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There shall be established a Staff, Support and Professional Unit Committee on Professional Development fund and shall utilize the guidelines outlined below.
1. The committee shall meet and confer regarding criteria for the awarding of Professional Development fund and shall utilize the guidelines outlined below.
I. Any Unit employee who has completed 6 months of service to the Academy is eligible to make application.
II. A Unit member seeking Professional Development funding should submit an application to the Professional development Committee via his/her supervisor if approval of work time is needed.
III. The Supervisor shall then recommend the approval or disapproval of the application and forward it to the Committee.
IV. The Committee shall review the application(s) and shall select, within the available funds, those requests which satisfy the criteria set forth in Article 17, C, 3 of the Staff, Support and Professional Unit contract.
V. Applications will be considered on a first come, first serve basis, until the allocated funds for the fiscal year are committed Applications should be made as soon as the date of the requested activity is known. If the Committee determines that the circumstances warrant, applications can be made for a professional development activity a member had attended but did not make application for, provided the activity occurred during the fiscal year.
VI. The Committee will notify the applicant of the decision to approve or disapprove the request. This notification will also include the amount of funding authorized.
B. Reporting - Each member who receives a funding commitment must submit, within 14 days after completion of approved program, a wriitn report to the professional Development Committee. This report must contain:
I. An itemized list of the costs, with receipts, which are to be covered by the approved funds;
II. Copies, if any, of the program description, and certificates of completion.
C. Funds Distribution: The established criteria for the consideration and distribution of the Staff, Support and Professional Unit Development Funds shall be:
I. That approved funding will normally be reimbursed to the member after the successful completion of the approved activity, and upon the completion of the reporting requirements in subparagraph 1.b. “Reporting”.
II. The member may receive an advance of the approved funding for any costs the member pre-paid and can document. Also the member may have certain costs, such as airline tickets and registration fees, prepaid by the fund direct to the company or institution.
III. The Committee will consider the reimbursement for costs associated with the approved activity. These include costs such as; course registration fees, meals, lodging and transportation. Transportation reimbursement will be consistent with current Academy travel policy.
IV. Failure to comply with the reporting requirements in subparagraph 1.b. “Reporting” will result in cancellation of the approved request at which time the allocation will be returned to the Development fund for use by other members.
V. Members who have a funding commitment and who are not able to expend the approved funds must notify the Committee as soon as possible so that other request of members can be considered.
I. Members may receive up to $1,000.00 in funding on or before March 1st of each fiscal year.
II. Providing funds are available members may make multiple requests or may request funding for activities more than $1,000.00 after March 1st.
III. Special requests will be reviewed by the Committee if a member circumstances are outside of above guidelines.
STATEMENT OF POLICY
Only actual and necessary expenses essential to the professional development activity will be reimbursed. All expenses must be governed by the rule of reasonable and proper.
1) Receipted bills must accompany all reimbursement vouchers for meals, lodging, tolls and unusual expenditures. (Unusual expenditures should be fully explained on the reimbursement voucher.)
No member shall be reimbursed for any meals or lodgings if their work location or residence is within a reasonable distance from development activity. The number of meals and nights of lodging should be within reason for the period of time needed to conduct the professional development activity.
2) Reasonable expense for meals not to exceed $5.00 for breakfast; $7.00 for lunch; and $12.00 for supper (tax and gratuities included).
Effective 11/01/2007 mileage will be paid at the rate of $.35/mile; $.41/mile for handicap-equipped vehicles; and $.37/mile for carpooling. Whenever possible, members should make every effort to use carpools and must indicate on voucher the names of those members who carpooled.
Those individuals who are traveling under state expenses at the time of an approved activity shall not request duplicate payment from the Professional Development Fund.
On attendance at conferences, anything short of participation through the end of the conference is short-changing your co-members and defeating the purposes of the fund.
Overview of New Staff, Support and Professional Unit Contract
As many of you know, the negotiating team and management have been working to combine the Classified Unit (Hourly) and Staff Unit (Salaried) contracts into a new Staff Support and Professional Unit Contract. The task was complicated by the fact that although the two contracts were similar, they were very much different, much like boys and girls. After the draft was completed it was taken to receive the blessing of the MMA Board of Trustees and the MSEA Board of Directors.
All has been blessed, and now the draft comes before you the Full Dues paying members of the Staff, Support, and Professional Unit, for your final say.
The stated goal and, what we believe was achieved, was a combination of what we believe is the best of both contracts. Some sections required that we specify hourly and salaried, mostly in areas where Federal, State laws, and duties require a difference or a combination would have been detrimental to one or the other group.
Enough of the boring stuff, here’s the good stuff.
This represents a significant increase over monetary or percentage gains by employees from the past couple contracts.
Also, the language pertaining to placement on the pay scale after promotion, reclassification, and demotion was clarified. In relation to promotion and reclassification, increases are no longer limited to the nearest to but no less than 5%. The language “the nearest to” was removed. Demotions are no longer “no less than 5%” instead they are “no more than 5%”.
A revision of the subsection regarding reporting for duty was amended to cover all unit members. This subsection now reads:
Failure to report to work or call in within twenty four (24) hours of an employee’s scheduled work time (unless there are extenuating circumstances).
This compromise was agreed to after it was established that such a violation does not mean immediate termination.
USE OF PERSONAL VEHICLE
The reimbursement for mileage, for employees using their personal vehicles for assigned non-campus Academy business, was changed from $0.32 per mile to the prevailing federal rate as set by the IRS.
The reimbursement for use of personal vehicles on campus and around Castine was increased from $3 per day to $5 per day, now to be paid through the MMA payroll system.
This language was amended to clarify unit members’ duty to the Academy in terms of compensation via the Court.
A step was added for mediation.
Language was clarified and funds from the Classified Unit and Staff Unit accounts combined from $5,000 and $15,000 respectively to $20,000.
Sexual Orientation was added to the protected groups under the non-discrimination language.
JOB OPENINGS AND PROMOTIONS
The language for manditory interviews of all Internal Canidates was amended to specify those who meet the minimim qualifications.
This Article requiring Performance Evaluations was stricken from the contract.
Previously new employees were given a choice between the Maine State Retirement System and TIAA-CREF. As of October 1, 2006 all new employees will only be able to opt into the Maine State Retirement System. Employees presently in the TIAA-CREF plan and any employees hired prior to October 1, 2006 shall continue to have the TIAA-CREF plan option. The Academy agreed to increase its matching percentage from 5.9% to an actual matching of 6.5%
MANTENANCE OF MEMBERSHIP
The revised language for this Article shall compel all employees hired, after the ratification of the contract, to pay a service fee if they do not opt to join the Union.
*A special note:
Those Unit Members receiving stipends for personal vehicle use and carrying a pager.
Due to the need to be incompliance with state and federal tax laws the stipend money will be done through regular payroll processes.