3% RAISE LAWSUIT
MAGE just received The Supreme Court’s order this past week and the briefing schedule from the Court of Appeals.
The last substantive decision in this case was the Court of Claims decision granting summary disposition in favor of MAGE, holding that the Office of the State Employer breached its contract with MAGE, by reneging on the agreement to recommend the 3% pay raise to the impasse panel. The Court of Claims ordered a trial regarding what, if any, remedy is to be awarded against the State for that breach.
The State then appealed the Court of Claims decision to the Court of Appeals, before the trial could take place. The Court of Appeals refused to consider the appeal, agreeing with MAGE that the appeal was premature; ordinarily, appeals are available only after a final decision. (The Court of Claims had not made a final decision because the trial regarding the remedy has not taken place).
The State then appealed the Court of Appeals refusal to consider the appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. MAGE responded that the Court of Appeals had correctly refused to consider a premature appeal.
The Supreme Court’s short order earlier this week tells the Court of Appeals that it should have considered the appeal, and orders it to do so. No reason given; the Supreme Court has not stated how the appeal should be decided, just that it should be decided on the merits. Hence, the Court of Appeals has ordered the appeal to proceed in accordance with its usual procedure, with briefs by the parties, and presumably after that, with oral argument. Final resolution is not likely for many months.
4% RETIREMENT LAWSUIT
Ingham Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk held that PA 264 of 2011 infringed upon Article XI, Section 5 of the Michigan Constitution that gives the Civil Service Commission the power to set the rates of compensation for classified State employees.
“By mandating that members contribute 4 percent of their compensation to the employees’ savings fund, the Legislature reduced the compensation of classified civil servants – an act that is within the sphere of authority vested in the CSC”, Ms. Draganchuk ruled. “In order to ‘elect’ to keep the benefit, the member must agree to pay for it. A mandatory deduction to retain a fringe benefit is not comparable to a voluntary election to purchase service credit”.
Reported by Alan Quattrin, MAGE President