2018 MSU Benefits Open Enrollment is October 1-31

The MSU Benefits Open Enrollment for the 2018 benefits plan year will be held from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31. This is the time of year when APA members can re-evaluate their benefits selections and make changes, such as switching insurance plans, adding or removing dependents, or enrolling in Flexible Spending Account or voluntary benefit options. APA members must also complete the health care affidavit at this time to continue coverage for a spouse of Other Eligible Individual.

There will be a Benefits Fair during open enrollment where you can learn about benefits options and ask questions of plan representatives and MSU Human Resources staff. The fair will also include online enrollment assistance, flu clinics and chair massages. The fair will be held as follows:

  • Noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 17, Breslin Center 
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 18, Breslin Center 
  • 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 19, Breslin Center 

There are several changes to be aware of during this year’s open enrollment. To learn more, view the employee and retiree open enrollment guides and other detailed information at www.hr.msu.edu/open-enrollment.

Please direct questions to MSU Human Resources at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or call 517-353-4434. For long-distance, call toll-free 800-353-4434.


Meet a Fellow APA Member

Meet Lori Strom, our highlighted APA member from the WorkLife Office.

What is your job title?

For two years now I have been the Lifespan and Family Services Coordinator.

How long have you been at MSU?

I have been at MSU for 20 years; 18 of which I was director of the Family Resource Center.

Have you been a member of the APA the whole time?

When I worked with the Family Resource Center I was a supervisor. In my current role, I became a
member of the APA.

What department do you work in, and can you tell me a little about what you do?

The WorkLife Office is under the Office of the Provost. We serve staff, faculty, academic staff and post-
docs in their ability to navigate their responsibilities in the office and personal life. We welcome faculty
and staff to the university. I specifically deal with family circumstances from childhood to elder years; for
example in the areas of breastfeeding support and elder care. It is stressful to care for an elder family
member. We are there to support them and provide resource options. We also promote flexible work
scheduling. It has been proven that flexible work schedules result in higher morale and job satisfaction.
In my work in supporting people, I have realized how valuable the role of the supervisor is. People’s job
satisfaction is often related to how well their supervisor appreciates the balance of work and family life.
In 2001 I started the Outstanding Supervisor Award. I wanted to recognize the good bosses on campus,
the ones who understand that people will have greater job satisfaction if the supervisor generally
supports their people.

What brought you to your job at MSU?

Twenty years ago I was doing intergenerational daycare. I took care of kids and seniors together. The
Family Resource Center was brand new at the time. It was only a half-time position, and I had a two-
year-old son I wanted to spend more time with, so it was perfect. I ended up writing a grant to provide
childcare for MSU students, so I could not work part-time anymore after a year-and- a-half in the

What do you love about working at MSU?

The people. I love the enthusiasm for what MSU stands for. I love the sense of community that we have
and that people are very genuine about working hard and making MSU the best it can be. I love the
campus itself; the green space is lovely. What I love about my job is trying to humanize the place. MSU is
so large that people sometimes feel like a number. I like to be there on a one-on- one basis. We are all
together as human beings to support one another. Work is stressful because everyone works really
hard. It is also great to maintain long term relationships with the students I have worked with over the
years. Some of those students now have children who go to MSU.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I am an avid bike rider. I love cross country skiing, gardening and hiking. Being outside is my thing. I am a
big camper and I love the water. I also love being with my friends and family.

Lifelock Benefit Offered to APA Members

In light of the recent data breach acknowledged by credit reporting agency Equifax, many NEA members are signing up to receive an important NEA member benefit: the educator discount for Lifelock credit monitoring that includes 30 days free and a 10 percent discount.


More than 140 million Americans may have had data stolen by hackers in the Equifax data breach, which appears to have taken place from mid-May through July 2017. Cybercriminals stole names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses. In some cases, driver’s license numbers and even credit card numbers were accessed.


For more information about security steps you can take, watch this video from CNN Money.


APA Know Your Contract – Sick Leave For You and Your Family

Back to school often means “back to germs” for many families!  Understanding how to use your sick leave is often the first step to keeping you and your family healthy.


All APA members, who work half-time or more, begin earning sick leave upon hire.  The amount of sick leave earned varies depending on full-time or part-time status.  Hours earned are in accordance with the following rules:

  • Full-time APA members accrue sick leave at the rate of four (4) hours every two (2) weeks – equaling 104 hours annually;
  • Part-time APA members who work between 26 and 36 hours per week are credited with 75% of the full-time sick leave, accruing three (3) hours every two (2) weeks – equaling 78 hours annually;
  • Part-time APA members who work between 20 and 26 hours per week are credited with 50% of the full-time sick leave, accruing two (2) hours every two (2) weeks – equaling 52 hours annually.


Sick leave is credited at the end of each month and may accumulate to a maximum of 1,400 hours.  You can check EBS to track the amount of sick leave you have at any time.


Article 24 of the current APA Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines the use of sick leave.  Pertinent sections are printed below; however, you can access the entire APA Contract by visiting the APA website at www.msuapa.org.




-180 The University grants regular staff working half-time or more and temporary staff working half-time or more, paid time off due to illness. Employees accrue sick leave credits in accordance with the following requirements.


-183 Sick leave with pay may be used for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness or incapacity over which the Employee has no reasonable control that prohibits the performance of the duties of the Employee’s job.
  2. Absence from work because of exposure to contagious disease that, according to public health standards, would constitute a danger to the health of others by the Employee’s attendance at work.
  3. To complete appointments for medical or dental treatment when it is not possible to arrange such appointments for non-duty hours.
  4. Twenty-four (24) hours of accrued sick leave per fiscal year may be used for illness of a member of the immediate family as defined in paragraph 258 or member of the household. An additional fifty-six (56) hours may be used for the care of dependent children, parents, spouse, or Other Eligible Individual who are ill. The total number of hours shall not exceed eighty (80).
  5. Illness or incapacity associated with pregnancy (see Maternity Leave section).


As defined in the APA contract, you are able to use your accrued sick leave when you are sick and unable to go to work.  However, you may also use your sick leave to care for a member of your family – this leave is often referred to as “family sick leave”.  


You may use up to eighty (80) hours of your sick leave for the care of Dependent Children, Parents, Spouse and Other Eligible Individual (OEI).  Of the eighty (80) hours of family sick leave available to you, twenty-four (24) of those hours can be used for a member of your immediate family.  Immediate family, of course, includes those members identified above (children, parents, spouse and OEI), but the twenty-four (24) hours of family sick also includes the following:  Brother, Sister, Grandparents, Grandchild, Half-Brother, Half-Sister, Step-Parents, Grandparents-in-law, Father-in-law, Mother-in-law, Son-in-law, Daughter-in-law, Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law.


In other words, you have a contractual right to the use of your accrued sick leave for you and for your family.  Before using sick time; however, be sure to check and see if your Department has additional rules and procedures in place.  If you have questions about additional rules that are in place for your Department, please contact APA.


To review your APA contractual provisions, go to:


If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance by contacting the MSU APA office at (517) 999-4004 or by email at msuapa@msu.edu.

MSU Homecoming Parade – March with the APA!

Have you always wanted to be in the MSU Homecoming Parade?

This year’s parade theme is “Uniquely Spartan” which celebrates the uniqueness of all Spartans. Since
the APA support staff plays such an important role here at MSU, we decided it was about time we had
our first entry in the parade.

We would love to have APA members and their families walk with us and help pass out goodies along
the way. No previous parade experience necessary. No float building or special costumes needed.
Wear your Spartan colors, bring your smiles (and comfy shoes). If you and your family are interested in
walking in the parade with APA, just let us know ahead of time so we can make sure there is space for
everyone. Please contact Sue Brandt at brandts@msu.edu.

The parade begins Friday, October 20 th at 6:00 p.m. at the Hannah Community Center, travels south on
Abbot to Grand River and onto campus at the Farm Lane entrance; ending at the Planetarium.
To walk in the parade, members and their families need to arrive no later than 5:30pm at the Hannah
Community Center, 819 Abbot Road. Parade parking will be available in the west side parking lot only of
the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. A shuttle will be available from the church parking lot to take you to the
staging area at the Hannah Community Center. Following the parade’s conclusion, there will be a
shuttle available from the MSU Planetarium to take you back to the St. Thomas Aquinas parking lot.

City of East Lansing Proposes a New Income Tax for Residents and Non-Residents

East Lansing voters will decide whether to introduce a city income tax on Nov. 7.


Back in June 2017, the East Lansing City Council voted to put a measure on the ballot that would tax residents 1% of their income and non-residents who work in the city 0.5%. The proposal also includes a provision to lower East Lansing property taxes from roughly 17 mills to a new maximum of 13 mills.


As understood today, the income tax would generate $10 million in revenue. The city would then rebate roughly $5 million in property taxes, leaving a net revenue of $5 million for the city.


This proposal has been a point of great contention. There has been much negotiation between MSU and the City of East Lansing regarding the proposed income tax in hopes that the measure would not be presented on the November ballot. However, those negotiations were unsuccessful.


MSU was even willing to offer a maximum of $20 million in voluntary cash payments over several years to help offset the purported City of East Lansing financial challenges. Yet, the City was unwilling to accept MSU’s multiple proposals.


In addition to the impact of the income tax itself on individuals, some are expressing concern about the tax rebate portion of the proposal which is viewed as a tax give back to the wealthiest and largest property owners within the city limits.


The APA has received many phone calls and emails from members expressing their concerns and asking if our union is going to get formally involved. There is already a group that has formed called the Citizens for East Lansing’s Future to oppose the proposal and East Lansing City Council members have been knocking doors of East Lansing residents.


While the income tax would impact anyone living and/or working in East Lansing, the income tax proposal will be decided only by registered East Lansing voters on November 7, 2017. As always, we encourage every member to make their voice heard at the voting booth this November.


Community Based Events Committee – Annual Coat Drive!

Making a difference, One coat at a time.

Fall is in the air and that means that the 2017 APA Coat Drive is just around the corner.

We will be collecting New or LIGHTLY USED coats, hats, scarves, gloves and boots from October 16th through November 1st. Please do not donate torn or worn out items.

In past years we have had 17 site hosts that either put a bin in their office or mail room to collect cold weather items. These sites are still being identified and we will follow up with an email listing the locations.

We would like to thank the CBE Committee members that will be dropping off and picking up the bins and sorting the items, as well as the wonderful MSU community that donates items each year. Through their efforts the APA union is making a positive impact on our community!

MSU is a special place, filled with generous people that donate items for the coat drive. With hats, mittens, coats and boots, we are doing our part to help Migrant Student Services, the MasterCard Program and the Lansing District Schools, keep students warm this winter!

Should you have an interest in participating in this year’s coat drive or if you have a suggestion for a community based event, please contact: Dennis Seybert, Community Based Events Committee Chair at seybert@msu.edu or 517-999-4004, or any member of the committee:

Sue Brandt   brandts@rhs.msu.edu
Danielle Flaumenhaft   dnf1019@rhs.msu.edu
Deb Porter   porterd@msu.edu
Nicole Proctor   proctorn@egr.msu.edu
Tami Smith   smithta@mail.lib.msu.edu
Tammy Slocum   slocumt@mail.lib.msu.edu
Laura Wise   lauraw@msu.edu
Elizabeth Wheeler   szufnar@uadv.msu.edu


Area Representative (AR) Spotlight – Kaleigh Jaeger-Hale

What is your job title?

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, College of Engineering


What area of campus, building and department do you work in?

I work on the west side of campus, in the College of Engineering Building. I am part of the development and alumni relations office.


How long have you been at MSU?

2 years


How long have you been an Area Rep?

Only a few months.


Why is being a member of the Union important to you?

Being part of the union is important to me, because the union works hard on our behalf through collective bargaining to secure great benefits. It is also reassuring to know there is a union to support and advocate on behalf of their members.


What words of advice do you have for the new hires at MSU?

Ask questions! Go to ‘the more you know’ sessions and community lunches to fully understand your rights and meet fellow APA members.


What do you love about working at MSU?

MSU is a great community! I love the diversity, resources available, the wealth opportunities MSU has to offer and exciting things to do in and around campus.


What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I love spending time with my husband and 3 year old daughter. We love to visit our family in the UP often. In any free time left I enjoy MSU sporting events, taking Pure Barre classes, kayaking, gardening, and cooking.