I am disappointed to report that we have received a final ruling from the Supreme Court on our 3% lawsuit. 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.
The Court of Appeals (COA) went back to the 1963 Constitution today to see if a 2011 law asking state employees to contribute four percent of their salary to their pension plan or switch to 401(k) plan was constitutional.
Judge Rules on 4% Retirement Pay Lawsuit Posted September 28th, 2012
State employees have won another battle in their fight over benefits with Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature.
Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk, in an opinion released today, ruled unconstitutional a 2011 state law that requires state employees who are members of the defined benefit pension plan to put 4% of their pay toward the retirement fund.
Judge Draganchuk said Public Act 264 of 2011 infringed on the constitutional authority of the Michigan Civil Service Commission to set compensation for state employees.
"By mandating that members contribute 4% 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 Civil Service Commision," Draganchuk said in a 12-page opinion.
A 2010 law that required state employees to pay 3% toward retiree health care was earlier declared unconstitutional for the same reason. That Ingham court ruling was upheld on appeal.
State officials said this case is different because employees have the option of switching to a 401(k) style retirement plan if they don't want to pay the 4%. But Draganchuk disagreed.
"PA 264 requires every member who elects to remain in a defined benefit plan to pay 4%," she said.
An appeal is expected.
Lawsuit on the 4% Pay Deduction to Remain in the Defined Benefit Pension System Posted July 23rd, 2012
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Dragenchuck will soon rule on the question of whether it was unconstitutional to force state employees to begin paying 4% of their annual pay to remain in the defined benefit pension plan. The Attorney General argued that HB 4701 was constitutional because it gave employees a choice to remain in the plan or move into the defined contribution plan, which all employees hired in after 1997 are currently enrolled in.
The judge's decision will likely be appealed by either party, therefore culmination of this lawsuit remains in the distant future.
3% RAISE LAWSUIT UPDATE Posted February 21st, 2012
News Regarding the 4% Lawsuit Posted November 17th, 2014
Brandon Zuk, MAGE's legal counsel has informed us that the 4% lawsuit regarding the defined benefit pension will finally be argued in the Supreme Court on January 13, 2015. The Right-to-work lawsuit is also scheduled for that day. Our lawsuit regarding the 3% raise will likely be on the docket shortly after that. Watch here for updates and specifics.
3% Pay Raise Lawsuit Update Posted September 17th, 2012
MAGE argued our 3% lawsuit in the Court of Claims. The State filed an Interlocutory leave to appeal and lost. The State then appealed to the Court of Appeals and again MAGE prevailed. The state has now appealed to the State Supreme Court, and this appeal is still pending. The case is assigned docket number 144850. MAGE legal counsel predicts MAGE will again prevail and expects this will result in the Supreme Court remanding it back to the Court of Appeals for final disposition. This is likely to take months.
LAWSUIT ON 4% PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS Posted June 11th, 2012
For those members and non-members who are wondering if MAGE will be filing another lawsuit over the new 4% retirement deductions, the answer is most definitely YES! We have filed! Follow the link to read a copy of the legal complaint filed.
MAGE will be making essentially the same arguments as we did in the 3% lawsuit, in that the new retirement bill touches on issues that are outside the Legislature's constitutional authority. The lawsuit will specify that it is for MAGE members only.
MAGE is represented in the lawsuit by the law firm of Fraser, Trebilcock Davis, P.C., MAGE attorney Brandon Zuk pictured.
Michigan Association of Governmental Employees
OPEIU Local 2002
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