Serving Illinois State Employees Since 1923

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back Pay Update

We wanted to touch base with you to let you know where we are with the back pay situation and what to expect in the next few months.
 
First and foremost, most employees have, at this point, received some backpay owed to them by the State. However, these amounts are just a fraction of what you are owed and we are still in the middle of the fight. Fortunately, in the current collective bargaining agreement we were able to secure language that requires the Employer to pay. So, the issue of whether or not the Employer will pay is no longer a part of the battle- we have won that fight. But there is still much to be done in the next few months to ensure that we get every single member- current and retired- paid all monies owed to them.
 
We have had many questions from employees regarding how the State has figured the back pay owed and what percentage of that amount has been paid to each individual. Due to increasing pressure from the Unions, the Governor has instructed the Agencies to put together a detailed document which will reflect what is owed to each individual employee and what amount has been distributed. Once we have received that information we will be able to share with each individual what you are specifically owed and what has been paid. We will notify the group as soon as we have that information in hand. It is due to the Unions by September 30th.
 
Next, and very important to the fight, the State and the Unions have banded together to seek legislation that would appropriate the funds necessary to make all employees whole with regards to the 2011 wage freeze. There was a bill introduced in the last sessio but Legislators were concerned about pension changes and did not pass the appropriations bill. Over the Summer, the Legislature held a special session and set up a committee to work on possible new pension legislation. Business Manager Mike Stout has been actively involve in meetings with Legislators as part of the We Are One coalition to both advocate for our members as well as to monitor the conversations that are happening regarding what new pension legislation proposals may look like. We expect the pension issue to be resolved sooner rather than later.
 
As such, we have continued to lobby our fight for the funds to be appropriated so that you can all be made whole. The Legislature is set to return on October 22, 2013 and we will be putting out to the membership in the following weeks talking points and other information necessary for you to contact your local legislators while we continue the fight at the Capitol and lobbying for our members. Be watching your emails in the upcoming weeks leading up to the new session.
 
Lastly, it has been brought to our attention by our Retiree members that the SERS website states that AFSCME employees will be receiving credit for the backpay at SERS once it is received. However, AFSCME members are not the only employees who will receive said credit as that applies to all affected Union members, including ISEA, Laborers' Local 2002 members. We have contacted SERS and they are going to be updating the website by the end of the week to include and reflect all affected Unions.
 
We must continue the fight united! We will not stop until we have won!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

VR-704 Back Pay Update

On July 31, 2013, you will receive a paycheck that should reflect all of the wage increases you were owed under the previous Agreement. If you were owed a step during FY12 (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012) then that step should also be on your paycheck. There is also an additional 2%  increase that is effective July 1st that will be reflected on your paycheck. Please refer to the new Agreement for your correct base pay.

Note: There will NOT be backpay on this check.

FY13 (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013): Any back pay you are owed from FY13 will be paid in a separate check in August 2013. It will NOT be added to your regular paycheck. This backpay will include the difference between what you were paid during FY13 and what you should have been paid during FY13. It will include the difference in the rate you were paid for overtime and/or temporary assignment pay and the rate you should have earned for overtime and/or temporary assignment pay.

Note: DOC/DJJ will pay as much as they can from existing funds. If there are not sufficient funds to cover all backpay, you will receive a portion of what you are owed. This check will issue in August 2013 as a check separate from your paychecks.

FY12 (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012: Any back pay you are owed from FY12 will be paid in a separate check in August 2013. It will NOT be added to your regular paycheck. This backpay will include the difference between what you were paid during FY12 and what you should have been paid during FY12. It will include the difference in the rate you were paid for overtime and/or temporary assignment pay and the rate you should have earned for overtime and/or temporary assignment pay.

Note: DOC/DJJ will pay as much as they can from existing funds. If there are not sufficient funds to cover all backpay, you will receive a portion of what you are owed. This check will issue in August 2013 as a check separate from your paycheck.

Also, please remember that state and federal taxes will be applied to any back pay as it is legally subject to such taxes. All payments are also subject to involuntary withholding of State-owed payments currently on file with the Illinois Comptroller’s Office.

Contact Information: If you wish to inquire with the Employer regarding this information, they have asked that you contact the payroll department at your facility. Please do not call the Illinois Office of the Comptroller. As always, you can contact us at any time with any questions you may have as well.

Finally, a list of step increases and wage ranges can be found on the Illinois Department of Central Management Services website under the “Personnel” tab/Bureau of Personnel/State job Titles and Class Specifications/Alphabetic Index.

Thanks,

ISEA Staff

Friday, July 19, 2013

SB 1910 Signed Into Law

As you may recall, earlier this year a bill was passed that exposed approximately 50 members and many more positions to potentially being removed from our bargaining unit. It exposed groups that were certified on or after December 2, 2008. In the last session we were able to get SB 1910 passed which protected nearly all of the titles exposed. Today, the Governor signed that bill into law. CMS has told us that we will meet soon to reclassify titles that were not included in SB 1910 so that they will not be removed from our bargaining units! This is a great victory for ISEA Laborer's Local  2002 and our VR-704 bargaining unit.
 
Thanks to the hard work of all by campaigning, making calls to legislators, and making our voices heard we are proud to say that we have saved our members.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Step Increase Update- DOC

We just received word from DOC Labor that they have confirmed that we will see one step increase in this pay period.
The remaining steps and COLA's owed under the previous agreement, as well as the 2% COLA for 7/1/13 will come on as of July 1, 2013.
 
We've had many inquiries about this and wanted to let you know as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

VR-704 Wage Increase & Backwages Update

We have received many inquiries regarding the 2008-2012 frozen wages increases and steps implemention as well as the backwages owed and the subsequent payment of those wages.
We were notified by CMS that they would seek to implement one step increase as quickly as possible as they have done with other Unions who have settled their contracts.
On July 1, 2013, all wage increases (COLAs) and step increases due will be reinstated as well as an additional 2% increase per the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Regarding backpay, both the Union and the State jointly sought and pushed for legislation that would appropriate funding for all backwages owed in conjunction with the wage increase freeze implemented by the State under the 2008-2012 agreement. Unfortunately, the legislature did not pass the funding during this session.
Nevertheless, we still have our grievances, lawsuit, and unfair labor practice before the Illinois Labor Relations Board pending which protects your rights to the backwages owed. Furthermore, both the Unions and the State continue to lobby the legislators, even during their time away from session, for the backwages funding. We have also received word that CMS will attempt to utilitze any surplus in funding from this Fiscal Year to pay out some of the backwages owed to offset the sum required that will be requested to be appropriated by the Legislature when they return to session.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pension Update


An agreement concerning pension legislation has been reached with Senate President Cullerton. Attached is a summary of what was agreed upon by Senate President Cullerton and the We Are One Coalition.
As you are aware, the House passed Senate Bill 1, now called the Madigan bill, which we feel is both unfair and unconstitutional. The details of the Madigan plan have been well documented, but are also included on the attachment. The Governor has stated he will sign Senate Bill 1 if it passes the Senate. Earlier a bill similar to Senate Bill 1 received 23 votes in the Senate. It takes 30 votes for a bill to pass the Senate. If Senate Bill 1 were the only option, we fear it might attract 6 more votes and then we have disaster. We do believe the Madigan bill is unconstitutional, but don’t want to gamble on a law suit, too much is at stake.
We all agree something must be done to salvage Illinois’pension plans. Yes, our members did not create this problem, but to believe the legislature would pass a bill that solely raised taxes enough to reduce the unfunded pension liability would be foolish. The Madigan Plan goes too far! Although not included on the attachment, the Cullerton bill guarantees state funding of the pension systems.
This afternoon, Cullerton will meet with his caucus to discuss this plan, He will endorse the bill. We have also demanded Senate Bill 1 be killed. We wanted to share a copy of the agreement at the same time it was released to Senate members.
If you have questions, please feel free to reply to this message. Please understand we are sending this email to every member of the local union that we have an email address for. If you do have questions, we will respond as quickly as possible. If there are a lot of questions, we may send out a blanket response to the entire membership, please be patient.
The new legislation will be Senate Bill 2404.
 
Below is the information. We have also sent you the following in a document over email.
 
Choice A:

·         3 percent simple COLA

·         Two year delay in receiving COLA for active state employees upon retirement

·         Receive retiree healthcare

·         Enrollment in optional cash balance plan on a pre-tax basis by making irrevocable election to join plan after choosing Choice A

·         Eligible for ERO (TRS only not SERS)

·         All future salary increases offered as pensionable

 

Choice B

Option 1:

·         3 percent compounded COLA

·         Three year delay in receiving COLA for active state employees upon retirement

·         Agree to  2 percent contribution increase

·         Receive retiree healthcare

·         All future salary increases offered as pensionable

 

Choice B

Option 2:

·         3 percent compounded COLA

·         No retiree healthcare

·         Future salary increases offered as non-pensionable

 

Choice for Retirees

·         Choose two year freeze on compounded COLA in non-consecutive years and continue to receive retiree healthcare

·         Choose to keep 3 percent compounded COLA without freeze and forego access to retiree healthcare

·          

Senate Bill 1 (Madigan Plan)

·         Increase retirement age from 1 to 5 years for employees under 45 years of age

·         5 year or age 67, whichever comes first wait to receive COLA upon retirement

·         New formula to determine amount COLA to be based on, $1,000 per year of state service multiplied by 3 percent simple for most employees

·         Wage cap of $109,971 for determining retirement benefit.

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Negotiations Update

We wanted to take a moment to update you on the current economic negotiations status. Monday and Tuesday we spent negotiating with the State regarding the financial aspects of the new agreement.
We do have some good news- It is agreed that we will essentially get what the other Unions are receiving in the way of wage increases during the new agreement, a small longevity pay increase, a small shift differential increase, as well as other issues including the step and COLA increases from the previous agreement.
There are, however, issues specific to our Union that we are still negotiating over and we have another date scheduled next week at which we hope to wrap up the agreement. We are pleased to tell you that they have responded positively regarding some of those issues. But, there are still details to work out. As soon as we have additional information to share we will be sure to send out an update to you.