Nov. 12: APA employee furlough agreement extension

Colleagues,

We are writing to provide you with information about an agreement MSU recently reached with the Administrative Professional Association (APA) to continue employee furloughs through June 30, 2021. The new agreement continues the terms of the first Letter of Agreement on furloughs which was signed on May 6, 2020.

As you may recall when we first announced the furlough agreements earlier this year, protecting our employees’ access to health, dental and life insurance was and continues to be critically important to the university. Furlough agreements are also intended to ensure your units have the flexibility to quickly and efficiently recall employees, as many of your units have already been doing.

There are some changes to note in this new APA agreement:

  • The new Letter of Agreement will supersede the Letter of Agreement signed in May and keeps the furlough process in place. The terms of the new Letter of Agreement will apply to individuals already on furlough as well as those who may be furloughed in the future.
  • Employees who volunteer to be placed on unpaid furlough status waive the seven (7) calendar days’ notice before being placed on the unpaid furlough.
  • The new Letter of Agreement confirms that individual employees may be furloughed on more than one occasion, provided the other terms of the agreement are followed.
  • The new Letter of Agreement also confirms that a recall notice may be rescinded within seven (7) days of its issuance.
  • Effective immediately, all employees in the APA bargaining unit who were provided layoff notices during the period of Oct. 1, 2020 through present shall have their status converted to unpaid furlough, provided that said employees shall be afforded seven (7) days of notice. A period of notice of layoff counts toward this period. This will require that layoff notices be rescinded for those employees.

The APA has indicated that ratification is not necessary. As such, this agreement is effective immediately.

Process Information
MSU HR will not select employees for furlough; unit leadership will make these determinations and initiate the furlough process. Impacted employees will receive an email from MSU HR with a furlough notice and further instructions; the employee’s supervisor or a designated unit representative and union will be copied on the notice.

If you are interested in volunteering for furlough, please contact your supervisor or manager.

Unemployment Compensation
Furloughed employees can apply for unemployment compensation. The State of Michigan, not the university, determines whether an employee qualifies. Find more information on how to apply for unemployment at http://www.michigan.gov/uia. Please note: MSU HR and/or individual units do not apply for unemployment on behalf of employees; it is up to each individual to apply for unemployment.

The university has also reached similar tentative agreements with the Administrative Professional Supervisor Association, and AFSCME Local 1585. Those unions are in the process of ratification votes on those agreements, which means they will not take effect unless ratified.

We are also in continuing discussions with IATSE Local 274 and the Clerical-Technical Union (CTU). We will provide additional information on those agreements as we are able to do so.

Sincerely,

Sharon E. Butler, associate vice president of Human Resources

Suzanne Lang, interim associate provost and associate vice president of Academic Human Resources