A Word from the APA President November – December

More than just the contract 

Right to Work state law requires all employees working a position covered under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), to have representation for the provisions covered within that CBA. However, there is a misperception that those not paying union dues get the exact same thing as those who do pay. Our everyday work lives are impacted not solely by the terms of our CBA but also through a wide range of ever-changing University ordinances, policies, procedures and practices. As we often hear from our members, there are many more aspects impacting our work life than those topics covered in our CBA. In addition to the extensive list of topics in the MSU Support Staff Employee Handbook, our work is also impacted by individual departmental policies. In reviewing the depth of the MSU Policy and Procedures it is apparent there are many areas where a partner can help us traverse this complicated path. 

The following are common topics not covered by the current CBA yet are addressed by the APA/MEA/NEA when you are a member. This is not the entire list, but it does reflect the weekly assistance the APA provides to dues-paying members.  

  • All stages of a performance evaluation 
  • How to navigate during a first-year probationary period 
  • Help with reclassification to ensure you have options 
  • How to make an effective case for a promotion or merit recognition 
  • Help crafting your conversations with your supervisor regarding workload expectations 
  • Negotiate a fair starting wage when changing a position on campus 
  • Applying for other positions on campus 
  • Understand how our October raises are divided and what parameters are the basis of the decisions 
  • Advisement on new policy forms and how best to respond 
  • Flexible work schedules including telecommuting 
  • Understanding your rights under the Outside Work for Pay policy 
  • Compensatory time 
  • Exploring leave options 

Membership in the APA has a profound impact on our members’ lives and careers. Having a partner is invaluable not only in troublesome situations but also the unexpected problems that arise. Non-dues paying members do not “get the same thing for free”. 

Our collective voice is the foundation of the protections we have today. It is also the root system from where we grow. Membership not only re-enforces our basic foundation. Active participation adds personal value when we have partners who can advocate the entire breadth of issues encountered in our work.  

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your APA as soon as possible. 

A link to the MSU Support Staff Handbook is provided below for those who want a better look at the University policies. 



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