AFSCME Council 18

Mathletes! State Reveals Methodology on Back Pay Plan

Town Hall Meetings on Status of Back Pay Coming January 2014

On Wednesday, AFSCME attended a presentation by the State Personnel Office (SPO) and Department of Information Technology (DoIT) staff detailing their two (2) PHASE plan to settle the back pay lawsuit.

As of October, the state has dedicated sufficient professional staff to research and carry out necessary computer programming to calculate the back pay, adjust the raises, and resolve the issue.

PHASE 1 - "Stop the Bleeding" - adjust salaries moving forward

SPO / DoIT presented their logic [formula] to pull lists of AFSCME members who will be eligible to receive the salary adjustment

SPO / DoIT presented their logic [formula] to calculate the percentage of underpayment for each bargaining unit member who will receive a salary adjustment

AFSCME Economist Mike Messina travelled from D.C. to review the state's methodology. Brother Messina has begun his review of the state's formulas and will be in direct contact, not with SPO lawyers, but compensation personnel and DoIT programmers to expedite improvements and changes to the state's methodology. Once satisfied, the unions will sign off on the state's plan.

SPO has proposed to the Department of Finance Administration their methodology for the salary adjustments, and is waiting to hear back from DFA if all effected agencies have sufficient budget surplus to increase wages per the settlement. (Legislative Finance Committee Director David Abbey reported at the 12/12 meeting that their research has determined that agencies have sufficient funds top cover the settlement)

SPO Legal Counsel reported that once DFA signs off on the budget issue and AFSCME approves the methodology, that the permanent wage increases (NOT lump sum retroactive payments) could go into effect in a matter of weeks.

As you know, the original FY2009 raises as negotiated should have ranged between 3 and 5.5% for UNION employees. The state shorted our raise by awarding a 2.9% across the board increase to ALL state workers.

PHASE 2 - "LUMP-Sum Retroactive Back Pay

SPO says paying back lump sum will likely require appropriation from Legislature to hire a vendor through an RFP to carry out complicated calculations for lump sum pay back.

Timing for retroactive payment lump sums is undetermined, but AFSCME is encouraged that things will continue to move as speedily as possible since our AFSCME economist "outside eyes" and DoIT staff are communicating directly on resolving the issue.

Next step: We will roll out the information on back pay, as well as contract negotiations and the upcoming legislative session to the membership at town hall meetings across the state. We anticipate about 10 town halls and holding them in January.

We will continue to stay engaged until the last check is written.

In Unity, Merry Christmas and have a safe and happy holidays!

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