Questions from the Trenches

Who was involved in bargaining of the ratified health care and wage agreement?
The recent negotiations to reach the ratified health care and wage agreement was a collective effort of all support staff unions on campus (APA, APSA, CTU, AFSCME Local 1585, IATSE Local 274, IUOE Local 324, FOP Lodge 141, AFSCME Local 999) bargaining with the University at one time at the same table.  APA/MEA UniServ Director, Melissa Sortman, served as the co-chief negotiator for all unions.

What topics were discussed during negotiations?
The wage and health care agreement is limited in scope.  Therefore, all parties negotiating the agreement only discussed and address matters directly related to health care and annual base wages.

Now that the agreement is ratified, will a fully funded base health care plan continue?
Yes.  Under the ratified agreement, the MSU base health care plan will remain fully funded, with no premium directly paid by APA members, through December 31, 2017.
How does the matrix formula work to determine my annual base wage increase?
The matrix in the ratified agreement defines the formula for the annual APA raises commencing with the October 2015 base wage increase.  For example using the matrix, if health care costs increase by 4.75% in the first year of the agreement, APA members would be eligible for a 2% base wage increase in October 2015, subject to the standard contract provisions of 40% across the board and 60% using the merit pay process.

Am I eligible for the lump sum payment in the ratified agreement?
Under the ratified health care and wage agreement, as long as the AP is actively employed in a union represented position on January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015 respectively, and is MSU health care benefits eligible, the individual will be eligible for the lump sum savings disbursement.

How much will I receive in the lump sum savings disbursement?
The amount for all union members will be exactly the same though the final, exact amount has not yet been determined.  The payment will be provided as a lump sum payment and does not impact your base wage.
Through the conversations during negotiations, it is reasonable to anticipate the January 2014 payment will be between $750-$1,000 and the January 2015 payment will be substantially less.

What are the APA base wage increases in the coming years?
The following annual base wage increases are subject to the standard APA contract provisions of 40% across the board and 60% using the merit pay process:

October 2013 – 2% base wage increase
October 2014 – 2% base wage increase
October 2015 – 2.6% maximum base wage increase through matrix formula
October 2016 – 2.6% maximum base wage increase through matrix formula
October 2017 – 2.6% maximum base wage increase through matrix formula
October 2018 – 2.6% maximum base wage increase through matrix formula