Civil Service Commission Approves Pay Increases and Insurance Changes
MAGE, along with the unions objected to the demands both at the Board level and at the Civil Service Commission meeting in December. At that December meeting the commission refused to approve the demands of the State and tabled the issue until the January 15 meeting.
MAGE once again reminded the commission of the last decade of the State demanding concessions from state employees due to the looming budget deficits. I reminded the commission that, due to those deficits, we now have 10,000 fewer state employees handling the same number of citizens. I reminded the commission that today we enjoy a one billion dollar surplus, due in large part to the concessions state employees have given up over the years.
Commissioners Blockett and Swanson agreed with MAGE. Swanson called it a travesty and Blockett refused to vote in favor of the insurance changes. In the end Swanson felt compelled to break the tie and approve the changes. Commissioner Wardrop voted in favor of the insurance changes due to the fact that the Impasse Panel and CCP panel had recommended them. Watch for updates on these insurance changes on your MAGE website
The Commission ultimately approved for NEREs a 2% base pay increase and a .5% lump-sum payment effective October 2014. The lump sum payment being termed as partial assistance for higher out-of-pocket insurance costs.
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) also attacked the contract. "It's extremely disheartening that the Snyder administration continues to attack our state's valued public employees as an endless source of revenue," she said in a statement. "This hardly seems like 'shared sacrifice' to take more money away from Michigan workers in light of scandalous salaries being paid to Treasury executives, including former employees, and on the eve of Snyder's big night where he plans to shout from the rooftops about the state's big 'surplus.' Snyder's executive echelons are a bloated boardroom and the workers get nickeled and dimed."
State Employer Jan Winters said the union was looking at overall costs. She said the higher rate was larger when the decline in the number of people in the system, about a 1,300-person drop, is included.