What’s Happening in the World of APA Union Business

I hope this email finds you well and that you’ve been able to enjoy the great weather we’ve been having so far this summer!

I have not provided any updates in a while and that’s because things have been quiet – especially now that increases, retro pay, and covid bonuses have finally been paid out. As you may know, our contract is set to expire next year. Discussions about negotiating the next contract have not yet begun because we are currently negotiating mask and vaccine memoranda that are set to expire this summer. I’ll explain more below.

Regarding our Contract

I have heard from some members about issues they would like to see addressed in the next contract, including the exploration of:

  • Stipends for supervisors doing the work of subordinates (similar in nature to the already existing stipend for employees who take on the work of supervisors);
  • Changing the current evaluation process and timelines;
  • No tuition or fees similar to what’s available to our AFSCME colleagues; and
  • Step increases (or something similar) that will keep our salaries increasing at a level that is on par with that of our AFSCME colleagues who, in some instances, are earning more than APA employees.

These are just a few of the suggestions I’ve received. If you have ideas, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email with anything you’d like to see added to the contract. It’s my understanding that getting items added to the contract is challenging, but that certainly won’t stop me from pushing for further exploration and discussion of these issues prior to negotiating.

Regarding the Vaccine and Mask Memoranda

When COVID began, the union and management met to discuss health and safety protocols. As a result, two memoranda were created: one regarding vaccines and one regarding masks. Each of these had a provision that the parties would meet in one year to revisit the current COVID situation and reopen negotiations. You may recall that you were polled late May/early June about your thoughts on vaccines and masks. We are utilizing that feedback to guide our negotiations.

Late last month, the parties met for the first time to begin negotiations, primarily focusing on the vaccine memorandum of agreement (MOA). Management’s position is that all employees must be vaccinated (for current and new employees, unless an exemption has been granted) but they want to discontinue all on-site testing in favor of self-testing/self-reporting (due to the cost associated with on-site testing). As you can see, this is very one-sided, and discussions are ongoing. Management is also proposing that a university president unilaterally decide whether their campus should be masked or not. 

The APA executive board is working on a new MOA that takes into consideration the ever-changing world we continue to live in. In addition, we are demanding that each school have a team made up of union representatives, management, and students, to make decisions together regarding health and safety issues that impact employees and students alike.

So that’s it in a nutshell. I’ll keep you updated on any important developments as they arise.

Thanks!
Rosa

From Seth Bean, APA President, Regarding Vacation Accruals

Hello APA Members,

Please be advised that vacation accruals over 375 hours will be forfeited on November 1 and May 1, each year.  June 30, 2022 was the last date for rollover of any vacation accruals over 375 hours.  Additionally, if you terminate your employment for any reason, vacation payouts are capped at 375 hours, even if you have accrued more than that between forfeiture dates.
It is important that you create a record of requests when requesting vacation time in case it is denied.  If denial of vacation will cause you to forfeit vacation time during a forfeiture date, it is important to have the records of these requests to request remediation of that issue. From our contract, Article VII, Section C, Subsection 2, page 66:

2. Scheduling of Vacation

Administrators shall request specific dates for the scheduling of their vacations through their Appropriate Administrative Area Supervisor. Vacation allowance shall be scheduled as a vacation leave at such times as will best serve the needs of the University, the unit member and the public interest. Vacation allowance will be scheduled by the Appropriate Administrative Area Supervisor after consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer. The parties shall ensure that vacation allowance is scheduled in order that the unit member may not lose vacation credits. No member of the bargaining unit shall carry vacation leave credit of more than 375 hours (fifty (50) days). All vacation leave credits above the fifty (50) day limit shall be forfeited on May 1 and November 1 each year.

If a bargaining unit member requests vacation leave at least thirty (30) days in advance and the supervisor has not replied in a timely manner or denies the use of vacation time, and such denial would result in the forfeiture of vacation credits, the bargaining unit member may appeal within three working days to the Human Resources Office. The Officer will review the request with the supervisor and the President, when necessary. The President and/or the Human Resources Officer shall take one of the following actions regarding the request for vacation leave: overturn the decision of the supervisor; offer an extension of time to use the vacation leave in order that the employee can use the time without forfeiting vacation credits; or, pay to the unit member the equivalent of the leave that would be forfeited. Such payments cannot be regarded as creditable service or compensation for purposes of retirement.

If you have any questions, please ask your Local Chapter President or local officers, and they can advise you.

In solidarity,
-Seth Bean
APA State-Wide President

Update regarding salary increases

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that the university will be implementing salary increases, retroactive payments, and the COVID bonus as negotiated by the MSCA, APA and AFSCME unions and extended to NUP and NUC employees, as per the schedule below. The schedule was established by the Office of the Comptroller Statewide Payroll team.

  • Pay date of May 27, 2022:   The cost of living adjustments for FY21 and FY22 for eligible benefited MSCA, APA, AFSCME, NUP and NUC employees. 
  • Pay date of June 10, 2022:  The retroactive payments for cost of living adjustments for eligible benefited MSCA, APA, AFSCME, NUP and NUC employees.
  • Pay date of June 24, 2022:  The one-time COVID bonus payment for eligible employees.

Please refer to your most recent collective bargaining agreement for more details. You may direct any questions you may have to eo-hr@salemstate.edu or payrollSSU@salemstate.edu.  Please be advised that our HR and Payroll offices will be very busy processing these payments. Your patience over the next several weeks is greatly appreciated.

Emily E. Topacio ’02, ‘10G

Director

Human Resources & Equal Opportunity

Contract Funding Approved!

Exciting news to share on this first day of April!

The Group Conference Committee has passed the supplemental budget bill that includes the funding for our APA contract! Next step: Governor Baker’s signature!

Once signed, the funds will be released to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance who will then transfer them to the Department of Higher Education who then transfers them to the individual state universities (talk about red tape!). 

Bottom line – we are looking at the money hitting our checks sometime this month!

Monthly Meeting Agenda – March

March 10, 2022

Agenda Image
  • Updates 
    • Commencement Concerns/Changing the Model for 2023
    • Leadership Meeting on 3/1
    • President Keenan 360 Review
  • Grievance Updates
  • Annual Meeting/Social Event
  • Bylaws Review
  • Tuition/Fees
  • New Business

Upcoming Meetings:

  • April 5, 2022 from 1-2:30 PM
  • May 2, 2022 from 1-2:30 PM
  • June 8, 2022 from 1-2:30 PM
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