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Getting credit for FERS sick leave?Hmmm
Old 02-13-2009, 06:09 AM   #1
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Getting credit for FERS sick leave?Hmmm

But I sure hope this is true. I will be retiring early at 54 in 2.5 years(I hope). If I can add most of another year on to my service time it will help.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:58 AM   #2
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Sounds like another reason to kick myself for going into the private sector...
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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Hope it passes. I was up to 900 hours of sick leave once. Then I had DD who turns 3 this month and started day care 6 months ago... Been using sick leave a lot due to colds etc.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:37 AM   #4
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This has been going around for years and years, and this isn't the first time it has been inserted into a bill, only to be withdrawn at the last minute.

I am NOT expecting it to happen. I have been disappointed too many times previously on this issue. On the other hand, like most of my co-workers I feel I have to look myself in the mirror each morning so I am only using sick leave when I am genuinely sick or have an appointment with my doctor or dentist. It does pile up sometimes, but there is nothing wrong with a safety net. Right now my balance is not especially high, due to the $)(%*&% never-ending bugs/viruses that have been going around for the past 6 months or so.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:37 PM   #5
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In my military service, there was no "sick leave." You had a medical issue, sickness, appointment; you went to the doc, stayed home, whatever.

In my GS service, there was 13 days annual sick leave. Folks hoarded this time, begged off without charging to sick leave for the same issues. Allowing GS employees to bank this time and use it at the end of their service will only exacerbate this situation, much as the local state employees do when they sell back months and months of time; they're the healthiest employees I've ever seen who must NEVER go to a doctor or dentist, never have a sick kid, and never catch a cold.

The present system seems to work, why mess with it?
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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They are messing with it because many suspect FERS employees of abusing their sick leave. I personally worked with many FERS employees who had a zero sick leave balance. None of them had a chronic healt condition, they just saw sick leave as additional annual leave to take whenever they wanted.

This bill will discourage that (maybe) by allow employees who use sick leave as its intended to be used (when you are sick) to trade it in just like the CSRS employees.

OTOH, CSRS employees generally have a huge sick leave balance.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #7
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Yes, some CSRS employees think that about FERS employees. But some FERS employees feel that CSRS employees are unhealthy to be around, because they come to work with all sorts of vile and communicable diseases! If they didn't get credit for excess sick leave, probably the FERS people wouldn't be sick as much as they are. Or so some say.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #8
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True. CSRS vs FERS debates...
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:41 PM   #9
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I switched from CSRS to FERS. Got retirement credit for sick leave I had at time of switch. Retired with more than 1000 hours. IF it passes, I'm sure it won't be retroactive.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:48 PM   #10
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25 years FERS on April 9 (+ 4 mil = 29). I currently have over 1400 hrs sick leave built up. Hoping to pull the plug in Dec this year - no way I could use it all if I tried. I guess it's just gone.

OTOH, when I think of all the days (& nights) I came in not feeling good or on call to "get the job done" - and at the same time saw co-workers, supervisors, & managers taking "mental health days" & "female days" their entire careers - giving back 1400 hours of sick leave makes me feel, well, frankly - a little bit "sick".

I suppose were I of a mind to I could just keep going out on sick leave till they make me come back or get fired. We could play that game for a long time. Then I'd have gotten paid salary for the s/l and gotten the additional service credit. Now personally, I'm not the type to do that - but I know that others definitely will - management in some offices/agencies will tolerate it, others won't. It's gonna be a huge mess when more FERS people start coming into retirement eligibility.

I know a co-worker who's retirement eligible but won't say when he's gonna pull the plug - all he'll say is "when you see me go out for my other knee surgery"
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
25 years FERS on April 9 (+ 4 mil = 29). I currently have over 1400 hrs sick leave built up. Hoping to pull the plug in Dec this year - no way I could use it all.

OTOH, when I think of all the days (& nights) I came in not feeling good or on call to "get the job done" - and at the same time saw co-workers taking "mental health days" & "female days" their entire careers - giving back 1400 hours of sick leave makes me feel, well, frankly - a little bit "sick".
It never occurred to me to hoard it or waste it. I used it when I was sick or for medical appointments.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:54 PM   #12
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It never occurred to me to hoard it or waste it. I used it when I was sick or for medical appointments.
Me too. I really don't know anybody who wastes it. But then I work for a good agency; I know I'm lucky.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:03 PM   #13
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As I understand the bill only gives you 3/4 service time for accrued sick leave if you retire in the first 3 years after passage. No $.

Were the bill to pass & I got 6 months service credit it would increase my annuity by one-half of one percent. Woo-hoo!

Now if I developed a "condition" & stayed on an additional 6 months I'd get paid full pay for six more months and six more months TSP matching $, and get 6 months more service time.

Perhaps I should ask one of those Wall Street CEO's whose bank/firm my tax dollars are helping to bail out?
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
25 years FERS on April 9 (+ 4 mil = 29). I currently have over 1400 hrs sick leave built up. Hoping to pull the plug in Dec this year - no way I could use it all if I tried. I guess it's just gone...
If you find yourself wanting to do some real good with all that unused sick leave, please consider the Leave Donation Program. When my husband passed suddenly, I was in a total state of shock. My doctor wrote me out of work for 2 months.
Local co-w*rkers rallied and donated hundreds of hours. A complete stranger from Hill AFB in Utah donated 80 hours to me.
I was able to thank local folks in person.
I was not allowed to know who the Hill person was. So I wrote a heartfelt thank you email, which was delivered thru my personnel office to their personnel office to be sent to him.
That donated leave was the kindest gift I ever received, in my entire life.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:15 PM   #15
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If you find yourself wanting to do some real good with all that unused sick leave, please consider the Leave Donation Program. When my husband passed suddenly, I was in a total state of shock. My doctor wrote me out of work for 2 months.
Local co-w*rkers rallied and donated hundreds of hours. A complete stranger from Hill AFB in Utah donated 80 hours to me.
I was able to thank local folks in person.
I was not allowed to know who the Hill person was. So I wrote a heartfelt thank you email, which was delivered thru my personnel office to their personnel office to be sent to him.
That donated leave was the kindest gift I ever received, in my entire life.
When I was employed, we could only donate annual leave (which I did). And was all anonymous.

We managed to donate enough to carry someone through to 'medical retirement'; he died about a month later. Widow and child got all benefits.
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I don't think the Federal government allows sick leave donations.
Old 02-14-2009, 04:40 AM   #16
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I don't think the Federal government allows sick leave donations.

Quote:
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When I was employed, we could only donate annual leave (which I did). And was all anonymous.

We managed to donate enough to carry someone through to 'medical retirement'; he died about a month later. Widow and child got all benefits.
I'm pretty sure that sick leave cannot be donated in the Federal leave donation program. Only annual leave can. In fact, I would be happy if I could just contribute the unused sick leave to someone younger who runs into a problem. I will probably retire before FERS policy changes.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:24 AM   #17
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(Speaking as a FERS employee)
I personally don't like the annual leave donation program, since (1) I don't get a charitable deduction for something that costs me real money, and (2) the people who have lots of accrued leave are generally higher paid people, donating hour-for-hour to lower paid people (on average), so that the Federal government actually makes money on the system. (That said, I did donate 40 hours to a co-worker who was in a big auto accident.) The third reason that I don't like the current leave donation program is that it is individual and gets blasted out by e-mail to all-and-sundry -- so that a person is essentially begging for money from her/his colleagues.

I would rather have my unused sick leave (edit: at retirement -- hopefully in 3.5 years) be donated to a pool from which people have to apply to some board to get donated leave time. I don't feel a strong need to benefit from the unused sick leave, and would like to see it get used for those in "true" need. Of course there will be abuse, but there is already abuse.

Venting done.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:33 AM   #18
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When I was employed, we could only donate annual leave (which I did). And was all anonymous.

We managed to donate enough to carry someone through to 'medical retirement'; he died about a month later. Widow and child got all benefits.
My mistake. I did not know there was a rule about annual leave only. I was on SL, so I assumed (oops!) that SL was being donated.
Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:56 PM   #19
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I work in private industry, and have been in the military, which gives me two contrasting views. While in the Navy, if I were sick, I had to get up, show up for work, and ask to go to sick call. More often than not, I would be sent back to work. I think that in eight years I was given a total of four sick days off. If I wanted to have the day off, I would either use preapproved leave (30 calendar days per year, including weekends) or "special liberty", essentially a specially-requested personal day off which must be preapproved.

I work in an environment now in which people are given 8 sick and personal days per year. The two personal days can accrue for up to a total of ten days, and which can be used for any purpose with virtually no notice. Sick time does not accrue, and since most hourly employees treated sick days as vacation days, we found we needed to pay out for unused sick days at the end of the year to keep people from taking half of January off each year.

In contrast, our state and local employees save up an unlimited number of sick days (those guys who've never been sick a day in their lives) and are paid out for them upon retirement. But they are paid out at their final pay grade, which means that a sick day earned at $10 an hour can be paid out at $45 an hour. Our local constabulary (all of whom are well-compensated) are particularly good at this.

There will be people who will take unfair advantage of any benefit (like our people who go out on worker's comp just in time for their annual cruise), so the simplest solution is to designate a given amount of PTO, without regard to its purpose, and without allowing it to accrue over a career lifetime. We have other mechanisms - including short term and long term disability insurance - to deal with protracted illnesses. The canard of having different classes of PTO - sick vs. recreational - is silly.
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Some FERS SL paid out
Old 02-14-2009, 07:58 PM   #20
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Some FERS SL paid out

As a CSRS retiree I could only credit sick leave toward retirement. As an air traffic controller eligible for early retirement at 50, the credit didn't matter because it couldn't be counted toward the early retirement years (20). However, for air traffic controllers who are FERS employees, their labor contract guarantees that Uncle Sam will pay 40 cents on the dollar for accrued sick leave. In my book that's pretty strong incentive to not abuse sick leave. Not sure how this bill would affect the existing labor agreement. Given a choice, I'd take the cash. I surrendered over 700 hours of unused sick leave. Had I been a FERS employee, that would equal 280 hours of sick pay (7 weeks) on top of any accrued annual leave. Soooo, some FERS employees do receive compensation for sick leave.
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