December 7, 2016
MGEC Golf Event (Wednesday, 9/6/17) To register, contact Oak Marsh at: 651-730-8886 x3 or by e-mail: Om@wpgolf.com. or go to the Oak Marsh registration link: http://www.wpgolf.com/oakmarsh/mgec.aspx The MGEC Annual meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.
November 9, 2016
Double check your (back) pay
A handful of members found errors in the calculation of their back pay. It's difficult to provide a formula that works for everyone because of difference (number hours worked, step increases, job changes) so any employee seeking help should contact their Human Resources office.
September 6, 2016
MGEC Dues Set for 2017
Dues for MGEC members, Associate members and fair share fees will see the first dues increase in six years in January 2017. The boards commitment to provide for the rising cost of arbitrations, attorneys, having a reserve to protect employees future interests in shutdowns, layoff, grievance and bargaining led them to increase dues (something not done for six years) to the level provided for in the MGEC Constitution & By-Laws which is one-half of the first step of Range 9 of the MGEC contract. Effective in January dues will go up from $12.00 per pay period to $14.35. (Approximately half of the increase is due to the application of constitutional language and half is due to the increase in wages due from 2015 & 2016.) Application of the constitutional language takes dues from a set amount and indexes them to the rates of the contract. (Associate members dues will be $4.78; Fair share fee $12.20)
July 28, 2016
Interest Arbitration Award
The arbitrator's decision is in. It's a split decision. In many ways it's a big win for MGEC. First of all, rest assured, there will be back pay to July 1st of 2015 & 2016. Look for it in your October check.
MGEC has been working on compensation studies since 2007. The study results have been shared with members and have been a primary factor in the proposals MGEC has made in the last rounds of bargaining. MGEC has argued to the State that market rates for work done by MGEC members be recognized and steps taken to adjust compensation accordingly. The arbitrator found the study results compelling. He also upheld MGEC's claim that the State must consider market rates as one of four factors when setting compensation. The State has basically disregarded that requirement in favor of "pattern bargaining." The State claim was that "turnover" is the primary factor they consider when deciding if outside market rates become a factor in setting compensation. The arbitrator didn't agree.
What is the outcome? All pay steps will be increased by 2.5% July 1 of 2015 and again 2016. The top step increase for pay ranges 9, 11 and 14 will be 3.5% rather than 2.5%. Those pay ranges cover the positions of Senior Engineer, Senior Land Surveyor, Radio Engineer 2, Principal Engineer, Principal Land Surveyor, Administrative Engineer, Administrative Land Surveyor. While only some of these positions were shown to be most under compensated based on compensation studies, all positions on these ranges benefited from this change. This is meant to be a small first step to partially rectify the compensation disparity. The arbitrator suggested the parties do more work to resolve remaining compensation disparity where they exist in the next round of bargaining.
MGEC sought to increase the pay range for Engineering Specialists Seniors from Range 7 to Range 8. The arbitrator did not award this. He left this to the parties to address and suggested a "why now" test must be applied to justify a change not supported by the compensation study. MGEC previously recognized a problem for this classification is already working to address this in the upcoming 2016 compensation study so that more accurate wage comparison might be determined.
What's next? The award and MGEC contract went go the Legislative Subcommittee on Employee Relations for consideration. If the committee doesn't act or doesn't reject the new contract/award within thirty day of receiving it, it should go into effect thereafter (likely October). Even when in effect, the contract/award would still go before the legislature for a vote at whatever time they bring it up (likely 2017).
Employees who have left state employment since July 1, 2015 should contact their employer (agency) or MMB asking for the retroactive back pay. They may also want to perhaps contact MSRS if they are getting retirement benefits to inform them of the increase and ask them to determine if their benefits will increase.
Arbitrator Wallin's Award
Congratulations to MGEC members & the MGEC Board for the determination and long hard work to do everything reasonable to get a better contract!
June 6, 2016
Two days of hearings were held June 2-3 pertaining to the MGEC contract successor agreement. How did it go? MGEC is pleased that the information conveyed by the evidence and examples provided by witnesses were clear and thorough. Attorney James Michaels, for MGEC provided the rationale and supporting documentation for the increases sought. The arbitrator is free to fashion any remedy deemed appropriate. We believe that the State's wage proposal of 2.5% each July 1 (retroactive to 2015 & 2016) is the starting point for the arbitrator. The next step of the process is for both parties to submit "briefs" to the arbitrator by July 1. The brief will pull together the evidence and testimony as coherent arguments supporting MGEC final economic proposals; so more details can be provided after that point. Provided everything is complete, the arbitrator then has thirty days to prepare his award. Once the award is received, if MGEC were to receive any of the additional remedies sought: an equity adjustment for Senior Engineering Specialists and/or another one percent each year at the top step for all classes in order to move in the direction of market rates, and/or an additional deferred $100 compensation match for all employees, the award would then go to the Legislative Subcommittee on Employees for a vote.
MGEC Golf Tournament
It's always fun with a noon shotgun start Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Sign up today by calling Oak Marsh Golf Course at 651-730-886 or visit their website at: