CLTs overtime pay at the appropriate adjunct rate or to credit them with compensatory time, based on Article 24.7 of the contract, which permits compensation “for work performed in special sessions (evening, summer evening) beyond their normal assignments.” If you work more than 7 hours in a day as part of your normal assignment (not in a ”special session”), and it results in your working more than 35 hours in a given week, and the time is not approved, contact Albert Muñoz at the PSC, at 212-354-1252 or amunoz@pscmail.org.

Given that the new time sheets are being implemented during the summer, it is unclear whether department chairs have been fully briefed about the possible scheduling implications of the time sheets for CLTs, for example, the need to provide a lunch break of at least one-half hour.

Again, it is important for all affected employees to keep a record of their time, assignments and their supervisors’ responses to requests and concerns, such as approvals/non-approvals of overtime requests.

Titles

For all affected employees, the title to fill in on the time sheet will comes from a drop-down menu of titles that includes the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) designations “exempt” or “non-exempt.” The FLSA designation for a position determines whether the employee is entitled to compensatory time or to overtime pay, based on their functional title and their contractual HEO or CLT series title. All employees are either exempt or non-exempt under FLSA. If you don’t know or don’t understand your FLSA status, ask your supervisor or your HR Office. (Non-exempt employees earn compensatory time for the first 5 hours of overtime worked over 35 hours in a week and cash overtime at time and a half for time worked over 40 hours in a week; exempt employees earn compensatory time for all hours worked over 35 hours in a week.)

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the PSC Office of Contract Enforcement, by phone at 212-354-1252 or by e-mail amunoz@pscmail.org.