For this installment of APA Questions From The Trenches, we asked APA President Maury Koffman to answer a potpourri of questions that members have brought to his attention recently.

How much is the January 2014 lump sum payment per the APA ratified health care and wages agreement? What makes someone eligible?

The exact final number is yet to be announced. However, it appears most members will net between $750 to $1,000 depending on their tax bracket. To be eligible for the payment, the individual must be actively employed in a union represented position and be MSU health care benefits eligible on January 1, 2014. Even if you take the health care waiver you will still be eligible for the lump sum payment if you meet the aforesaid criteria. And, if both you and your spouse/OEI are eligible, both of you will receive the payment.

How will the January 2014 payment be issued?

The payment will be considered special pay and included in your January 2014 regular paycheck.

I have been asked to wear specific clothing during the workday. Can my supervisor and the University require specific attire to be worn in the workplace?

There is precedent that the University can have a reasonable expectation that employees wear appropriate, professional attire in the workplace. However, the approach must be uniformly applied.

I have been informed that my workspace will be relocated through a department reorganization. How is the decision made where my new workspace will be located?

The University, as the employer, retains the right to determine your office workspace under prevailing law and the APA contract. However, in most reorganization situations, APs are asked for their input before a final decisionis made. The APA is able to assist in reaching a mutual resolution to your office space as it has an overall impact on your daily work environment and can impact your ability to perform your work responsibilities.

I have been offered another job on campus. How much notice must I give before resigning my current position?

There is no length of notice requirement to resign from your current position. The APA encourages providing as much notice as possible with the standard minimum of two weeks notice if your calendar for transition allows.

I have questions about our APA bargained retirement plan administered through MSU. Who can I contact for more information?

There is an FAQ on the MSU HR website at that provides more information around our retirement plan. Additionally, you can contact the retirement office via phone at 517.353.4434 or via email at

Questions From The Trenches