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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.