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.

Sep 11 RALLY on Campus!

12:00–12:15 at Alma Mater
Unity Chants
Rally Roll Call
12:15–12:30 Union Issues
2 AFSCME Speakers
2 NTT (Non-Tenure Track Faculty) Speakers

12:30–12:45
Unity March through Union (where Bd of Trustees will be meeting) to Quad
12:45–1:30 on Quad
Transition speaker 
Salaita/Academic freedom specific event

July News Flash

Academic Professionals,

Did you know… that the Visiting AP contract with the university requires monthly Labor Management Meetings with Academic Human Resources? If you have questions about your working conditions or need clarification on any policy regarding your workplace then let us know. Reply to this email with any questions or concerns that you’d like us to bring to the meeting and we’ll report back! Your identity will remain anonymous.

IPACE Recommendation Meeting

The IEA IPACE committee will be holding an interview and recommendation meeting for Illinois House Districts 103 and 104. All IEA members who contribute to political action are invited to attend and join the discussion. Local association presidents have the important responsibility of casting votes, on behalf of their local, for the candidate they believe should be recommended by IEA-IPACE. By all members can attend and participate. House District 103 is a contested race between newcomers, Democrat Carol Ammons and Republican Kristin Williamson. Rep. Chad Hays is an incumbent member of the Illinois House District 104 and has been recommended by the IEA in the past.

As public employees we know how important the decisions made in Springfield are to our livelihood, working conditions and our economy. If you would like to attend please RSVP to Chad Jordon by July 31, 2014. You will need to give him your name and tell him that you are a member of the Association of Academic Professionals. (800-252-8076, ext. 2242 or chad.jordon@ieanea.org.) If you have other questions you can contact the Champaign IEA Office at 217/384-2906.

The IPACE Committee (Illinois Political Action Committee on Education) will conduct a candidate recommendation meeting for House Districts 103 & 104 on:

DATE:  Tuesday, August 5, 2014

TIME:  10:00 a.m. “Working” Breakfast

PLACE:  IEA Regional Office
2110 Clearlake Blvd., Ste. 103
Champaign, IL 61822

Please RSVP by Thursday July 31, 2014, to Chad Jordon at 800-252-8076, ext. 2242 or chad.jordon@ieanea.org.

IEA Higher Ed Conference

IEA has extended the deadline to submit requests for funding to attend the October IEA Higher Education Conference. The new deadline for requests to be received is August 15.

The conference will be held at the Sheraton Suites in Elk Grove Village on October 10-11. The conference agenda includes Friday evening entertainment and a reception with roundtable discussions and opportunities for networking, Saturday sessions on a variety of topics of interest to higher education members, good food and a drawing for fantastic door prizes at the end of the conference! You won’t want to miss it!

Complete and submit the request form found here and e-mail it to janet.sablotny@ieanea.org. You will be notified by the end of August if you are approved for funding

AAP Twitter Account

You can now get news from the AAP via twitter by following @AAP_uiuc: https://twitter.com/AAP_uiuc

Pension Reform Summary

As you know, Governor Quinn signed the pension legislation that was passed by the Illinois Legislature on Tuesday.  While we are grateful that our local representatives voted against this legislation, and  they should be recognized for their stand, the nexus of conservatism and other politics let the bill squeak through.

There are many questions regarding the impact of the legislation on individuals.  Here is summary of the legislation as provided by the SURS:

https://uofi.box.com/shared/static/o6835f87jmbyt1p6y7kg.pdf

In general you will have to work longer and receive less retirement than was previously the case.  A central item in the new law is a significant reduction in the COLA for retirees which will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars less in retirement for some of you.  A broader consideration is that the changes may make it harder for the U of I to attract and retain the highest quality staff and faculty.  We will pass on further information regarding the impact as it becomes available.

The AAP views this legislation as regressive and unconstitutional.  The legislation will be challenged in court by the “We Are One” coalition of which the Illinois Education Association is a member, and it remains to be seen if there will be injunctive relief during the challenge.