In the APA 2015 contract negotiations, we were able to successful change the contract to allow your annual $800 professional development funding to be used more liberally including at colleges and for credit courses provided the course was supervisor approved and job related.
From 2015 to 2016, the APA was contacted by several members raising concern that their request to utilize the $800 was denied by central HR despite being job related and supervisor approved.
In response, a member and the APA jointly filed a grievance to dispute the wrongful denial for use of the funds. The University contested the position of the APA and the case when to binding arbitration earlier this calendar year. The goal of the arbitration was to obtain clarity on how, when, and where the professional development funds could be used under the terms of our 2015 modification.
Last month the APA received the arbitrator’s binding decision. In short, the APA won in part and lost in part.
As it relates to the specific concern of use for the PD funds, the arbitrator issued a binding decision that MSU should be empowered to make the decision for use of the PD funds. However, the arbitrator also ruled that the University cannot arbitrarily approve or deny a request.
As a follow-up, the APA is working to schedule a meeting with MSU to discuss the process of approval and denial moving forward. The goal is to establish clearly defined rules for approval and denial of requests.
The APA continues working diligently on this issue consistent with the ruling and we will communicate with the APA membership as substantive progress is made. If you have any question, please contact the APA office at 517.999.4004 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.