For this installment of APA Questions From The Trenches, we asked APA President Maury Koffman to highlight the main questions raised by members in response to the communications regarding the January 2015 Lump Sum bonus payment.
What is the gross payment members will receive now that the University has chosen to unilaterally violate our contract and issue only partial payment in January 30, 2015 paycheck?
Members should receive a gross, lump sum payment of $961.81 subject to taxes, deductions, and any other garnishments. Per the ratified contract, the $961.81 will be issued in full for 100% full-time equivalent (FTE) status employees and reduced on a proportional basis for part-time employees.
I understand we are only going to be paid a portion of the full payment on January 30, 2015. What was the full amount that should be paid if the University complied with the mutually ratified Wage and Health Care Agreement?
Had the University proceeded with the legally binding contract, the APA anticipated full payment to have been $1,056.39 for 100% FTE bargaining unit members.
How much is being unilaterally withheld by MSU?
In a disappointing unilateral action by the University, the APA has been informed that MSU intends to withhold roughly $100 from each member’s payment under the theory that should the plaintiff prevail in his legal appeal regarding the January 2015 lump sum bonus payment (fully explained in the December 11, 2014 APA email), the same impact would apply for the upcoming January 2015 payment. Rest assured the APA is using all necessary and legal avenues to enforce our ratified collective bargaining agreement.
What makes someone eligible for the payment?
To be eligible for the payment, the individual must have been (1) actively employed on January 1, 2015, (2) be MSU health care benefits eligible, and (3) a member of the APA bargaining unit. Even if a member invoked the health care waiver, s/he is still eligible for the lump sum payment if s/he met the eligibility criteria. And, if both an individual and his/her spouse/OEI were eligible for the payment, both APA members should receive the payment.
How will the January 2014 payment be issued?
The payment will be noted as special pay and should be included in the member’s January 2015 regular paycheck slated to be issued on January 30.
If I was eligible for the full payment as of January 1, 2015 but I subsequently leave MSU before the amount in dispute is distributed, will I still receive the amount that was wrongfully withheld by the University?
Yes. The eligibility criteria will remain the same and therefore if an individual satisfied the eligibility criteria as of January 1, 2015, the full amount must be issued to the APA member even if that individual leaves MSU before the withheld amount is distributed.
What are the steps from here?
In an effort to enforce our contract as ratified, the Michigan Education Association is providing full assistance to the APA and using all legal means necessary to ensure the Wage and Health Care Agreement is enforced as ratified by the APA membership and the University. The APA will continue to keep members informed of any substantive updates related to the payment.
Who should I call with my additional questions?
APA members should feel free to contact the APA office at 517.999.4004 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.