Update for the membership

UpdateHoping this update email finds everyone in good health after Thanksgiving – and looking forward to the holidays to come.  May all of you and your families enjoy the season.

First, I’d like to extend the APA Executive Board’s thanks to Bridgewater State University and local Chapter President, Michael Storey, for hosting the 2018 APA Annual meeting in an early snowstorm!  It’s always a pleasure to come to Bridgewater and, as always, the venue, food and meeting were wonderful.

Since the weather prevented a lot of others from making the trip to Bridgewater, here is a short recap of news from the meeting:

  • Membership as of November 16 is up to 1431 full-paying members and 103 (former Agency-fee payers).  Despite the Janus decision in June, membership continues to grow.
  • As with all Audits since Jim Murphy took over as Treasurer, the annual financial audit of the APA was clean, with no significant findings (Thanks again, Jim).
  • MTA Higher Ed Director, Suzanne Wall delivered a presentation of the MTA’s goals and objectives for K-12 and Higher Ed.  She highlighted the need for wider financial support for education from the state and the MTA’s thoughts on how to accomplish better funding.
  • Board Members asked to be included, or at least have input, into the MTA’s committee which is looking at reforming the MTA dues structure.  The goal of the study being undertaken by the committee is to make membership affordable to more potential members and to be fairer (to the APA in particular) to those who begin membership outside of the school calendar year (calculating dues on a monthly scale was a suggestion to make the payments fair to those who are hired at other times of the year).
  • Health and Welfare reports that its finances are also healthy and they are looking at improved benefits for the membership.
  • The Board is looking forward to reviewing the new APA website at its December Meeting and hopeful for a go-live date shortly thereafter. The new site will include some updated communications tools and have a more dynamic look and feel
  • Of course – the news that everyone wants to hear – the salary increases we are all looking forward to finally seeing in our paychecks have been calculated.  They will be reflected in the November 30 payroll.
  • In the December 14 payroll, ALL of the retroactive pay from 2017 and 2018 will be paid out.
  • The APA has provided a written copy of the new contract with corrections to the attorneys for Management (in order to try to move the process along).  As soon as the document has been signed off by all parties, and each change double-checked, we will post the new document on the website and provide some hard-copies to each institution.  Despite the lack of printed copies of the corrected APA Agreement, the language for the new contract is the current agreement we should all be following.
  • The new evaluation process has begun.  Please be prepared to participate in this important new evaluation – it is your opportunity to provide the input upon which you should be evaluated. Review your job description and make sure it reflects the dues and responsibilities that you are undertaking.  By all means, provide feedback on how YOU feel the process is working!

One last reminder about personal/sick/vacation time.  Check with your HR department before taking personal days between the 2018 Christmas and 2019 New Year holidays.  Make sure you will be using your 2018 personal days and not a combination of 2018/19 (unless that was your intent!).  We have been told the following – but it doesn’t hurt to check…”HR/Payroll has to manually monitor all Personal Time (PER) used during the week which crosses over to a new year.  The HR/CMS system has been set up to zero out all unused PER on 12/31 and add the next year’s benefit on January 1.  Because of this situation, this Payroll office will run reports for all employees with a PER balance after the pay period ending 12/22/18 and then check to see if any of them use the leave for the last week of the year.  If they do, when the time is zeroed out on 12/31, we will add it back to the timesheet using the code PER+, so the employee will see no loss of their 2019 personal hours”.

Remember that you have until June 30, 2020 to get your vacation accrual down to 375 hours.  On July 1, 2020, all accrued vacation hours in excess of 375 will roll over to your sick accrual one last time.  After June 30, 2020, unused vacation time in excess of 375 hours during the alert months of May and November will no longer be rolled into sick leave accrual and may be lost.  Follow the contract language under Article VII, Section 2, a (Scheduling of Vacation) to safeguard your vacation time and accrual – and PLEASE, take vacation time.  You have earned it!

On behalf of the Executive Board, I am wishing all of you a happy and healthy semester-end, wonderful Winter Commencement celebrations, and the best of holiday good cheer for you and yours.  See you in the New Year.  2019 is the beginning of bargaining for the 2020 APA Agreement!

Sherry Horeanopoulos

Statewide President, Association of Professional Administrators