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KOSE Achieves Gains for State Workers

By Stuart Elliott
News | June 7, 2010

WICHITA, Kan. - On June 7 KOSE (Kansas Organization of State Employees) members overwhelmingly approved a new contract to ratify a 2010-2013 MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) which will now be sent to Governor Mark Parkinson for his signature.

The MOA governs such things as compensation, hours of work, benefits, discipline and protocol for classified executive branch state employees.

During a seven month period of Meet and Confer with the state the KOSE Bargaining Team achieved major victories for state employees.

Michelle Walters, a state employee at SRS and a team member says of the now ratified agreement, "This MOA is a huge win for Kansas state employees. It strengthens the rights of 11,000 state workers."

Bruce Tunnell, Kansas AFL-CIO Executive Vice President says, "KOSE, through its newly ratified MOA, has set an example for workers coping with these tough economic times -- you don't have to concede and you can still win no matter what the conventional wisdom says."

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, who was a valued ally in the fight at the Statehouse over market adjustments, also praises KOSE for its new MOA and for its activism.

"Thousands of state employees have been underpaid and underappreciated for far too long. The market adjustments approved by the legislature and ratified by the Master Memorandum of Agreement are a significant step forward in rectifying these inequities and showing state employees that we value their hard work," says Davis.

Here are some of the important victories achieved by KOSE.

  1. Neither the agency head nor the governor may implement furloughs without formal Meet and Confer with KOSE.
  2. During an employee investigation a KOSE union steward can stop an investigation and offer council for up to 20 minutes.
  3. Within 21 days of discovery employees must be made aware of any adverse information that may be used on evaluations and shall be provided an opportunity for rebuttal.
  4. Right to appeal your evaluation to an appeal committee, comprised of state workers.
  5. Stronger language on the grievance procedure.
  6. No employee will be required to find coverage if absent from work.
  7. The employer will make a good faith effort to avoid requiring employees to work more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period. If the employee is forced over 12 hours and no documentation is provided, then the employee may grieve the overtime.
  8. Provides partnership benefits for funeral leave.
  9. Provides market adjustments for 6,800 state employees.

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