Recently, MGEC and MMB have reached a tentative agreement on a contract for the period of July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023. Prior to reaching that tentative agreement, we were scheduled for Interest Arbitration September 7-9. Recently, MMB asked MGEC to return to mediation to discuss range reassignments for classifications that require a professional license (engineers and surveyors). They stated that recent data, difficulty hiring, and retirements suggests to them they need to move those classes to the next higher pay range. MGEC encourages them to make those changes they’ve determined merit it. It’s a case we’ve been making for many years. But rather than settle for only licensed employees getting the range adjustment, the MGEC board strongly argued that there is a case to be made that all of the classes should receive an adjustment based on comparison of compensation provided by other employers. At the end of mediation, there was a conceptual tentative agreement, pending an opportunity to review final language. So, what’s changed between the board meeting Monday, August 1, 2022 and Tuesday, August 9, 2022? Upon further clarification of the state’s plan for implementing the range reassignment, our understanding of the implementation of the range reassignment changed from what we understood it to be when the board previously voted to recommend the agreement to the membership. It impacts members differently. Based on the clarification, the board will now send the proposal out to the membership for a vote, but we will not be making a recommendation of whether to accept or reject. We believe that our members would like to make your independent judgment of this tentative agreement. See below for some highlights regarding the tentative agreement:
- Range Reassignment – Move the following classes to the next higher pay range:
- Engineering Specialist Senior
- Engineering Specialist Principal
- Engineer Senior
- Engineer Principal
- Engineer Administrative
- Radio Engineer 2
- Land Surveyor Senior
- Land Surveyor Principal
- Land Surveyor Administrative
If passed by MGEC vote, the employer agreed to implement the changes in October. The employer intends to make all those not at the top of their pay step wait until their anniversary date to get their step increase. Essentially, the range reassignment provides them with one more step increase as they progress to the top of their range. Those at the top step, who had been there for at least one year, would make the move to the top step of their next higher range when the contract was implemented. To be clear, MGEC sought an equity adjustment for all classes, including Engineering Specialist, but the employer refused claiming that the Engineering Specialist classification are at market rate.
- 2.5% grid increase retroactive each July 2021 and 2022
- A floating holiday for those employed by the state on June 19, 2022
Preparation for arbitration has not stopped. August 9th the employer provided written clarification of their proposal with examples using the new compensation grids. That evening, MGEC board considered the state’s proposed tentative agreement and decided it to send it out to the membership for a vote. We’re putting together an explanation of the steps that got us to this point and seeking the final language with the changes redlined. So, we’re working on more detailed explanation about implementation of the changes to come before the ballot goes out.