Because of unilateral changes in policy at MNCPPC, many of our members have been placed on leave without pay (LWOP) status even as they are in the process of complying with the Commission’s vaccination requirement.
We have learned that members on LWOP status will be considered in debt to the Commission for health coverage during the vaccination process. Returning to work after being left on LWOP status and finding out that they may be in debt for health care benefits amounts to additional hardship.
Consistent with its policy in lockdowns or furloughs, the Union is offering financial assistance to cover health care debts for members on LWOP who are completing the vaccination process. Members who choose to apply for a grant should follow the instructions below. Please make sure that you add any necessary documentation. The Union will review applications and notify you.
Our legal team is fighting this policy, but we hope that in the interim this helps cover the increase in health expenses during the holiday season.
Who is eligible?
- You are a Park and Planning employee and member of UFCW 1994/MCGEO.
- You are currently in the process of COVID vaccination.
- You have been placed on Leave Without Pay status while completing vaccination process.
- Park and Planning will charge you for repayment of health benefits upon return.
The Union will examine the grant application to determine eligibility.
Example: A member currently pays 155 dollars per pay period to cover health insurance costs. Upon return to work, the Commission will require the employee to pay $310 dollars in unpaid health insurance in addition to their regular payment. The Union will cover the additional costs of health care.
Are there other resources for financial assistance?
For members who need additional help, the Union offers other resources for people who are encountering hardship due to layoffs.
Here are some options:
- UnionPlus offers grants for qualifying union members experiencing financial hardship. https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/hardship-help
- Employee Assistance Program for employees of MNCPPC who are experiencing financial difficulties. https://www.mncppc.org/302/Employee-Assistance-Program
- Financial Services Montgomery County (https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS/ProgramIndex/FinHousingServicesIndex.html) and Prince George’s County (https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/prince_george_county_public_as.html).