Supreme Court Issues Decision in MAGE 3% Pay Lawsuit
I am disappointed to report that we have received a final ruling from the Supreme Court on our 3% lawsuit. As you will read in the article below, although MAGE prevailed at the Court of Claims, the State appealed to the Supreme Court. The court concluded that the Civil Service Commission has plenary and absolute authority over the compensation of state employees.
These are trying times. We currently face a majority of republicans on the Supreme Court and a majority in the House and Senate and for some unexplained reason they have been and continue to be less than sympathetic to the plight of state employees.
All I can tell you is that MAGE will continue the fight to defend the rights of all NEREs working for the state. We may lose some battles, but we will never lose our fight.
Alan Quattrin, MAGE President
Court Sides With State On Rescinding 2010 Raise For Non-Union Workers
The 2010 decision of the administration to rescind a previously planned 3 percent raise for non-union state government employees was not a breach of contract, the Supreme Court has ruled in an unanimous order.
In 2008, the Office of the State Employer reached an agreement with Michigan Association of Governmental Employees, a limited recognition organization representing the state’s 15,000 non-exclusively represented employees. Those workers were to receive a 1 percent raise in the 2009-10 fiscal year and a 3 percent raise in the 2010-11 fiscal year under the deal.
But when the Great Recession hit, staggering state revenues, the state asked the Civil Service Commission in 2010 not to provide the 3 percent raise, and the commission approved the request. Officials said not providing the raise would save the state about $20 million.
MAGE sued and won a Court of Claims ruling that the state’s action was a breach of contract. The Court of Appeals unanimously upheld that ruling in an unpublished 2013 per curiam decision.
But the Supreme Court, in a ruling dated Wednesday and released Thursday, reversed those decisions instead of granting the state’s request for an appeal. It remanded the case to the Court of Claims for the issuing of an order granting summary disposition to the state.
“The Civil Service Commission has ‘plenary and absolute’ authority to set rates of compensation and to determine the procedures by which it makes those compensation decisions,” the Supreme Court said in its order.