ARTICLE 10
FRINGE BENEFITS

10.1 Holidays and Seasonal Bonus Days

10.1.1 The following holidays will be observed on the calendar day on which each falls, except that a holiday that falls on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday and a holiday that falls on a Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday:

a. New Year's Day
b. Memorial Day
c. Independence Day
d. Labor Day
e. Thanksgiving Day
f. December 25

10.1.2 If an employee is required to work on Easter Sunday, the employee will be paid straight time, but will be given an additional day off with pay, the time to be arranged with the employee's supervisor who will make an effort to grant the additional day off as near as practical to Easter Sunday.

10.1.3 When the designated holiday occurs on a scheduled day off in the employee's workweek, the employee will receive an additional day off with pay to be arranged with the supervisor who will make an effort to grant the additional day off as near as practical to the designated holiday.

10.1.4 Time and one-half will be paid for all time worked on a designated holiday. If the employee is not given an additional day off for the holiday on which the employee is scheduled to work, the employee will receive holiday pay in addition to the time and one-half for the time worked.

10.1.5 In addition to the holidays stated above, each fiscal year the Employer will schedule six (6) seasonal bonus days. One (1) seasonal bonus day will be the day after Thanksgiving, one (1) will be the day before or after December 25, and one (1) will be the day before or after New Year's Day. It is the Employer’s intention to designate the days between December 25 and New Year’s Day a “holiday week.” Any additional days may be designated by the Employer on another date or left as “floating” seasonal bonus days for the employee to schedule with the supervisor.

10.1.5.1 Those employees hired after December 31 of the then current fiscal year are not eligible for “floating” seasonal bonus days until the subsequent fiscal year.

10.1.6 If an employee is required to work on a non-floating designated seasonal bonus day, the employee will be paid at time and a half the straight time rate or will be granted equivalent time off as near as practical to the seasonal bonus day.

10.1.7 If an employee is absent on the working day immediately preceding or immediately following the holiday or seasonal bonus day, the employee will not be paid for the holiday or seasonal bonus day unless the absence is approved compensatory leave or excused by the employee's immediate supervisor prior to the day of absence. However, if an employee is laid off for the period between the end of fall semester and the beginning of winter semester or spring break because of lack of work, the employee will receive the same holiday pay given the rest of the employees.

10.1.8 Part time employees as defined in Article 1 will be entitled to holiday pay and seasonal bonus day pay proportionate to the time actually worked. Temporary employees as defined in Article 1 and employees who regularly work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not qualify for any of these benefits.

10.1.9 If an employee terminates employment, the employee will not receive pay for holidays or seasonal bonus days occurring after the employee's last day worked even though the holidays or seasonal bonus days may fall within the period of the employee's projected vacation leave payment, nor may the employee accrue annual leave.

10.1.10 No holidays or seasonal bonus days will be “cashed out.”

10.1.11 “Floating” seasonal bonus days may be utilized in increments of one (1) hour.

10.2 Annual Leave

10.2.1 Full time, twelve (12)-month employees will accrue annual leave according to the following schedule:
 

Years of Continuous Service at NMU

Annual Accrual Rate Hours (Days)

Maximum Accrual Hours (Days)

1 through 5

120 (15)

180 (22.5)

6 through 10

160 (20)

240 (30)

11 and over

200 (25)

300 (37.5)


10.2.2 Less than twelve (12)-month employees will accrue annual leave at the same accrual rate during the specified period of their employment.

10.2.3 Those employees who are assigned to work at least twenty (20) hours per week but less than forty (40) hours per week as defined in Article 1 will be entitled to annual leave proportionate to the time actually worked. Temporary employees as defined in Article 1 and employees who regularly work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not qualify for this benefit.

10.2.4 An employee must be compensated for forty (40) hours of the pay period in order to accrue annual leave.

10.2.5 Annual leave may be taken by an employee after completion of three (3) months of employment. In exceptional cases, permission may be granted by the employee's supervisor and the Director of Human Resources to take annual leave during the first three (3) months of employment.

10.2.6 All leave must be taken at the mutual convenience of the employee and the University at a time approved by the department or division head, with the provision that an employee with the greater bargaining unit seniority will be given priority consideration for the employee's original request of vacation dates. Minimum period of leave is one-half (1/2) hour.

10.2.7 Departments or divisions which experience “slack” or “down” periods may request that vacation time be used during these periods. The minimum increment to be so used is one (1) day.

10.2.8 When a holiday or seasonal bonus day is observed by the University during the time that annual leave is being taken, no annual leave will be charged for the holiday or seasonal bonus day.

10.2.9 Technical Office Professional positions financed by grants will be governed by the grant provisions set forth under Article 1.5.1.2. Every effort will be made by the University to negotiate grant provisions consistent with University policy.

10.2.10 In the event of an employee's termination, resignation, or retirement, the employee will receive payment of annual leave accrued under this Section. In case of the employee's death, payment will be made to the beneficiary designated on the Authorization to Disburse Earnings and Allowances form on file in the Human Resources Department, if any, or the estate of the deceased employee.

10.3 Hospitalization and Medical Program

10.3.1 The Board will, during the life of the Agreement, maintain and contribute to the cost for the current hospitalization and medical program for bargaining unit members regularly scheduled to work thirty (30) hours or more per week (1,560 hours or more per year). Employees regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) or more hours per week but less than thirty (30) hours per week are eligible for the hospitalization and medical program by paying the University the difference between the University’s full contribution and the full-time equivalent cost (e.g., for an employee scheduled to work twenty [20] hours per week, the University will pay fifty percent [50%] of the specified contribution and the employee will pay fifty percent [50%]). If an employee elects not to pay the prorated contribution, the employee will not be covered for this benefit. Employees must complete and file application in accordance with the Board's and the administrators' regulations.

10.3.2  The health plan year is January through December.  For the months  September  - December 2012, the participating members will pay $125/month, payable over a 36-month period or until the employee leaves NMU’s employment.  Should there be a balance remaining at the time of departure, any remaining monies shall be collected at that time.  The Board’s contribution to the health program for each bargaining unit member participating beginning January 1, 2013, will be as follows:

The university will provide a one-time lump sum payment of $1,278, payable in amounts of $478, $400, and $400, with the payments to coincide with the 2011-2012 payback schedule, to each eligible member at the time of ratification of this contract to change to the pay-as-you-go system.  This amount will be prorated for members not on roll and working during the entire health plan year.  Eligible individuals who retire prior to the payback being completed will have any remaining funds credited at the time of retirement.

2013 estimated employer contribution = $10,492

2014 estimated employer contribution = $11,200

2013 estimated employee contribution  = $2,450 for Singles, $2,550 for Two-person, $2,700 for Families

2014 estimated employee contribution = $2,650 for Singles, $2,750 for Two-Person, $2,900 for Families

The parties agree to an economic re-opener with regard to articles associated with wages and fringe benefits for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  If either party desires to amend or modify these articles, written notice to that effect will be provided to the other party not less than sixty (60) nor more than ninety (90) days prior to June 30, 2014.

10.3.3 Any costs in excess of the maximum employee contribution shall be borne equally by the Board and employee, but in no instance shall the amount borne by the employee exceed $200.00 (two hundred dollars).

 

10.3.4  The union authorizes the employer to withhold the bargaining unit member’s maximum health contribution limit through 25-pay pre-tax payroll deduction, unless a different choice is indicated by the employee (choices and timing to be determined by the employer).  Deductions for co-share amounts of the estimated average employee cost for participating employees will be payroll deducted on a pay-as-you-go bi-weekly schedule through the NMU premium conversion plan, which means that contributions will be withheld in such a way that they are not subject to state, federal, social security, or Medicare withholding.  The dollar amounts of withholding may be increased or decreased annually without further specific authorization, corresponding to the estimated average employee cost noted above, provided that employees receive 30 days advance notice of the amount of any increase in withholding.

If it is determined that an employee has paid more than the actual amount owed due to an error, the bargaining unit member will be issued a refund.  The refund will be processed during the earliest possible payroll cycle and the union President will be notified.

10.3.5  When calculating the average cost per year for the hospitalization and medical program, the Union agrees to include $2.50 per covered employee per year to help fund wellness activities of the Health Care/Wellness Committee. The Employer also agrees to contribute $2.50 per covered employee per year for this purpose.

10.3.6 Average cost is defined as the total of claims or premiums, administrative fees, reinsurance, Employer’s share of F.I.C.A. and stop loss premiums divided by the average number of University employees covered during the health plan year.

10.3.7 In the event that the Employer exercises its right to change insurance carriers, including third party administrators, any substantial changes in coverage would be subject to the provisions of the Collective Bargaining process.    The Union and representatives of the Board will hold a Special Conference to discuss any proposed future changes to health care prior to any implementation action.

10.4 Prescription Drug Program

10.4.1 The Employer agrees to provide a Prescription Drug Program with the following co-pays for the present plan:

NMU Health Center - $10 generic/$20 non-generic
Off Campus - $15 generic/$30 non-generic
Mail Order - $15 generic/$30 non-generic

10.5 Dental

10.5.1 The Employer will contribute the full cost per bargaining unit member of a two person plan illustrative premium for bargaining unit members regularly scheduled to work at least thirty (30) hours per week (1,560 hours per year) for a defined dental plan for all participating bargaining unit members. Employees regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) or more hours per week but less than thirty (30) hours per week are eligible for the dental program by paying the University the difference between the University’s full contribution and the full-time equivalent cost (e.g., for an employee scheduled to work twenty (20) hours per week, the University will pay fifty percent [50%] of the specified contribution and the employee will pay fifty percent [50%]). If an employee elects not to pay the prorated contribution, the employee will not be covered for this benefit

10.5.2 Required payroll deductions will be deducted in advance for coverage for the following month.

10.5.3 The Plan must maintain the level of participation of the employees on roll as determined by the carrier.

10.6 Optical

10.6.1 The Employer will contribute the full cost per bargaining unit member of a family plan illustrative premium for bargaining unit members for a defined optical plan for all participating bargaining unit members. Employees regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) or more hours per week but less than thirty (30) hours per week are eligible for the optical program by paying the University the difference between the University’s full contribution and the full-time equivalent cost (e.g., for an employee scheduled to work twenty (20) hours per week, the University will pay fifty percent [50%] of the specified contribution and the employee will pay fifty percent [50%]). If an employee elects not to pay the prorated contribution, the employee will not be covered for this benefit.

10.6.2 Required payroll deductions will be deducted in advance for coverage for the following month.

10.6.3 The Plan must maintain the level of participation of the employees on roll as determined by the carrier.

10.7 Sick Leave

10.7.1 Full time employees shall be eligible for up to two hundred forty (240) hours of sick leave with pay per fiscal year. Employees may use sick leave after they have completed two (2) biweekly pay periods.

10.7.1.1 In their initial year of employment, or upon return to work from layoff or an unpaid leave of absence, employees hired or returned to active employment from layoff or unpaid leave between July 1 and September 30 shall be eligible for up to two hundred and forty (240) hours of sick leave; employees hired or returned to active employment from layoff or unpaid leave between October 1 and December 31 shall be eligible for up to one hundred sixty (160) hours of sick leave; employees hired or returned to active employment from layoff or unpaid leave between January 1 and March 31 shall be eligible for up to one hundred twenty (120) hours of sick leave; and employees hired or returned to active employment from layoff or unpaid leave between April 1 and May 31 shall be eligible for up to sixty-four (64) hours of sick leave in the fiscal year. Employees hired or returned to active employment from layoff or unpaid leave after May 31 shall be eligible for sick leave in the subsequent fiscal year.

10.7.2 Those employees who work at least twenty (20) hours per week but less than forty (40) hours per week as defined in Article 1 will be entitled to sick leave proportionate to the time actually worked. Temporary employees as defined in Article 1 and employees who regularly work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not qualify for this benefit.

10.7.3 Sick leave shall be available for use by employees for the following purposes:

a. Personal illness or incapacity over which the employee has no reasonable control.
b. Absence from work because of exposure to contagious disease which, according to public health standards, would constitute a danger to the health of others by the employee's attendance at work.
c. Medical and dental extractions or treatment to the extent of time required to complete such appointments when it is not possible to arrange such appointments for non-duty hours.

10.7.4 If an employee is in a period of continuing sick leave utilization at the change of fiscal years, the employee, upon their return to active employment, will be required to re-qualify for sick leave by working a period of twenty (20) consecutive work days.

10.7.5 Employees who are not eligible for short-term disability and who have exhausted their sick leave and are still unable to return to work shall exhaust any unused annual leave and unused personal leave hours.

10.7.5.1 Employees who have exhausted their sick leave, their unused personal leave hours and their unused annual leave and are still unable to return to work, must apply for a leave of absence for illness or disability as specified under Section 9.2.1 .

10.7.6 An employee using sick leave during a period that includes a scheduled holiday will be paid for the holiday but will not be charged a day of sick leave.

10.7.7  Notification.  Employees are required to notify their department or division head of all absences due to sickness on a daily basis. Where an employee is expected to be hospitalized or confined to the employee's home, the employee and the employee's department or division head may arrange for notification at appropriate intervals.

10.7.7.1 Absences of four (4) or more consecutive work days require that the employee submit a satisfactory physician’s statement on the authorized form to the Director of Human Resources, or the director’s designee. Failure to provide a satisfactory physician’s statement in a timely manner will result in lost time.

10.7.7.2 In an effort to determine the validity of an employee's use of sick leave, the employee may be requested to furnish a physician's statement of medical condition to the Director of Human Resources, or the director’s designee who shall be responsible for verifying absence due to illness or disability.

10.7.7.3 An employee who has been severely ill or who has been hospitalized because of illness or surgery must provide a statement from the employee's personal physician stating that the employee is able to resume the employee's full range of duties, including any limitations attached thereto.

10.7.8 All payments for sick leave shall be made at the employee's current rate of pay.

10.7.9 Sick leave taken for less than a full day must be taken, and will be charged, in increments of tenths (10ths) of one (1) hour. (e.g., absence of two [2] hours and five [5] minutes would be charged as 2.1 hours of sick leave.)

10.8 Workers’ Compensation

10 8.1 An employee who suffers injury compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act and who is awarded such compensation shall be paid the difference between the employee's regular wages and payment received under provisions of the Act for a maximum of six (6) consecutive months.

10.8.2 Employees who have been disabled for six (6) consecutive months and are unable to return to work shall, if eligible, apply for long-term disability benefits as specified in Section 10.10.

10.9 Short Term Disability

10.9.1 When all sick leave has been exhausted, full time employees who are eligible for disability coverage under the University's Long Term Disability Insurance Program are covered by additional short term disability benefits proportionate to their regular appointment period as follows:

10.9.1.1 Upon receipt of satisfactory medical evidence of disability (inability to discharge regular duties), the Director of Human Resources, or the director’s designee, will authorize payment of seventy-five percent (75%) of the employee's regular salary and all of the employee's fringe benefit payments. Employees will use accumulated and unused annual leave and personal leave hours to make up the difference between the seventy-five percent (75%) short-term disability payment and full salary.

10.9.1.1.1 If a holiday or seasonal bonus day occurs while the employee is receiving short-term disability benefits and the employee has an annual or personal leave balance, the employee will be paid seventy-five percent (75%) short-term disability and holiday or seasonal bonus pay will be used to make up the difference between the seventy-five percent (75%) short-term disability payment and full salary.

10.9.1.1.2 If a holiday or seasonal bonus day occurs while the employee is receiving short-term disability benefits and the employee has exhausted all of their annual or personal leave, the employee will be paid seventy-five percent (75%) short-term disability and will not receive holiday or seasonal bonus pay for the difference.

10.9.1.2 The benefits provided in the preceding paragraph will continue until the Long Term Disability Insurance Program becomes effective, or until the employee recovers and resumes the employee's regular duties, or until the employee dies, but the benefits will in no event continue for a period longer than the first of the month following six (6) consecutive months of total disability.

10.9.1.3 An employee shall continue to accrue annual leave while using sick leave.

10.9.1.4 Once sick leave has been exhausted and the employee is placed on short term disability, the employee shall cease to earn annual leave.

10.9.1.5 An employee who returns to work after having received short term disability will be required to re-qualify for short term disability benefits by working a period of twenty (20) consecutive work days unless the subsequent disability arises from a cause unrelated to the original disability. The only exceptions to this requalification may be made by the Director of Human Resources, or the director’s designee, in cases of very serious illness or disability. Exceptions shall be granted at the sole discretion of the Employer and any such decision to grant or deny any exception shall not be grievable.

10.9.2 Full time regular employees who are employed on less than a twelve (12) month basis shall receive benefits provided under this policy apportioned on the basis of the months worked.

10.9.3 Employees who are not eligible under the Long Term Disability Insurance Program will be paid at their regular salary rate until their sick leave, personal leave hours, and annual leave have been exhausted. When these benefits have been exhausted, all payments will terminate. Employees may be eligible for an unpaid illness/disability leave as specified in Section 9.2.1.

10.10 Long Term Disability Insurance

10.10.1 The University will pay the full cost of a Long Term Disability Insurance Program.

10.10.2 The current policy provides for the payment of sixty percent (60%) of the regular yearly salary for all full time employees who have been employed one (1) full year or longer and who, in the opinion of our carrier, are considered to be totally disabled. The Employer will notify the Union in the event the carrier is changed.

10.10.3 The definition of total disability is as specified in the insurance policy. You must be under the regular care of a physician, other than yourself or a member of your family.

10.10.3.1 Physician is defined as a physician legally licensed to practice medicine and/or surgery.

10.10.4 Employees who receive benefits under the Long Term Disability Program will be considered to be on an illness/disability leave as specified in Section 9.2.1(a) to a maximum of two (2) calendar years at which time employment shall terminate.

10.11 Dependent Care Leave

10.11.1 Each fiscal year, full-time employees shall be eligible for up to eighty (80) hours of paid dependent care leave for absences required due to the confining illness or injury to members of the immediate family (spouse or designated individual, children and parents, parents in law, brothers, sisters) and any person for whose financial or physical care the employee is principally responsible. The name of the designated individual must be on file with the Human Resources Department at least six (6) months prior to utilization of such leave.

10.11.2 The first forty (40) hours will be at one hundred percent (100%) of base wages. The next forty (40) hours will be at seventy-five percent (75%) of base wages. Employees will use accumulated and unused annual leave to make up the difference between the seventy-five percent (75%) dependent care leave and full salary.

10.11.3 Once an employee exhausts dependent care leave, additional time required for the care of a family member must be taken as personal leave hours, annual leave, floating holiday, if available, or unpaid leave. The University reserves the right to review cases on an individual basis and to require documentation.

10.11.4 The first forty (40) hours of dependent care leave will not be counted toward the twelve (12) week mandatory protection offered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

10.11.5 New employees hired on or after January 1 of the then current fiscal year may use up to forty (40) hours of dependent care leave during the fiscal year in accordance with Section 10.11.1. The first twenty (20) hours will be at one hundred percent (100%) of base wages. The next twenty (20) hours will be at seventy-five percent (75%) of base wages. Employees will use accumulated and unused annual leave to make up the difference between the seventy-five percent (75%) dependent care leave and full salary.

10.11.6 Those employees who work at least twenty (20) but less than forty (40) hours per week as defined in Article 1 will be entitled to paid dependent care leave proportionate to the time actually worked (e.g., an employee who works thirty [30] hours per week may use up to sixty (60) hours with the first thirty (30) hours at one hundred percent [100%] of base wages and the next thirty [30] hours at seventy-five [75%] of base wages.) Temporary employees as defined in Article 1 and employees who regularly work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not qualify for this benefit.

10.12 Life Insurance

10.12.1 The University will pay the premiums for term life insurance equal to an employee's annual base salary rate, (rounded to the next highest multiple of $1,000), with an accidental death and dismemberment rider, for all employees who complete the necessary forms for this coverage within thirty (30) days of obtaining employment.

10.12.2 Additional personal coverage equal to five (5) times the employee’s annual base salary rate (rounded to the next highest multiple of one thousand dollars [$1,000]), may be obtained at the employee’s cost, including coverage for the employee’s spouse and/or dependent children.

10.12.3 In the event that the Employer exercises its right to change insurance carriers, the Employer agrees that the coverage of any new plan will be substantially equivalent or better than the present plan. The Employer will discuss with Union representatives any proposed changes in insurance carriers.

10.13 Insurance Obligation. The University's only obligation with respect to all insurance coverage shall be payment of insurance premiums as above provided. The amount and nature of benefits and the commencement and duration of coverage for any program shall be as provided in the master insurance policy and the carrier's or administrator’s rules and regulations.

10.14 Retirement

10.14.1 All employees first hired prior to January 1, 1996 are covered under the terms and provisions of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) and, therefore, are subject to the rules, regulations, and retirement provisions of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.

10.14.2 Employees first hired January 1, 1996 or later who are scheduled to work at least twenty (20) hours per week and complete the necessary applications within ninety (90) days of their date of hire will be members of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF). Employer contribution to TIAA-CREF will be twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) of base salary. Employees regularly scheduled to work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not have retirement contributions made on their behalf by the Employer.

For eligible employees hired after ratification of this contract, the University shall contribute seven and one quarter percent (7.25%) of base salary.  In addition, the employer will match up to one and one-half percent (1.5%) for an employee’s equal contribution amount.  Employees regularly scheduled to work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not have retirement contributions made on their behalf by the Employer.

10.14.2.1 Non-Optional Retirement Plan (Non-ORP).

Effective January 26, 2006, the University shall make contributions to the Non-ORP with TIAA-CREF for MPSERS retirees who are scheduled to work at least twenty (20) hours per week and who have completed the necessary application forms within ninety (90) days of their employment date. Employees scheduled to work less than twenty (20) hours per week will not have retirement contributions made on their behalf by the employer.

For those employees, MPSERS retirees, covered under the Non-ORP, the employer shall contribute twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) of salary.

For eligible employees hired after ratification of this contract, the University shall contribute seven and one quarter percent (7.25%) of base salary.  In addition, the employer will match up to one and one-half percent (1.5%) for an employee’s equal contribution amount.

Those employees, MPSERS retirees, covered under the Non-ORP are not eligible for coverage under the university's hospitalization and medical program.

10.14.3 Retirement Definition. To be considered a retiree and eligible for retirement benefits and privileges as a retiree of Northern Michigan University, regardless of the retirement program in which an employee participates, the total of an employee’s age and years of service at Northern Michigan University must equal or be greater than seventy (70) as of the retirement effective date and the employee must have a minimum of ten (10) years of full-time service with the University.

10.15 Bookstore Discount. All employees, their spouses, and dependents as defined by the I.R.S. shall receive a twenty percent (20%) discount on all books purchased at the Bookstore and a ten percent (10%) discount on all other items. These discounts shall not apply to sale items or to cap and gown rentals and purchases.

10.16 Tuition Scholarship Program

10.16.1 Tuition scholarships will be awarded to employees, spouses, and dependent children (son, stepson, daughter, stepdaughter, and a legally adopted child), on a space available basis.

10.16.2 Employees, spouses, and dependent children as identified in section 10.16.1 and in accordance with University policy, shall be allowed to take an unlimited number of credit hours per semester.

10.16.3 Employees may enroll in courses up to a maximum of four (4) credit hours during regular working hours. Arrangements for such time off must be made with the immediate supervisor. All time so devoted will be made up within the same biweekly pay period through arrangements with the immediate supervisor and/or department head. If the employer assigns a bargaining unit member to take a class offered only during the employee’s scheduled work time, the employee shall not be required to make up the time.

10.16.4 In the event of death of an employee who had at least fifteen (15) years of service at NMU, the surviving spouse, as long as he/she does not remarry, and the dependent children as identified in section 10.16.1 and in accordance with University policy, when they become eligible for enrollment at NMU, may participate in the Program until they complete their course of study.

10.16.5 In the event of an employee’s death, the surviving spouse, as long as he/she does not remarry, and dependent children, as identified in section 10.16.1 and in accordance with University policy, who are participating in the Tuition Scholarship Program as specified in Sections 10.16.1 and 10.16.2 at the time of the employee’s death, may continue in the Program until completion.

10.16.6 Those who participate in this Program are not eligible to receive additional University-funded scholarships or grants.

10.16.7 No employee on a leave of absence (except those receiving long-term disability benefits) or their spouse or dependent children as identified in section 10.16.1 and in accordance with university policy shall receive such a scholarship unless it is approved by the Director of Human Resources prior to the commencement of such leave.

10.16.8 Northern Michigan University will abide by state and federal laws regarding the taxability of tuition benefits.

10.17 Recreation Membership. All employees may acquire a single Recreation Membership for themselves, free of charge, by completing the annual application process. The cost of an annual family membership may, in the alternative, be reduced by the cost of a single membership for the family of such employees. Once per year, employees may sponsor one (1) person, other than their spouse, for a recreation membership at the reduced rate which would otherwise be afforded family members of employees.

10.18 Flexible Spending Accounts

10.18.1 Dependent Care Spending Account. The Employer agrees to offer an employee paid dependent care spending account to bargaining unit members in accordance with section 125 of the internal revenue code.

10.18.2 Health Care Spending Account. The Employer agrees to offer an employee-paid health care spending account to bargaining unit members in accordance with section 125 of the internal revenue code.

10.19 Premium Conversion. The employer agrees to offer premium conversion plans for health, dental, and optical expenditures for insurance premiums and deductibles allowable by law. Premium conversion means that payment of these expenditures can be done on a pre-tax basis.

10.20 Parking Fees. The University will allow employees who complete the necessary forms to receive one (1) parking decal at no cost and have the cost of additional parking decal fees deducted from their payroll check on a pre-tax basis.

ARTICLE 11
PROMOTIONS, TRANSFERS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

11.1 Definitions.

11.1.1 Promotion. A promotion is defined as the transfer of an employee to a regular job opening in a classification assigned to a higher pay grade.

11.1.2 Regular Job Opening. A regular job opening is a position which is expected to be filled for more than four (4) consecutive months unless mutually extended by the Union and the Employer.

11.1.3 Transfer. A transfer is defined as the explicit movement of an employee from one regular job opening in a classification to another during which time the employee is expected to perform the full range of duties which are characteristic of the classification description.

11.1.4 Temporary Transfer. A temporary transfer is defined as the explicit movement of an employee to a position during which time the employee is expected to perform the full range of duties which are characteristic of the position. A temporary transfer will generally not exceed the duration of time necessary to cover for the expected return of an absent employee or fluctuation in the department's work activity.

11.1.5 Temporary Assignment. If an employee, upon written notification from the employee's supervisor with prior approval from the appropriate Vice President or the President, is required to perform the full range of duties of a higher graded classification for a period of fourteen (14) calendar days or longer, they will receive a seven and a half percent (7.5%) increase in their current salary or the minimum of the higher classification, whichever is greater. This increase will be retroactive to the day they were required to perform such duties. When the temporary assignment is completed, the employee will receive the salary then in effect for the employee's original classification.

11.1.5.1 If an employee is temporarily assigned to the duties of a lower graded classification, there will be no reduction in salary.

11.1.5.2 Any grievance of the provisions of temporary assignment will be processed at Step Three of the grievance procedure.

11.1.6 Additional Assignment. An additional assignment is defined as the temporary addition of new job duties not inherent, implied, or otherwise a part of an employee's current realm of responsibilities assigned to the same position due to sickness, accident, disciplinary layoff, vacation, leaves of absence, or sudden and unexpected fluctuation in a department's activity, which can be accomplished within a regular forty (40)-hour workweek. Compensation for additional assignments will be determined by the employer based on internal salary comparisons among affected positions and the expected hours of the assignment. A long-term assignment (beyond 4 weeks) has a general guideline of 10% above the employee’s current salary. No overtime will be paid on an additional assignment.

11.1.7 Special Assignment. A special assignment is defined as the temporary addition of new job duties not inherent, implied, or otherwise a part of an employee’s current realm of responsibilities assigned to the same position due to sickness, accident, disciplinary layoff, vacation, leaves of absence, or sudden and unexpected fluctuation in a department's activity, which can only be accomplished outside of the regular forty (40)-hour work week. Compensation for a special assignment will be determined by the employer, but will not be less than a comparable overtime rate for that employee.


11.1.8 Requisite Qualifications. Requisite qualifications mean that the records of the University or other knowledge made known to the University indicate with reasonable certainty that the employee will be able to perform competently the full range of duties of the regular job opening within the normal orientation period as defined in section 7.1. Competent performance includes acceptable interpersonal skills.

11.2 Basis of Promotions. The University and the Union agree that promotional opportunities for current employees should be encouraged throughout the University. The University commits to encouraging and considering qualified employees for openings university-wide. Promotions and transfers shall be made on the basis of requisite qualifications and seniority. If two (2) or more bargaining unit employees who possess the requisite qualifications bid for a position, the employee with the most bargaining unit seniority will be offered the position. Applications from outside the bargaining unit will not be reviewed until it is determined that there are no qualified internal applicants.

11.2.1 If two (2) or more people apply for a position, the employee(s) not selected shall be sent written notification of rejection within three (3) working days after the successful applicant has accepted the position. This notification will state the reason why the employee was not chosen. The union’s chief steward will be notified regarding the applicant list and the identity of any successful applicant.

11.3 Posting and Bidding Procedure

11.3.1 If a regular job opening is not filled in another manner consistent with the terms of the Agreement, the regular job opening will be internally posted for five (5) working days and a notification shall be sent to each bargaining unit member.

11.3.2 When the regular job opening is posted, the posting will note the classification, the pay grade, the minimum qualifications, the department, the position attributes (e.g., full-time, eleven (11) months), and the closing date for receipt of applications.

11.3.3 A promotion or transfer under this Section will be made as soon as reasonably practicable after the successful applicant has been selected.

11.4 General Provisions

11.4.1 During any period in which employees are being considered for promotion or transfer and during any posting period, the regular job opening may be filled by anyone on a temporary basis.

11.4.2 An employee who is promoted or transferred will be given a reasonable period of time not to exceed thirty (30) actual days worked in the new position to demonstrate competent performance. During this period of time, the employee will receive a normal orientation as defined in Section 7.1. If competent performance is not demonstrated, or the employee expresses dissatisfaction with the move, the employee will be returned to a vacancy, if any, or displace the least senior employee in the classification from which the employee was promoted or transferred at the same rate of pay (plus any scheduled increases) as before the promotion or transfer.

11.4.3 An employee who has been promoted or transferred and not returned to the employee's former classification, need not be considered by the University for a subsequent promotion or transfer during the six (6) month period following the employee's promotion or transfer.

11.4.4 An employee who is returned to the classification from which the employee was promoted will be paid at the same pay rate the employee received prior to the promotion or at a higher pay rate if the employee would have received an increase in pay pursuant to the terms of this Agreement if the employee had not been promoted.

11.4.5 As determined by the Human Resources Department, new employees may be required to take examinations, and present employees may be required to take examinations if they apply for or are promoted to a higher position within the University, except when sufficient evidence of requisite qualifications is already on file with the University. Only those employees and candidates who meet the requisite skill level will be considered for employment or promotion.

11.5 Transfers Due to Illness, Injury, or Disability

11.5.1 The University will make a reasonable effort to reassign employees partially incapacitated as a result of an accident or disease or employees who, because of health or other disability, are not able to continue in their present position. Such reassignment may be made only to an open position which the employee is capable of performing.

11.5.2 The regular posting procedure shall not apply to such reassignment.

11.5.3 An employee who is so reassigned will be paid at the rate established for the position to which they are reassigned but in no event less than their current rate or the maximum rate of the pay grade, whichever is lower.

11.6 Salary Rates for Transfers

11.6.1 When an employee is transferred, the following rules shall apply to establishing the salary of the employee.

a. When an employee is involuntarily transferred to a classification in a lower salary grade, the employee shall be paid the employee's current rate or the maximum rate of the new classification, whichever is lower.

b. When an employee voluntarily bids for and is selected to a classification in a lower salary grade, the following shall occur:

For one (1) pay grade level lower, the employee shall receive a seven and five tenths percent (7.5%) reduction of their current base pay or if the new salary reflects a rate less than the minimum rate of the lower pay grade, the employee shall be paid at the minimum salary of the lower pay grade. If the new salary reflects a rate above the maximum rate of the lower pay grade, the employee shall be placed at the maximum rate of the lower pay grade.

For two (2) pay grade levels lower, the employee shall receive a ten percent (10%) reduction of their current base pay or if the new salary reflects a rate less than the minimum rate of the lower pay grade, the employee shall be paid at the minimum salary of the lower pay grade. If the new salary reflects a rate above the maximum rate of the lower pay grade, the employee shall be placed at the maximum rate of the lower pay grade.

c. When an employee is transferred to a classification in a higher salary grade, the following will occur:

For one (1) pay grade level higher, the employee shall be paid a seven and five tenths percent (7.5%) increase above their current base salary or if the new salary reflects a rate less than the minimum rate (or the probationary rate if the employee is currently on probation) of the higher pay grade, the employee shall be paid at the minimum rate (or the probationary rate if the employee is currently on probation) of the higher pay grade. If the seven and five tenths percent (7.5%) increase reflects a rate above the maximum rate of the higher pay grade, then the employee shall receive the portion of the percentage increase which will bring the employee to the maximum and the remainder shall be paid as a bonus payable on a biweekly basis over the course of the fiscal year.

For two (2) pay grade levels higher, the employee shall be paid a ten percent (10%) increase above their current base salary or if the new salary reflects a rate less than the minimum rate (or the probationary rate if the employee is currently on probation) of the higher pay grade, the employee shall be paid at the minimum rate (or the probationary rate if the employee is currently on probation) of the higher pay grade. If the ten percent (10%) increase reflects a rate above the maximum rate of the higher pay grade, then the employee shall receive the portion of the percentage increase which will bring the employee to the maximum and the remainder shall be paid as a bonus payable on a biweekly basis over the course of the fiscal year.

d. An employee who is transferred to a classification in the same salary grade shall receive no change in salary.

11.7 Job Classification

11.7.1 General Provisions. The classification of positions and salary grades as enclosed in Appendix A of this Agreement is designed to identify and categorize positions according to the qualifications required, the degree of responsibility, complexity, effort, and skill of the duties associated with the positions. The Employer and the Union agree upon and accept the position classifications, descriptions, and respective salary grades in effect at the time of ratification of this Agreement as the basis for payment of wages as provided herein.

11.7.1.1:  The University will require training and provide each supervisor with written instructions on how to utilize the automated position management software.   All position descriptions will be done in a standardized fashion to include minimum required knowledge, skills and abilities so as not to deny employees with minimum qualifications the right to fill an open position.

11.7.2 Revised Positions. In the event of the addition of new job duties not inherent or otherwise a part of an employee's current realm of responsibility, the employee or the employee's Union representative may submit an updated position description to the Employer which will be forwarded through proper channels in accordance with the following administrative procedure agreed upon by the Union and the Employer:

a. Each supervisor must respond to the updated Position description within ten (10) working days of receipt by communicating a recommendation for approval to the next level or not approving the statement of duties, in which case the responsibilities of the position shall revert to the status quo duties before the change.

Failure to act within ten (10) working days will allow the affected employee to advance review to the next level.

b. The relevant executive or senior management must respond to the updated position description within fifteen (15) working days of receipt by communicating approval or not approving the statement of duties, in which case the responsibilities of the position shall revert to the status quo duties before the change, after discussion with the Human Resources Department.

Failure to act within fifteen (15) working days will allow the affected employee to advance review to the next level.

c. Each updated position description will be considered on its own merit, and decisions for approval or non-approval made accordingly. 

d. The above time limits may be extended by mutual agreement between the employee affected and the reviewing administrator.

e. Once a position has been reviewed and evaluated, and the appropriate classification and title established, the decision will be implemented by the University.   Any rate change as a result will be retroactive to the date of the employee’s submission of the updated position description.

11.7.3 Six (6) months must elapse before a position can be submitted for reevaluation unless Management and the Union agree to waive the time limitation.

11.7.4 The Employer may initiate a reclassification request at the first step (University Vice President or President) described above in the event of the addition of new job duties not inherent or otherwise a part of an employee's current realm of responsibility.

11.7.5 All jobs will be evaluated according to the current system. Any employee who believes that the proper method and procedure was not followed in application of the above system may submit a grievance through the Union, at which time it becomes a Union grievance, at the third step of the grievance procedure, Article 4.

11.7.6 Newly Created Positions.  In the event a new position is established, the University will determine which employee group it will be assigned to.

11.7.6.1 The University will provide the Union with a written description of the new position, along with the employee group determination. Upon receipt of the University's description and employee group determination the Union may, within ten (10) working days, request a Special Conference to discuss the placement of the new position.

11.7.7  All new bargaining unit positions will be evaluated by a joint committee made up of the director of human resources, or their designated representative, and at least one member of the union leadership, who will determine the appropriate pay grade assignment and title.

11.7.8 Any grievance filed for an alleged violation to established time limits shall be filed at Step Three of the Grievance Procedure.