Service Time and Notice Rights

Note: We are discussing service time here as used to calculate notification rights, not for SURS which is a different calculation discussed here

There have been a number of questions about service time (i.e. for notification rights) for Academic Professionals under the University statues and credit for visiting service.  Below is our best understanding of the current rules and practices of the University of Illinois covering termination contracts and notice of appointments. These are covered in several places online:

UIUC Provost Communication #11 here.

University of Illinois Statue, Section 11 here.

Visiting Academic Professionals

There is a 30 day courtesy notice for non-renewal of appointment for VAPs under the collective bargaining agreement.  On top of this, the university has a past practice of honoring Notice of Appointments unless there is termination for cause.  So, for example, if your NOA is through August 15, they usually will not end the appointment before that date.

If you transition to a non-visiting academic professional position, does service time in the VAP position count? Maybe. Under the collective agreement, you can carry service time over into your non-visiting AP position (1.0 FTE) if the following apply:

  1. You have been a 1.0 FTE VAP in the same position and the same unit for 36 months (3 years).  You can carry over 2 years of service time into the new position if the other criteria are met.
  2. The non-visiting position has the same title as the visiting one (e.g. Visiting Research Scientist to Research Scientist — Yes; Visiting Research Scientist to Senior Programmer– No.)
  3. The position is within the same unit.  (e.g. Visiting Research Scientist at Department of Mathematics to Research Scientist at Department of Mathematics– Yes; Visiting Research Scientist at Department of Mathematics to Research Scientist at NCSA–No)

What happens if as part of the move to non-visiting your unit is reorganized into something else? Then, this is determined on a case-by-case basis by AHR where they examine whether the new position reports to the same supervisor (i.e. the position not a person), whether the people you interact with are the same and whether the duties are the same as the previous unit. If the answers to those questions are yes, then the service time will transfer into the new non-visiting AP position.

Non-visiting Academic Professionals

The only positions that have notice rights (i.e. they have to give you notice before eliminating a position for programmatic or budgetary reasons) are those with 1.0 FTE.  This means if you hold two AP titles with less than 1.0 FTE in both positions, you do not have any notice rights. This also means if you have a less than 1.0 FTE AP position and less than 1.0 FTE position in a another employee class (e.g. non-tenure track faculty), you also no notice rights even if both positions add up to 1.0 FTE.

We include the full relevant text from the statue below, but first want to highlight something that APs should be aware of in calculating service time:

5. Computation of length of service will be on the basis of continuous employment in campus academic administrative and professional positions (or similar service at the university level for employees of the university administration). On a case-by-case basis, credit may be given for all or part of their relevant experience in other University of Illinois positions.

In practice, this has meant that if you change job titles or units, you reset the clock on service time. For example, lets say you are Asst Director of Curriculum Development at 1.0 for 6 years and are then moved into a different titled position, Associate Director of Learning Services.  This means the clock is now reset and your service time starts from 0. This doesn’t apply in the case where you are promoted from Assistant to Associate within the same job track (i.e. Asst Director of Curriculum Development to Associate Director of Curriculum Development. Or, Programmer to Senior Programmer, etc.). This also can change if you move to a different unit. For example, if you are a (non-visiting AP) programmer in the Department of Physics, but then move to a (non-visiting AP) programmer position at the NCSA, your service time is calculated from the beginning of the most recent appointment.

From Section 11 of the Statues:

1. Except as provided in 2 and 3 below, written notice of nonreappointment shall be given by the Board of Trustees to academic professional employees in accordance with the following schedule:

Length of Full-Time Service to the University
(in full appointment years completed)
Minimum Notice of Nonreappointment
Less than 4 years 6 Months
4 years or over 12 Months

2. Written notice of nonreappointment shall be given by the Board of Trustees to an academic professional employee on an appointment which notes that it is subject to receipt of funds in accordance with the following schedule [i.e. you have a * in your NOA next to salary– you position is funded from soft funds (grant, etc.)]:

Length of Full-Time Service to the University
(in full appointment years completed)
Minimum Notice of Nonreappointment
Less than 4 years 2 Months
4 years or over 6 Months
plus 1 additional month for each additional full appointment year of service to a maximum of 12 months’ notice
10 years 12 Months

3. Written notice of nonreappointment shall be given by the Board of Trustees to an academic professional employee who is the director of intercollegiate athletics or a coach of an intercollegiate athletic team in accordance with the following schedule:

Length of Full-Time Service to the University
(in full appointment years completed)
Minimum Notice of Nonreappointment
Less than 4 years 3 Months
4 years or over 6 Months
Advertisements

Anti-Muslim & Anti-Immigrant Actions of Trump Administration

Dear Members,
 Over the last few days the new Trump administration has stumbled from one mess to another.  On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning entrance to the US from citizens or dual-citizens of several Muslim majority countries even to those with permanent residence status.  This has wreaked havoc for many in our campus community and many friends, colleagues and family members beyond campus.
This administration’s actions have been deeply immoral, embarrassing and incompetent. The leadership of AAP stands in solidarity with our friends, colleagues and students affected by the xenophobia, fear-mongering and ineptitude of this administration. While many of you feel unwelcome and look to an uncertain future, please know that you have friends and allies here on campus in our organization and in the broader campus community.  We strongly support the statement made Saturday by Martin McFarlane, the Director of International Students and Scholars Services at UIUC: “You are wanted at the University of Illinois. You are needed here. And you are valued here.”

In solidarity,
Joseph Roy, President
Lisa Bievenue, Treasurer
Jason Mierek, Secretary
Dan Hahn, Past President

December Update

Statement on IPAC

The leadership of our association endorses President Killeen’s IPAC plan to provide accountable and stable funding for the University of Illinois. Earlier today, the Council on Academic Professionals announced their support of IPAC as well (https://illinois.edu/emailer/files/114359/ipac_oral_statement.pdf). This plan sets high standards that will benefit the students and citizens of Illinois while providing a reasonable investment in the present and future of the state.  Further, removal of the onerous state regulations as outlined in the plan will increase innovation and decrease the regulatory costs that do not benefit our students.  We encourage our members and all who wish to see the University of Illinois system succeed, to  contact your state representative or senator and encourage them to support this plan (currently HB6623).  You can find out how to contact them here:  https://app7.vocusgr.com/WebPublish/controller.aspx?SiteName=UnivILAlumni&Definition=Home&SV_Section=Home

Please consider calling their office rather than email, as it is more effective. If you have any questions on this, please contact us.

At the state and national level, there have been a number of disappointing events that affect members in our local.

FLSA Change

A court in Texas issued an injunction against the Department of Labor’s new FLSA guidelines from going into effect (see here).  This means the new overtime rules will not go into effect on our campus. It seems unlikely that the new Department of Labor secretary will follow through with the implementation or defend it in court, but we don’t know yet if that is the case. The University has decided to go ahead with pay increases that were promised, however, in response to the FLSA rules. We are happy the University has chosen to do this as it follows our understanding of the relevant law and the collective agreement.

Health Insurance/AFSCME Labor Board Ruling

AFSCME lost its challenge before the state labor board (see here). They are still waiting on a written ruling and then it is likely that AFSCME will appeal.  The consequences on University employees could be dire:  There is the possibility that all state employees health insurance premiums will double retroactively to June 2016 (and they would be withheld from paychecks from the remainder of the year). The University’s presentations over the summer provide a little hope that might not happen.  A a minimum the University wants the state to allow employees to choose a new plan and not allow the increases to apply retroactively.  There is still much uncertainty around this issue and it might not be resolved soon.

Gift Days

In some positive news, the University has gifted employees three more holidays during the winter break.  Most units shut down between December 25 to Jan 1 and employees are forced to take vacation days for the days not covered as a holiday or gift day during that time.  The association, under the collective bargaining agreement,  quickly confirmed to the University we agreed with their policy* and did not need to negotiate this (any change in benefits can be negotiated by the local). We are grateful to President Killeen and the leadership of each of the campuses for providing these extra days this year and hope they continue to do so in future years.

*There are some employees who will not get these days off because of the critical nature of their positions.  They have the right to use these at later date during the school year. If they don’t use them by the end of the calendar year, they lose these days (similar to the floating holidays).  If there are problems or concerns with how this has been implemented in your unit, please contact us at aapillinoisedu@gmail.com

Labor Management Meeting September 2016

We met on September 15, 2016 at 11 am

For Academic Human Resources (AHR): Heather Horn and Sharon Reynolds

For AAP-IEA/NEA: Joseph Roy and Steve Vaughan

  1. Overtime rules: AHR posted a link to here this week explaining the changes. These were summarized in an email by AHR to us on Friday. [Please note that for visiting academic professionals, the union retains the right to bargain the impact of any of these changes for our members once the final rules are announced. All employees should be informed of their status by mid-October. If you have any questions about the information from your unit or are concerned about your classification, please contact us (from a non-university email address) at aapillinoisedu@gmail.com]
    1. We expressed concern that leave for pre-approved events maybe denied to those employees who are eligible for overtime (this is hinted at on the FLSA website, but a final determination has not been made).  Given that our members who are eligible for overtime are the lowest paid employees, it does not seem reasonable to exclude them from meetings that are convened by the administration to keep employees informed of the budget situation or the ongoing issues with healthcare on campus. Both AHR representatives informed us that the University would prefer to continue to offer pre-approved leave for these events overtime eligible employees, but the final decision has not been made.
    2. In an email from AHR, we were informed : “the exemption from overtime is not simply based on salary.  Overtime exemption is actually a two factor test of a) duties and b) being paid on a salary basis and the salary meeting or exceeding the threshold ($47,476 as of Dec. 1, 2016).  Both the duties and salary criteria must be satisfied in order for a position to be deemed exempt from overtime.  Individuals who hold positions that do not  satisfy one or both of those criteria are eligible for overtime compensation.  The FLSA requires payment of overtime and allows for compensatory time but it does not require an employer to offer it.  At this time, the University system has not made a final decision on whether we will offer comp time as an option for the salaried non-exempt employees. 

      Academic HR has several campus working groups and our staff is also part of the University System group that separately includes representation from University Administration, our campus, UIC and UIS.

      Individual employees will be specifically informed of the decision for their position, regardless of whether the decision is exempt yet salary remains under the threshold, exempt due to a salary increase above the threshold or salaried non-exempt.  All changes will be effective November 16, 2016 and employees will be notified prior to that date.  Our plans are for notifications to occur in October, once final decisions have been made. 

      Academic professional employees who are determined to be salaried non-exempt will retain their current AP appointment, including the monthly salary paid on the 16th.  There will be no change to their benefit status.  They will have an additional time reporting job that will then pay any overtime owed on a biweekly basis.  The employee class on the time reporting job will be “academic hourly” but the employee will NOT be classified as an academic hourly employee.  This is simply the coding mechanism to facilitate any overtime payment. 

      Please remember that you and your members can access information and FAQ’s on our dedicated webpage, http://go.illinois.edu/flsa and have a designated email address flsaquestions@illinois.edu.  This would be the definitive source of information to which employees should be directed.   For example, you can access a timeline and the presentation used in departmental discussions regarding our processes and decision making.  We will continue to add information to this site as decisions are made.

       

       

  2. There was an issue with a members NOA who was transitioning from visiting to non-visiting.
    1. The member’s offer letter stated a start date of August 16, 2016 for the non-visiting position.
    2. The member’s generated Notification of Appointment (NOA), however, still had the visiting title and the appointment list that went to the board of trustees for the September 8th meeting still had the visiting title. The title in the directory and the salary statement for September reflected the new non-visiting position.
    3. We asked why there was a discrepancy and when did the non-visiting position officially start (i.e. when did the employee have notification rights if there NOA was incorrectly processed)?
      1. AHR assured us this was caused when the employee’s unit entered the position into the system after the deadline for BOT approval in September.  The Board, however, did vote to give the President the right to make non-visiting AP appointments this year and to notify the board (via the Secretary’s report) after the NOA has been generated.
      2. The specific employee was notified the new (non-visiting) that the NOA was generated before the weekend.
      3. If there is a delay between the start of a non-visiting AP position and the NOA, the AHR representatives said that their analysis would be that the notification rights attach the first day the employee starts performing the job duties assigned in the signed PAPE after the start date outlined in the offer letter.

Ratification of the Collective Agreement

Ratification Vote Results

The membership has ratified the tentative collective agreement by a unanimous vote of the majority of members.  The new collective agreement will go into effect August 16, 2016.  Once the official copies have been signed by both sides, they will be posted on Academic Human Resource’s website and AAP’s website: https://aapillinois.wordpress.com/ 

I would like to thank the other members of the bargaining team for their work: Lisa Bievenue (Illinois Informatics Institute) and Jason Mierek (Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities) as well as our IEA UniServ Director, Steve Vaughan. The bargaining team met many times over the spring session to hear your concerns and to draft our initial proposals.  The team met in several sessions over May and June with the University’s team in negotiations.

I would also like to thank and acknowledge the work of the University’s bargaining team, headed by Robb Craddock (Labor & Employee Relations), including Sue Key (Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research), Joe Bohn (College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences), Heather Horn (Academic Human Resources) and Drew Schlosser (Labor & Employee Relations). While we may not have seen eye to eye on all issues, the University’s team worked hard with us in good faith to reach this agreement.

As we move forward this year, there are a few major areas the association will be focused on in the Fall session. First, is the implementation of the Department of Labor new overtime rules. There are a number of members who are affected in our bargaining unit (as well as non-visiting APs). We will be in discussions with AHR and monitoring the implementation of the rules in December. Second, as many of you who watched one of the recent information sessions about healthcare know, the state of Illinois might double insurance premiums retroactively to July 2016.  The association is in discussion with the IEA to determine how to best proceed if the retroactive doubling of health premiums does happen.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the difficult and professional work that you, our members, are doing during this time of continued budgetary uncertainty. Both visiting and non-visiting academic professionals have been asked to take on more responsibilities as critical positions have been eliminated or remain unfilled in units across campus. The funding situation is simply untenable for higher education at our institution and across the state. The association is advocating, in partnership with the IEA, for legislators and the governor to find a sustainable and adequate funding solution going forward.

We will be in touch about all of these efforts over the course of the coming months.

Please email us at aapillinoisedu@gmail.com if you have any questions, concerns or issues.

In solidarity,
Joe

Joseph Roy
Linguistic Data Analytics Manager
President, Association of Academic Professionals (IEA-NEA Local)
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Overtime Rules

The Department of Labor recently posted new rules for exempt employees and the calculation of overtime: https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime/

UIUC Academic Human Resources posted the following on social media (which may or not indicate an endorsement): http://www.cupahr.org/news/item.aspx?id=13597

While it is understandable in these economic times that universities frame this as a cost issue,  working over 40 hours a week also has unintended consequences and costs for employees and employers (see for example this CDC report from 2004: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-143/pdfs/2004-143.pdf). Constantly working longer hours leads to health problems and many times renders the employee less productive than working a standard 40 hour work schedule (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/working-more-than-40-hours-a-week-makes-you-less-productive-research-suggests-10466958.html)

Requiring employees to pay overtime forces employers to confront those costs rather than pretending that those costs don’t exist (and passing the costs onto the rest of society via increased health expenses and increased morbidity related to overwork).

The university’s work schedule often ebbs and flows — most academic employees know that the busy times of year (with the highest likelihood of overtime) are the start and end of each term as well as the end of the fiscal year (which thankfully occurs in the summer and not in the middle of the semester).  There should not be major problems in adjusting to this as the University of Illinois has access to estimates of overtime for current employees via the positive time reporting mechanism and has many options to prepare before the December 2016 implementation deadline.

Currently, for our unit, only 84 members+ are below the $47,476 salary boundary for overtime eligibility (after December).  If the University moved all 84 individuals salaries to above that threshold that would cost in total about $567,000.00.  It is doubtful that the University would do this. The university, as a public institution, also could utilize comp time (at 1.5) for overtime worked. (for more information: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/overtime-highereducation2.pdf)

The other option would be to ensure employees below that threshold don’t work overtime.  If units are finding they are constantly having to authorize overtime for a given employee, it might be worthwhile to hire another individual on a .25 or .50 FTE basis.  Regardless, there are alternatives that the University can take in order to minimize whatever financial impact these new regulations might have  in order to succeed at alleviating the financial and health impact of having some employees constantly overworked.

+ Unfortunately, labor law excludes from overtime educational employees whose main job is interacting with students in academic instruction or training (e.g. academic counselors who perform work such as administering school testing programs, assisting students with academic problems and advising students concerning degree requirements; and other employees with similar responsibilities.) [This includes all tenure and non-tenure stream faculty]. This is determined by job duties and actual duties performed and not job title.

Friends and Advocates Dinner 2016

On April  21, our local had a chance to honor a founding member, Veronica (Ronnie) Kann, who had been treasurer of Association of Academic local from 2002-2015.

Every year, the Friends and Advocates banquet gives local affiliates of the Illinois Education Association a chance to honor individuals who have contributed a great deal to the local. Lisa Bievenue delivered the tribute at the dinner:

When the AAP became affiliated with the IEA in the Spring of 2002, Ronnie was elected our first treasurer. She served in that office until last fall – more than 13 years. Those of you who are familiar with what a treasurer does, know how demanding the job is, and even those of us not in the know recognize the importance of the office. It is a thankless behind-the- scenes job, where you’re noticed only if something goes wrong.

When the Visiting Academic Professionals won recognition, but the regular APs did not, Ronnie’s job was complicated tenfold because she had to manage the dues of both members and fair share fee payers, as well as members who are not in the bargaining unit. She had to negotiate between two large bureaucracies, one – the University– that at that time was undergoing an overhaul of its management systems and is not the most cooperative employer, and second – the IEA, which was new at dealing with professional non-faculty members in Higher Ed, especially quote-visiting-quote employees with a high monthly turnover rate. Thanks to Ronnie, the whole dues mess was straightened out, after countless phone calls, emails and meetings.

But even then, dues and membership remained complicated. The AAP has an average of nine new members per month and nine members leaving the unit each month over the course of every year, with an average time in the unit of less than 2 years. And there were some times during the AAP’s existence when Ronnie was the only executive officer.

She did this while balancing her demanding work schedule as the Assistant Director of La Casa Cultural Latina where she worked tirelessly on the academic retention and success of Latina and Latino students at the University by organizing their peers, their families, faculty and alumni in that effort.

Ronnie, it is difficult to express our gratitude for the years that you have dedicated to the AAP and the union movement; this recognition as Advocate for AAP is long overdue.

20160421_200618

Left to Right: Lisa Bievenue (AAP Treasurer), Steve Vaughan (IEA UniServ Director), Joe Roy (AAP President) and Jenny Barrett (AAP President, 2002-2011)

We were able to visit Ronnie at her home recently to let her know how much we appreciated all she has done:

Ronnie aap2

Left to Right: Steve Vaughan, Joe Roy, Dan Hahn (AAP President, 2013-2015, Lisa Bievenue, Ronnie Kann, Jenny Barrett

 

Health Insurance at UIUC for 2016-2017

The university recently sent an email to employees that included below:
Per CMS – The premium levels listed in the benefits flyer are for FY 2016. Employees should be aware that these premiums may be subject to an increase, pending the outcome of an ongoing legal dispute between the State and AFSCME and that this premium increase <may be applied retroactively to July 1, 2016. See the Special Notice on Page 5 of the CMS flyer.

What this is referring to is the current fight between Governor Rauner and AFSCME to double state employees contributions to health insurance. If the Governor is successful, this could be applied retroactively to July 2016 (even if the court decision comes later in 2016 or in 2017).  Currently, state employees pay 19% and Rauner wants to increase that to 40%. The State of Illinois currently pays pension, health care and other benefits for state employees. The rate for this is ~44% of your annual salary. These are often referred to as “Payments on behalf of” the University and are separate from the state aid to the University. So, for example, the 600 million approved recently by the legislature, doesn’t cover this (and is only about 30% of last year’s state funding).

Basically, take the amount on your earnings statement withheld for health insurance and double it.  Depending on what insurance you have (and whether you have dependants enrolled), effectively this means a 3-10% pay cut applied retroactively to July 2016.

Our union, along with other labor groups, are carefully monitoring this situation.

Update:

Through the Office of Governmental Relations, the University has asked that the State reconsider its position to collect retroactive premiums and instead only begin charging any new premiums after a second Benefit Choice period. This would be after employees could consider the full range of new plans and any associated new costs.

 

April News Flash

Academic Professionals,

We need your feedback to determine what issues are most important to AAP members when we begin bargaining for a new contract. Please fill out the survey below:

http://goo.gl/forms/RvraLqtyvW

We are seeking members that are interested in becoming more involved with the AAP. Here are two ways that you can volunteer your time:
Join the bargaining team
Serve as an officer in the AAP
If you are interested in serving in either of these roles then please reply to this email by Wednesday April 15, 2015.