November 23, 2004
Special leave bank edition
Voluntary Leave Bank Continues to Roll
By Sara Duke
As the Guild representative to the Voluntary Leave Bank Pilot Project Board,
I have fantastic news to share with all of you. By mutual agreement with management,
the Guild, and the Leave Bank Board, the Voluntary Leave Bank Pilot Program
has been extended another year. A new enrollment period for current members
and for new members who wish to join the Voluntary Leave Bank, is now underway.
The enrollment period begins November 22, 2004 and ends on January 7, 2005.
To join the Voluntary Leave Bank you must fill out Form 1698 and donate either
4, 6, or 8 hours of annual leave, depending on your length of federal service.
For the first time this year, you may also donate “use-or lose” and other accrued
annual leave directly through webTA. We provide instructions in this newsletter.
While “use-or-lose” leave donated to the Bank will be deducted from 2004, the
hours which you donate to become a member of the bank (e.g. 4,6,8 hours) will
be deducted in Pay Period 1 of the 2005 leave year. Remember: if you joined
the Leave Bank last year you must join again for leave year 2005. The Board
does waive the minimum donation if you are in a negative leave situation or
are already in the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program. Don’t miss out on the
opportunity to be a Voluntary Leave Bank member!
To receive leave you must provide: medical certification of your, or your family
member’s medical emergency, show evidence that you have exhausted your annual
and sick leave and will be in a leave-without-pay status for at least 24 hours
(you are not required to use advanced leave), and finally, you must be a member
of the Voluntary Leave Bank. The program is administered by a joint Guild-management
Leave Bank Board. In 2004 the Board awarded up to 160-hour allotments to Bank
members who might have otherwise gone without pay. With your assistance, by
donating the minimum membership amount, and better yet “use or lose” leave,
the allotments we grant to individuals or to their family members undergoing
medical emergencies will be even greater in 2005.
Application forms (1698) to become a member of the Leave Bank are available in
the Guild Office, LM-G43 and online at http://www.loc.gov/staff/leavebank/bank.pdf.
Please return the completed forms to the Guild Office prior to January 7, 2005.
You need not be a Guild member to join. Any full time or part-time employee
who is represented by the Guild (AFSCME 2910) bargaining unit may join during
the enrollment period. For more info see the Voluntary Leave Bank handbook
online at http://www.loc.gov/staff/leavebank/.
Questions and Answers
Guild Voluntary Leave Bank Program
- What is a leave bank?
- A leave bank is a pooled fund of annual leave. Employees who want
to join the Bank must make a minimum contribution of annual leave
during an open enrollment period. This pooled leave is then available
for use by members
of the Bank who need such leave as this because of a medical
- Do I need to be a Guild member to join the Leave Bank?
- No. While it’s always a good idea to be a Guild member, the only requirement
for Voluntary Leave Bank membership is that you are an AFSCME 2910
bargaining unit employee at the Library of Congress.
- How may I contribute to the leave bank?
- There are two ways in which 2910 bargaining unit employees may contribute:
1) fill out Form 1698 to become a Leave Bank member by joining the Leave
Bank and donating the minimum contribution and 2) donate additional
annual leave that you have accrued and do not intend to use directly through
- How much is the minimum contribution?
- Depends on how much federal service you have performed : 4 hours (less
than 3 years), 6 hours (3 or more years but less than 15), and 8 hours
- May part-time employees make a smaller minimum contribution?
- No. Contribution is based on years of service. The allotment of hours
you may receive from the Bank is the same as those for full-time employees.
- May I donate my "use or lose"?
- You may donate more than the required number of hours
to the Bank, and in fact "use-or-lose" and other donations
of annual leave are welcome. There are limits to the total
amount of annual
leave you may donate to
the Bank. See the Voluntary Leave
Bank Pilot Program Handbook, available on-line at http://www.loc.gov/staff/leavebank.
This year, for the first time, 2910 bargaining unit employees
may donate accrued annual leave
directly through webTA. We provide instructions in this newsletter.
- May I donate leave without joining the leave bank?
- Yes. You may donate at any time during the year, not just during the
open enrollment period. The hours you donate may insure that someone gets
a paycheck during a medical
emergency. However, if you do not become a member then you may not receive
leave from the Bank should you or a family member experience a medical
- Why should I join the leave bank?
- As "insurance" against loss of income while you or a
family member experience a medical emergency. In order
to receive leave
from the Leave Bank during
the 2005 leave year, you must join during this open enrollment
- When may I join the leave bank?
- You may join the Leave Bank during the open enrollment period. The
Guild Voluntary Leave Bank Program open enrollment period begins on November
and runs through January 7, 2005. New Library of Congress employees represented
by the Guild may join within thirty days of hiring outside of the open
- How do I join or donate leave to the bank?
- To become a member of the Leave Bank fill out an application to donate
leave, Form1698, during either an open or individual enrollment period.
is included in this newsletter or pick one up from the Guild Office.
(A photocopy of the form may be used.) Submit the completed application
to the Guild Office,
LM-G43, across from Health Service. To donate additional accrued annual
leave to the Leave Bank use webTA. It’s easy as one-two-three; see the
in this newsletter.
- When is the minimum contribution deducted?
- The minimum contribution is deducted during the first pay period of
the leave year, in January 2005. New employees will have their deduction
joining the Leave Bank. Part-time employees may have deductions from
one or more pay periods until the minimum contribution is met.
- How much leave may I receive from the leave bank?
- Leave Bank members with a medical emergency may receive at least one
percent of the Bank balance thirty days after the end of the open enrollment
This is a yearly maximum and, once exhausted, you may not be approved
for additional Bank leave for the remainder of the leave year. In 2004,
Bank members were eligible to receive up to 160 hours of leave from the
Bank to cover medical emergencies. Leave Bank members will receive an announcement
the 2005 leave year allotment by e-mail.
- How do I apply to receive leave from the leave bank?
- Fill out an application to receive donated leave under the Leave Bank
Program, form LB-2, and attach a medical certificate. The medical certification
provide a brief description of the onset, beginning date, nature, severity,
and/or frequency of the medical emergency. This certification must provide
an anticipated ending date for the medical emergency. You must provide
evidence that you have exhausted your annual and sick leave, and will be
status for at least twenty-four hours as a result of the medical emergency.
the application to the Health Services Office (LM G40). The application
will then go to the Voluntary Leave Bank Board for approval. Remember,
Leave Bank members are eligible to receive leave from the Bank!
- Who is on the leave bank board?
- By law, a Bank Board consists of three members, at least one of whom
must represent a labor organization or employee group. The Guild (AFSCME
and the Library
of Congress have agreed that the Voluntary Leave Bank Program board will
consist of two management officials and one employee designated by the
- What are their responsibilities?
- The Board reviews all applications from Guild (AFSCME 2910) bargaining
unit members who are eligible for donated leave under the Voluntary Leave
and approves or denies the applications. In addition, the Board determines
the amount of Bank leave to award to an approved program recipient.
- Do I have to repay the bank?
- No. However, unused hours will have to be returned to the Leave Bank.
Original artwork by George R. Willeman
Join the Leave Bank
(Tune: You are my sunshine)
Come join the Leave Bank,
the LC Leave Bank
Please sign a form
You’ll never know,
how much you’re helping
When you become a member today.
Come join the Leave Bank,
the LC Leave Bank
And in hard times
you’ll make it through
So if you find that,
your life’s uncertain
Just lean on me and
I’ll lean on you.
Song lyrics by Julie McCall and Saul Schniderman
The Library of Congress Works
Because we do.