Administrative Interpretation Teamsters (Unit 3)
- Article 2, Recognition
- Article 7, Union Security
- Article 8, Grievance Procedure
- Article 10, Seniority
- Article 11, Discipline
- Article 12, Probationary Period
- Article 14, Workweek and Shift Assignment
- Article 16, Overtime
- Article 18, Vacation and Sick Leave
- Article 19, Leaves of Absence
- Article 21, Wages
- Article 22, Premium Pay
- Article 25, Job Posting
- Article 26, Layoff and Recall
- Article 29, Holidays
- Article 34, Reinstatement
Q1. Which groups of employees are covered by the union contract for Bargaining Unit 3?
A1. The union contract for Bargaining Unit 3 covers all employees in classifications having classification numbers in the 60XX series who are employed for more than fourteen (14) hours per week (or 35% of the normal work week) and more than sixty-seven (67) working days in any calendar year. These positions typically are the maintenance, service, or labor positions. (Article 2)
Q2. Are undergraduate student employees who are employed in maintenance, service, or labor positions, covered by the union contract for Bargaining Unit 3?
A2. No. The Minnesota Public Employee Labor Relations Act (MPELRA) exempts full-time University undergraduate student employees from coverage by a University bargaining unit contract.
Q3. Are graduate student employees in maintenance, service, or labor positions, covered by the union contract for Bargaining Unit 3?
A3. Yes. Graduate student employees are not exempted from coverage by the Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act (MPELRA). Graduate Students employed in positions having classification numbers in the 60XX series who are employed for more than fourteen (14) hours per week (or 35% of the normal work week) and more than sixty-seven (67) working days in a calendar year are covered by the union contract for Bargaining Unit 3. (Article 2)
Q1. How are union dues collected in this bargaining unit?
A1. The Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act (MPELRA) and the union contract for Bargaining Unit 3 require the University to deduct union dues from the paychecks of union members who authorize such deductions. Moreover, upon a request from the union, the University must deduct a fair share fee from the paychecks of employees in the bargaining unit who are not union members. The dues or fees are remitted to the Union on a biweekly basis. (Article 7.1)
Q2. Can a union steward leave their job during work hours to investigate a grievance?
A2. Yes, with approval of his/her supervisor. The time away from the job must be reasonable and must not interfere with job duties. Grievance investigation may include talking with possible witnesses, gathering documentation or other information, or meeting with the employee who filed the grievance.
Q3: Can a union steward leave their job during work hours to conduct union business?
A3: Yes, with approval of his/her supervisor. The time away from the job must be reasonable and must not interfere with job duties. Examples of “union business” may include representing an employee during meetings about alleged misconduct, discipline, or grievances and transmitting messages from the union to the members.
Q4: Some employees on second shift want to attend the monthly Union meetings off campus. Can they do that during work time?
A4: Yes, they can if they give their supervisor at least 48 hours notice that they want to do so and take the time as leave without pay, or use compensatory or vacation time with their supervisors’ approval. The supervisor may limit the number of employees who can be gone at any one time. (Article 7.9)
Q5: What is Unpaid Leave for Union Business?
A5: Unpaid Leave for Union Business is a leave of absence that employees may take to work for the Union on a casual or indefinite basis. Examples of a casual leave could be an employee who goes to work for the union for a few days or months for special projects, such as organizing or political campaigns. An example of an indefinite leave would be an employee who goes to work for the union full-time as a business agent. In either example, the employee continues to accrue seniority. (Minn.Stat.Sec. 179A.07, Subd. 6; Article 19.12)
Q6: What is Unpaid Leave for Negotiations?
A6: Unpaid Leave for Negotiations is leave for the specific purpose of negotiating the labor agreement. During this leave, the employee shall accrue seniority, vacation, and sick leave. (Article 19.11)
Q1. Can tape recordings be used as evidence during a grievance hearing?
A1. Tape recordings can be presented as evidence in a grievance. However, their authenticity should be examined and questioned by the individual hearing the grievance. The weight or consideration given the tape recording in a grievance hearing is an individual judgment call. (Article 8)
Q2. Should grievance hearings be recorded on tape?
A2. No, the hearings should not be tape recorded unless all parties agree to have them taped. The procedure in the bargaining unit contract for resolving grievances does not require tape recordings. (Article 8)
Q3. Are University employees paid if they attend as a witness to testify at a grievance hearing held during normal working hours?
A3. Witnesses from the aggrieved employee's department can be paid while they attend the grievance hearing to provide testimony if such payment is approved by their supervisor(s). If witnesses are from another department, the supervisor(s) of that department must decide if those witnesses are paid while they attend the grievance hearing. The hearing officer may suggest affidavits instead of testimony on disputed facts. (Article 8.3)
Q4. If a grievance alleges a violation of Article 6, Non-Discrimination, is it necessary for someone from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action attend the grievance hearing?
A4. The Human Resources Consultant who convenes the grievance hearing will contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action to invite a representative from that department to attend the Step 3 hearing. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will decide whether to send someone from that office. The attendance of someone from EEO/AA is not mandatory.
Q5. If a supervisor receives an improper grievance, should the supervisor hear the grievance?
A5. A grievance is not proper if it is not timely; involves issues not covered by the contract, does not allege the violation of an article of the contract, or does not request a remedy. If such an improper grievance is received, the supervisor's appropriate response is to hear the grievance, to make sure it is understood, and to respond to it in writing. The supervisor's step 1 written answer can be the finding that the grievance is not timely or is defective in a procedural way. The hearing officer's response at all steps can be that the issue is not appropriate for grievance either because it is not timely or the subject of the grievance is not grievable. At that point it is OK to hear the grievance and to include in the grievance response that the grievance is denied because it is not timely or grievable and provide rationale. It may be OK to continue in the decision to provide an advisory opinion on the merits of the issue had the issue been brought forth in a timely manner.
Q6. A grievance not resolved at step 3 can be appealed by the union to step 4, arbitration. Can the employer disagree with the arbitrator's decision and appeal to a higher authority?
A6. Generally, no. Under a few rare circumstances, the dispute can be pursued in court by alleging the arbitrator engaged in fraud or exceeded the authority granted by the contract. However, the contract is a legal document negotiated in good faith by the union and the employer. It contains the "agreement" between the parties for resolving disputes of interpretation or application of the contract. It is extremely difficult to overturn a decision by an arbitrator, that was reached in compliance with the contract, simply because one party does not agree with it. (Articles 1 and 8)
Q7. Should a grievance be accepted if it was not submitted in a timely manner according to the contract?
A7. The grievance must be submitted 14 calendar days after an employee's receipt of a termination notice or within 21 calendar days after the occurrence of any other alleged violation. The supervisor's final answer to a grievance at step 1 or 2 may be appealed to the next level within 7 calendar days after the supervisor's decision. The Employer's final answer to a step 3 grievance may be appealed to arbitration within 14 calendar days. Even if a grievance was not submitted or appealed to the next level in a timely manner, it should be heard. The appropriate person hearing the grievance at each step of the process should rule on its timeliness as one of the issues covered in their final answer. (Articles 8.4 and 21) This approach recognizes the widely accepted practice of arbitrators in this state.
Q1. What is an employee's seniority?
A1. Seniority for an employee in a position in Bargaining Unit 3 is the number of hours the employee has received pay at straight time and includes the hours an employee spends on paid leaves of absence, vacation, sick leave, holidays, Workers' Compensation, and during paid or unpaid leaves of absence for military service to the United States or this State. Unpaid time on FMLA does not count towards seniority. An employee accumulates seniority from their date of hire, but is usable only after the employee completes their initial probationary period. (Articles 10, 12.1 and 12.3)
Q2. What are the definitions and uses of the four types of seniority in this bargaining unit?
A2. Total Seniority.
Total Seniority is the duration of an employee's continuous service with the University, including service hours from positions outside the bargaining unit, but not service hours as an undergraduate student employee or on any academic appointment. Total seniority determines the employee's eligibility for Stability Pay, order of assignment of work, while on "on-call" status, and preference for vacancies having no qualified applicants with Master Seniority and priority for vacation selection. Total Seniority accumulates from the employee's date of hire, but is usable only after the employee completes their initial probationary period. (Articles 10.1, 12.1, and 18. 3)
Primary Seniority is the duration of an employee's continuous service in a particular classification in their first-level supervisor's area. Primary Seniority accumulates from the employee's date of entry into a classification and first-level supervisor's area, but is usable only after the employee's completion of their probationary period in their classification. (Article 10.2)
Master Seniority is the duration of an employee's continuous service in a particular classification in the bargaining unit within an Immediate Geographic Area. Master Seniority determines which applicant is hired for a vacant position from among the employees in the classification who apply, the order of the offers of voluntary overtime, or inversely the order in which employees are assigned overtime when no more-senior employees accept the overtime voluntarily. Master Seniority also determines the rights of employees who are laid off. Master Seniority accumulates from the employee's date of hire, but is usable only after the employee's completion of their probationary period in their classification. (Articles 16, 25, and 26)
Job Series Seniority.
Job Series Seniority is the duration of an employee's continuous length of service in all classifications in an identified job classification series. Job Series Seniority is limited to service in one department. It allows the laid off employee with more than five years of service in an identified job series who has no other bumping options to bump into a lower classified position in the job series. (Articles 10.4 and 26.2F)
Q3. Does an employee's Total Seniority include service in other bargaining units?
A3. Yes as long as it is continuous, but positions as undergraduate student employees, academic positions, and positions of 67 workdays per year or fewer, or 14 hours per week or fewer do not meet the PELRA definition of an employee and do not contribute to the employee's seniority.
Q4. Since all forms of seniority require continuous service, can an employee ever have seniority in a former position reinstated?
A4. In general, an employee must begin anew to acquire seniority after service in another classification or after a break in service. However, there are special cases when types of seniority may be restored.
A laid off employee must exercise their bumping options in the order listed in Article 26.2, A – F. If their layoff option is to bump the least senior employee in a formerly held classification and Immediate Geographic Area, their master seniority in the formerly held classification is reinstated. The laid off employee must have more master seniority than the least senior employee has in the former classification and must be qualified for the position. Their former master seniority is resumed upon their re-entry into their former title provided there was no break-in-service. (Articles 10.8 and 26.2 D)
An employee on layoff who is recalled, or returns to work within two years to in a position in their classification and Immediate Geographic Area from which they were laid off, must have their master and total seniority at the time of their layoff reinstated. (Article 26.8)
An employee on layoff who returns to work in any vacancy in the Immediate Geographic Area within two years of their layoff shall have their total seniority at the time of their layoff reinstated. (Article 26.8)
An employee who is promoted out of the bargaining unit may be reinstated if they return to the bargaining unit. The employee must be employed again in their former classification within six months of the date of their promotion. Their reinstatement is at the sole discretion of the employer. Any or all of the following items may be reinstated: their wage rate, accrued sick leave, seniority credit, non-probationary status, and vacation accumulation rate. (Article 34.1)
Q1. Can an employee be disciplined if the employee has not responded to a direct request from the supervisor to finish a project?
A1. Yes. A willful refusal to carry out a direct order or obey a work rule is behavior that is subject to discipline. An employee's refusal to carry out a direct order or obey a work rule may be mitigated by the issues surrounding the case. Because of its complexity, the supervisor should consult with a Human Resources Consultant before taking an action to dismiss an employee for behavior the supervisor believes is "insubordinate".
Q2. Can a supervisor apply disciplinary action to encourage an employee to improve their work performance?
A2. Minor deficiencies in work performance usually are brought to the employee's attention privately through coaching. Coaching is not considered to be a form of disciplinary action. If the employee's work performance does not improve through coaching, the supervisor may issue a letter of expectations, which is not discipline, or take corrective disciplinary action. Corrective disciplinary action is administered by applying increasingly more stringent forms of disciplinary actions referred to as progressive discipline. The forms of disciplinary actions provided by the union contract are oral reprimand, written reprimand, suspension without pay, and dismissal. These forms of disciplinary action do not have to be applied in sequence. After each instance of disciplinary action, the employee should be provided the time and opportunity to improve their work performance before taking the next disciplinary action.
Q3. Can a supervisor suspend without pay or dismiss an employee at the first instance of the employee's work-related misbehavior?
A3. The appropriate disciplinary action for a supervisor to take depends on the seriousness of the employee's work-related misbehavior and the type of work the employee performs. Readily apparent examples of serious work-related misbehavior are theft, dishonesty, assault, etc. In these cases, suspension or dismissal may be appropriate at their first occurrence. Tardiness may or may not be a serious work-related misbehavior depending on the type of job the employee has. The supervisor always should consult with their Human Resources Director or Human Resources Consultant before taking a stringent disciplinary action at the first instance of an employee's work-related misbehavior. (Article 11)
Q4. Why should a supervisor conduct an investigation before taking disciplinary action against the employee for work-related misbehavior?
A4: According to the contract, a supervisor can discipline an employee only for just cause. To establish just cause for discipline, an investigation to prove the misconduct is necessary. During the investigation, the supervisor conducting it should talk to anyone who may have witnessed or have knowledge of the misconduct prior to talking with the employee. The supervisor should also gather all pertinent data and documentation or any other relevant information prior to talking with the employee.
Q5. How long can documentation of a disciplinary action remain in the employee's Human Resources file?
A5. Written and oral reprimands remain in the employee's Human Resources file for one work year of 2080 straight time hours (if no further disciplinary actions are taken during the year), suspensions without pay remain for 18 months, 3120 straight time hours, and suspensions for sexual or racial harassment or physical violence remain for five years, 10,400 straight time hours. Time requirements do not include any time the employee was not at work.(Article 11.4)
Q6: Does the employee have to have a Union representative present when a supervisor talks with him/her?
A6: Per Article 11.6 of the contract, the employee must be given the opportunity to have a Union Representative present for any questioning of the employee that may lead to discipline. If the employee states (s)he wants Union representation at the meeting, the meeting must be postponed for a reasonable time to allow the Union representative time to get there.
Q7: What does “just cause” mean?
A7: The phrase “just cause” basically means that an employer must have a reason, supported by evidence, to discipline an employee. If there are any questions about just cause and/or the level of discipline to impose, please contact your Employee or Labor Relations Consultant.
Q8: What is a “Loudermill” meeting?
A8: A “Loudermill” meeting is necessary whenever an employee is facing an unpaid suspension or termination of employment. In this meeting, the employee has a right to be informed about the allegations and evidence against him/her and to rebut the information. The supervisor has to consider the rebuttal information given by the employee prior to issuing discipline.
Q9: What is a “Garrity” warning?
A9: A “Garrity” warning is necessary whenever an employee’s work related misconduct could possibly lead to criminal charges (ex: theft, assault, etc.). The warning informs the employee that (s)he may answer the Employer’s questions but that those answers will not be shared with anyone investigating the misconduct for possible criminal charges.
Q10: Who should be contacted with any questions about disciplinary issues?
A10: Your Employee Relations Consultant.
Q1. An employee who has passed probation in BU 3 classification takes a promotion or transfer to a BU 3 vacancy in another department within the Immediate Geographic Area. If the employee fails probation in the new position, what are their return rights?
A1. The employee has the right to return to their former position. If the employee does not return to their former position the employee is considered to have resigned. If the employee's former position no longer exists, the employee has the right to a vacancy in the same classification and the same geographic area. If none exists the employee has the right to bump the least senior employee in the same classification in the same department. If that does not exist, then the employee can bump the least senior employee in the same classification in the same geographic area. Finally, if that does not exist then the employee has the right to have their name placed on the layoff list. (Article 12.2, also current practice)
Q2. An employee who passed probation in their classification took a vacancy in the same classification in another department within the Immediate Geographic Area. The employee failed probation on the new position and has the right to return to the prior position, but the employee wants to go to the layoff list instead. Can the employee's wish be granted?
A2. Failing probation on the new position is not a layoff if the employee's former position still exists. So, the employee must return to the former position or be considered to have resigned. (Article 12.2)
Q3. If an employee is terminated during their initial probationary period, can the employee grieve the termination?
A3. The employee may grieve termination during any probationary period only if the employee alleges the termination violates the contract's provisions against prohibited discrimination. (Articles 6.1 and 12.2)
Q4. An employee who has passed probation takes a promotion to a position outside the bargaining unit. The employee fails probation in the new position. What are the employee's rights to continued employment?
A4. The employee does not have a right to return to their former position in bargaining unit from a position outside the bargaining unit. But at its sole discretion, the Employer may reinstate the employee if the employee is reemployed in their former classification in the bargaining unit within one year of the effective date of the promotion. (Article 34.1)
Q5. If an employee's position in BU 3 is eliminated before the employee passes probationary period, what are the employee's rights?
A5. If the employee had a prior position in BU 3 and the employee has passed probation in their prior position, the employee has rights back to that position. If that position does not exist, the employee shall be placed on the layoff list (Article 12.2)
Q6. If an employee from another bargaining unit takes a position in BU 3 and fails probation, can the employee return to the former position in the other bargaining unit?
A6. The BU 3 contract does not provide rights in an employee's former bargaining unit. The employee's right to return to a position in former bargaining unit depends on the language in the Civil Service Rules or the union contract that covered their former position.
Q1. What notifications are necessary if the EMPLOYER changes a work schedule?
A1. It depends if the change is permanent and within the EMPLOYER'S control. If Management makes a permanent change in a work schedule, it must give a prior notice to the affected employee(s) and the UNION at least 30 calendar days in advance. Short term changes to posted schedules can only be implemented by special agreement with the union or if the change was necessitated by reasons beyond the employer's control.
Q1. What is overtime?
A1. Overtime is the time an employee works in excess of 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. Overtime is compensated at time and one-half an employee's regular rate of pay or an equivalent time off at the employee's option. When the employee's accumulated time off reaches 120 hours, the employer may determine if the employee's additional hours will be compensated in pay or equivalent time off. The employer may choose to pay out all accumulated compensatory time off, except for sixty (60) accumulated hours, on or after the Employee's anniversary date in any fiscal year. The anniversary date referred to is the employee's stability pay anniversary date. (Article 16.1)
Q2. What is the workweek at the University?
A2. The University workweek is from 12:01 a.m. on Monday through 12:00 p.m. on the following Sunday.
Q3. How do you calculate time and a half for overtime when a Teamster employee works more than 12 hours a day for one or more days of the week and when the total number of hours in the workweek exceed 40?
A3. Determine the work week, for example, Sunday through Saturday. Note the hours worked on each day of the week. If there are more than 40 hours in the week, overtime is determined as follows:
The employee earns double time for every hour worked in excess of 12 hours in a workday and the employee earns time and a half for every hour of work time in excess of 40 in a work week.
Except: When the hours worked at the end of the workweek are both more than 12 hours in a workday and more than 40 in the workweek. In this case, the employee will be paid double time for these hours.
Q1. After the annual vacation periods are selected, can an employee with more total seniority bump an employee with less primary seniority from the less senior employee's approved vacation period?
A1. No. Seniority is a factor only for annual vacation period requests for the vacation year. Such requests are approved according to Total Seniority. A more-senior employee's vacation request is approved before a less-senior employee's vacation request is considered. Other than annual vacation leave requests by employees are not based on seniority, but approved on an individual basis subject to the convenience and operating needs of the first level supervisors area. These other-than-annual requests must be approved or denied within 5 workdays of their receipt by the supervisor. Once approved, they are approved vacation requests are not subject to bumping (Article 18.3)
Q2. Can an employee's appointment be extended beyond their last day of work by the number of their accumulated vacation days?
A2. No. An employee is paid for their accumulated vacation in a lump sum as of their last day of work. Moreover, the employee does not accrue additional vacation days or receive pay for holidays that occur after their last day of work.
Q3. An employee in Bargaining Unit 3 who is eligible to accumulate vacation takes a position in Bargaining Unit 6, that also is eligible to provide vacation. Later, the employee returns to a vacation-eligible position in bargaining unit 3. What is the effect on the employee's vacation accrual rate.
A3. The time worked in Bargaining Unit 6 in a vacation eligible position applies toward the employee's vacation accrual rate. (This is a University practice.)
Q4. If a paid holiday falls on a day an employee is on paid vacation or sick leave, should the employee receive holiday pay, vacation, or sick leave for that day?
A4. The employee receives holiday pay for the day, instead of vacation, sick leave, or other paid leave. (Article 29.4)
Q5. What happens to an employee's unused sick leave accumulation if the employee takes an academic appointment?
A5. The employee's unused sick leave accumulation is banked and reinstated if or when the employee returns to BU 3 appointment, provided there has not been a break in service. (University Policy)
Q6. If an employee has exhausted their accumulated sick leave, can the employee use accumulated vacation leave or compensatory time as sick leave?
A6. The employee is allowed to use vacation leave, compensatory time from overtime, or leave of absence without pay worked for legitimate sick leave reasons if their sick leave is exhausted. The use of vacation leave or compensatory time for this purpose is subject to the provisions of the use of vacation or compensatory time. A leave of absence without pay is subject to the approval of the supervisor. (Articles 18.4 and 19.8)
Q7. Is the employee required to use their accumulated vacation leave or compensatory time as sick leave if their accumulated sick leave is exhausted?
A7. No. Instead, a leave of absence without pay may be granted to bridge the gap between their paid leave and return to work. This also is subject to the employer's approval. The leave without pay may not exceed 160 hours before the employee is required to use their accumulated vacation leave. The employer can grant a leave of absence without pay for any reasonable purpose. (Articles 18.4 and 19.8)
Q8. The language in the contract states that a supervisor shall approve the employee's use of accumulated sick for various purposes. Does this mean the supervisor always must approve the employee's use of accumulated sick leave?
A8. The supervisor normally approves the employee's use of their accumulated sick leave if legitimate illness occurs. However, the supervisor may require a doctor's statement or other evidence to substantiate the employee's reasons for sick leave before approving the use of sick leave. If the employee requests the use of three or more days of sick leave, or if there is a reasonable reason to believe the employee is using sick leave inappropriately, substantiation may be required before approving a sick leave request.
Q9. An employee requests an FMLA leave. Can the employer require the employee to draw down their available vacation leave be for going on the FMLA leave?
A9. The bargaining unit contract allows the employee an FMLA leave of absence without pay for up to 12 weeks. It also provides employees who have exhausted their sick leave a leave of absence without pay of up to 160 hours prior to being required to use vacation leave. The employee could be required to draw down their vacation leave after the FMLA leave of absence without pay, but before being granted another leave of absence without pay. (Articles 19.4 and 19.6)
Q10. Can a former University employee have their unused sick leave and vacation accrual rate from prior to the employee's break in service be reinstated if the employee is rehired into this bargaining unit?
A10. The employee's unused sick leave and years of service for vacation accrual may be reinstated as long as the University has a record on file and the employee's new position is eligible for vacation and sick leave. (This is a University practice)
Q11: How does the University Services Attendance Policy interplay with the contract?
A11: Attendance policies exist to manage attendance and avoid excessive absenteeism. Sick leave usage articles exist to ensure employees get paid from their accrued sick leave banks if they are absent due to illness of themselves or family members.
Q1: To qualify for parental leave, an employee “must have completed nine (9) consecutive months of employment at an average of twenty (20) hours or more paid time per week.” If an employee completes nine consecutive months of service, then leaves the University and is rehired, does the service prior to the separation from service count for purposes of eligibility?
A1: No, the nine months must be consecutive within the employee’s current period of employment.
Q2: An employee has not completed the 9 consecutive months of employment when the employee’s child is born. Can the employee become eligible for parental leave after the birth of the child?
A2: A birth mother can become eligible for paid parental leave in the time period following the birth of the child in very narrow circumstances. For more information, please contact your Employee Relations Consultant.
Q3: For an employee with a 9 or 10 month appointment, does a short work break interrupt the 9 consecutive months of service for purposes of parental leave eligibility?
A3: No. However, paid parental leave is only available during the regular term of appointment. Any parental leave that occurs during a short work break is unpaid. For example, if the birth/adoption occurs on May 1, and the employee does not normally work from June 1-September 1, they would only receive parental leave the time period of May 1-May 31.
Q1. What are the schedules for progression increases (step increases) in the classifications of Pay Schedule "B"?
A1. An employee who is appointed at the first step of a position whose classification in schedule "B will receive a pay increase to the probationary rate after 720 hours in that classification. The employee's wage will advance to Step 2 of the pay range for the classification after 1040 hours from their date of hire. The employee's wage will move to Step 3 after 2080 hours at Step 2. If the classification has more than three steps, the employee will receive a pay increase following the completion of each 2080 hours since their previous increase until their pay reaches the maximum of the pay range. A step increase always is based on straight time compensated hours and always becomes effective at the beginning if the payroll period following the date the employee becomes eligible for it. (Article 12.1)
If an employee is appointed to a seasonal position in a classification in Schedule "B" at the Cloquet Forestry Center, the Landscape Arboretum, or at the Research and Outreach Centers the employee has a probationary period of 1120 hour. Such an employee would skip their probationary rate increase and receive their Step 2 increase at 1120 hours in the position and a further step increase after each additional 2080 hours in the classification until their wage reaches the maximum of the pay range. (Articles 12.1 and 21.3)
Q2. What are the schedules for progression increases (step increases) in the classifications of Pay Schedules "C"?
A2. An employee whose classification is in Pay Schedule "C" receives their probationary step increase after 720 hours and Step 2 increase after 2080 hours of service from their date of hire. Thereafter, the employee receives a step increase after each additional 2080 straight time compensated hours until they reach the maximum of the pay range for their classification. If an employee is appointed to a seasonal position in a classification in Schedule "C" at the Cloquet Forestry Center, the Landscape Arboretum, or at the Research and Outreach Centers the employee has a probationary period of 1120 hours. Their probationary step increase would occur after 1120 hours and their Step 2 increase at 2080 hours from their date of hire. Further step increases would occur after each additional 2080 hours of service in the classification until their wage reaches the maximum of the pay range for the particular classification. Progression increases are always based on straight time compensated hours and always become effective at the beginning if the payroll period following the date the employee becomes eligible to receive an increase. (Articles 12.1 (2) and 21.4)
Q3. What is the compensation rate for an employee in this bargaining unit for various conditions of employment or a change in status?
A3. An employee's wage is always within the pay range of the employee's classification. Wage increases or decreases occur as the employee's condition of employment or status changes. The following chart is an outline of the employee's wage conditions.
|STATUS CHANGE||WAGE RATE CHANGE||CONTRACT REFERENCE|
|New Hire||To the pay rate for step one of the classification pay range.||University Practice|
|Promotion||To the closest step in the new pay range that is at least 4% above the employee's current wage. Employees cannot be paid more than the maximum of the pay range for their classification.||
|Transfer||To the step in the new pay range that is the same as the employee's current wage, or if none is the same, to the next higher step.||University Practice|
|Demotion, involuntary or voluntary||The employee's current pay rate or the top of the new pay range, whichever is lower. An employee who retains his/her current pay rate will continue at that pay rate until entitled to a step increase based on hours in the new classification. If there is a contractually agreed upon across the board increase while the employee is off step that employee shall receive an increase equal to the across the board increase. Once the employee has worked the hours necessary for a step increase they shall be placed at the step next higher than the employee's current rate of pay.||
|Reclassification, upward||See promotion|
|Reclassification, downward||See demotion, voluntary or involuntary||
|Progression increase||To the next step in the pay range that is higher than the employee's current wage||
21.3, 21.4 & 21.5
|Return from a Workers' Compensation leave to the position held at the time of injury||To the wage the employee normally would have achieved if not on Workers' Compensation||
|Rehire from a Workers' Compensation leave to a position in the same classification held at the time of injury.||To the wage the employee normally would have achieved if not on Workers' Compensation||University practice
|Rehire from a Workers' Compensation leave to a position in a different classification than held at the time of injury.||To the first step of the salary range of the classification of the position.||See references above|
|Change in pay range||To the same step in the new pay range as the employee held in the old pay range||
|Recall or hire from the layoff list to a position in the same classification held at layoff||To the same step in the pay range that the employee held at the time of the layoff||
|Return to work after layoff to a different classification than held at layoff||To the minimum of the pay range for the classification||University Practice|
|Bump or take a vacancy in the same classification at layoff||Maintain current salary||
|Bump to a former classification at layoff||To the employee's current pay rate or the top of the new pay range, whichever is lower.||
|Take a vacancy in any classification at layoff||To the minimum of the pay range for the classification||University Practice|
|On-call Pay||15 minutes pay for each hour of on-call status||
|Stability Pay||According to the schedule in the contract||
|Premium pay for shift differential||55 or 70 cents per hour depending on the shift, for all hours worked on the shifts||
|Premium pay for continuous rotating or continuous alternating shifts||55 or 70 cents per hour for all hours worked||
|Premium pay for positions designated as hazardous duty||4% above normal rate of pay for classifications specifically referenced in article 22.4||
|Premium pay for each full hour operating designated heavy equipment||Heavy Equipment Operator rate||
|Premium pay for each full hour operating designated maintenance equipment||Maintenance Equipment Operator Rate||
|Premium pay for each full hour operating designated Delivery Service Driver equipment||Delivery Service Driver Rate||
|Premium pay for workers classified as other than Maintenance Insulator when required to work in underground heating tunnels||50 cents per hour for each full hour of work in underground heating tunnels||
|When assuming full responsibilities of a classification paying a higher rate for at least four consecutive hours||4% augmentation above the employee's normal rate, or the minimum rate of the higher classification which ever is greater. The augmentation shall increase if the employee works 2080 hours in the higher classification to be eligible for progression increases in that classification.||
30.1 & 30.2
|Second Sunday premium payment||Time and one half for all hours worked on the second Sunday. No premium paid for using vacation or sick leave on the second Sunday.||
Q4: Does the “premium pay” in Articles 22.4 (Hazard), 22.5 (Heavy Equipment Operator), 22.6 (Maintenance Equipment Operator) and 22.7 (Delivery Service Driver) have to be 4%?
A4: No, the University and the Teamsters agreed years ago that that the premium pay in those articles should be to the actual step in the Job classification that gives the employee at least 4% more in pay as premium pay. For example, if an employee is operating heavy equipment and a 4% increase in his pay would put him between steps 3 and 4 in the Heavy Equipment Operator job class, the employee should be paid at Step 4.
Q5: How is this different that the 4% augmentation in Article 30.1?
A5: The 4% augmentation rate in Article 30.1 comes into play if an employee has to assume the FULL responsibilities of a higher class for at least 4 consecutive work hours. If that is the case, the employee must receive at least a 4% increase in his/her pay rate or the minimum pay of the higher classification, whichever is greater. Also, an assignment to a higher classification requiring augmentation is given to the senior most qualified employee. This is the only time where employee pay will be off-step (although the base pay will be on step, since the augmentation is 4% of the employee’s regular rate of pay). However, no employee, even with augmentation, can be paid more than the top of the higher salary range.
Q6. Does an absence without pay change an employee's eligibility date for their next Stability Payment?
A6. Yes. The employee is eligible for a Stability Payment after five years of service and on the anniversary of each year of service thereafter. A year of service is 2080 work hours. An employee's absence without pay will extend the eligibility date for their next stability payment by the number of workdays they are off the payroll. An employee's absence due to a Workers' Compensation leave counts toward the year of service for the employee's Stability Payment. (Article 21.5)
Q7. What wage rate is paid to applicants hired into this bargaining unit from outside the University?
A7. Applicants from outside the University are hired at the first step of the salary range for the classification.
Q8. Does the time an employee has worked in a "temporary" or "on-call" positions, or positions in another bargaining unit provide credit toward an employee's eligibility for Stability Pay.
A8. Credit toward eligibility for Stability Pay comes only from continuous service in positions that meet the MPELRA definition of an "employee", that is, more than 14 hours per week and more than 67 workdays in a calendar year. Time worked in another bargaining unit does not count toward eligibility for Stability Pay. (Articles 2.1 and 21.5)
Q1. What is the definition of a continuous rotating shift or a continuous alternating shifts for premium pay?
A1. The normal full-time work shift is eight and one-half consecutive hours with a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. The normal full-time work shift for employees who are required to remain at their work location throughout their entire work shift is eight consecutive hours. (Article 14.2)
Operations that require coverage of 24-hours per day often use three shifts of eight consecutive hours each per 24-hour period. If employees are required to work all three shifts by taking turns working on each, it is said they work continuous rotating shifts. Employees working continuous rotating shifts receive premium pay at the current shift differential rate for all hours worked.
Operations that require coverage of less than 24 but more than eight hours per day often use two shifts. If employees are required to work both shifts by taking their turn in each, it is said that they work continuous alternating shifts. Other examples of continuous alternating shifts are operations requiring less coverage during evenings or weekends. In these cases, employees might work one weekend every sixth week or one week of evening shifts every 10 weeks. Employees working continuous alternating shifts receive premium pay at the current shift differential rate for all hours worked.
Q2. What is considered to be a “work shift?”
A2: “Work shift” means both a period of work that has a predetermined starting and ending time and the regularly scheduled configuration or pattern of work periods and days off. “Regularly scheduled” means the configuration repeats itself on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.
Q3: What is shift differential in BU 3 and how is it applied?
A3: A shift differential is paid for shifts beginning before 6:00 a.m., or ending after 7:00 p.m. Also note:
- Shift differential is applied to all hours worked on the qualifying shift;
- Eligibility for shift differential is determined based on an individual’s work hours. It is not based on an existing shift that any number of people might work in addition to other variable hours; and
- Shift differential is paid during sick leave if the employee has a minimum sick leave accrual balance of 25 sick days. Shift differential is not paid during vacation leave, holidays or other paid time off.
Q4. Does an employee receive shift differential during approved sick leave?
A4. An employee who is scheduled to work a shift that is eligible for shift differential pay receives the shift differential during periods of sick leave if the employee has a minimum balance of 25 days of sick leave. (Article 22.3)
Q5. If an employee is scheduled to work on a second consecutive Sunday and takes all or part of the day as vacation leave instead, is the vacation time compensated at time and one-half.
A5. No. The premium pay for work on a second Sunday applies only to time actually worked on that day. (Article 16.8, 22.9)
Q6. If an employee works every Sunday, how does the premium pay apply for work on the two consecutive Sundays?
A6. The employee would receive the premium pay on the 2nd, 4th, and 6th Sunday and so forth until the employee ceases to work every Sunday.
Q1. What is the status of an employee hired to a job opening that was posted as a temporary position of more than 67 workdays and later extended?
A1. A position posted as "temporary" must be posted again if the extension is for at least four months or if position is changed to continuing. The employee who is appointed to a "temporary" position is treated as if the position was "continuing". The employee does not receive a "temporary letter". The employee serves a probationary period and accumulates seniority. If the employee passes probation in the temporary position, their seniority is available to use and can be used to compete for the same temporary position, if posted again and extended, or to apply for other vacancies. If the employee has passed probation and is not hired for the position when it is extended, the employee is considered as laid off and has layoff rights according to Article 26. (Article 25.3)
Q2. What is the status of an employee hired to a position of less than 67 workdays and later extended?
A2. A position of 67 workdays or less is not covered by the bargaining unit agreement. Any continuation that extends the total time employed to beyond 67 workdays would put the employee in the bargaining unit, and as such requires posting. (Articles 2.1 and 25.1)
Q3. What wage rate should be paid to an employee who is demoted?
A3.Any employee who demotes, voluntarily or involuntarily, shall retain his/her current salary or the rate of pay at the top of the pay range for the new classification whichever is lower. A demotion occurs when an employee moves to a position whose pay range maximum is at least 4% lower than the pay range maximum of the employee's current classification. An involuntary demotion occurs when the change of classification is solely an employer action. (Article 21.8)
Q4. How is total seniority used in bidding for posted vacancies?
A4. If a position is not filled based on master seniority then Total seniority (Continuous length of employment with the employer) is used. However, total seniority of those employees in the immediate geographic area is considered first. If there are no applicants from the immediate geographic area then the contract looks at total seniority and relevant experience of all qualified applicants (Article 25.4).
Q1. What are the bumping rights of an employee in BU 3 upon layoff?
A1. If a position is abolished and the laid off employee has passed probation in the classification the following rights are accorded if the employee meets the minimum qualifications for the new position or vacancy. The employee rights are in the order listed below. If the employee chooses not to exercise options 1, 2, or 3, the employee shall be considered as having resigned.
- To a vacancy in the same classification and Immediate Geographic Area.
- To the position in the department in the same classification occupied by the employee with the least master seniority.
- To the position in the Immediate Geographic Area in the same classification occupied by the employee with the least master seniority.
- To a vacancy in the most recent former classification in the Immediate Geographic Area.
- To the position in the Immediate Geographic Area in the most recent former classification of the laid off employee occupied by the employee with the least master seniority.
- To any vacancy in the Immediate Geographic Area.
- To a position in a lower classification in an identified job series occupied by the employee with the least classification series seniority provided the employee to be laid off has at least five years of classification series seniority and more classification series seniority than the employee being bumped. An employee exercising this option shall not be placed below the midpoint wage rate for the class to which the bump occurs.
- If none of the above is available to the employee, the employee is laid off. (Article 26.2)
Q2. An employee is laid off after passing probation in a particular classification. The employee meets the qualifications for a vacancy the same classification in another department in the same Immediate Geographic Area. The employee has rights to that vacancy. Can the laid off employee choose to bump the least senior employee in their classification in their own department instead?
A2. No. Layoff rights must be used in the order they appear in the contract. The right to bump occurs only if there are no vacancies in the same classification, or if laid off employee does not meet the minimum qualifications for the vacancies that do exist. An employee who refuses to exercise the right to a vacancy is not considered to be laid off, so cannot have their name placed on the layoff list. (Article 26.2 A., B., and the last paragraph)
Q3 What reinstatement rights does an employee in BU 3 have, if the employee is being laid off, or has been laid off and is employed again?
A3 An employee who is being laid off must exercise the layoff options in the order listed in Article 26.2. Unless actually laid off, the employee need not be reinstated. A laid off employee who is recalled or rehired from the layoff list to a position in the same classification and the same immediate geographic area as the employee held at the time of layoff shall have both their master seniority and total seniority restored. If rehired to a position in a different classification within the same immediate geographic area within two years of their layoff the employee shall have their total seniority at the time of their layoff restored. (Article 26.2) (Article 26.7) (Article 26.8)
Q4. Can an employee being laid off have their name placed on the layoff list if they have an option to a position in their classification, either a vacancy or bumping a less senior employee?
A4. No. An employee refusing to accept a position in their classification is considered to have resigned. (Article 26.2)
Q5. Can an employee who is laid off from a seasonal position bump someone else in the Immediate Geographic Area?
A5. If the employee has passed probation and the reason for the layoff is not related to the end of the season, the employee can exercise bumping rights in the Immediate Geographic Area. If the reason is for the layoff is lack of work due to the end of the season, the employee may not bump.
Q6. What is the effect on an employee's seniority if the employee is temporarily laid off and is called back for a short time during the layoff?
A6. The employee accumulates seniority for time worked during a temporary layoff.
Q7. What are the rights of a seasonal employee whose seasonal employment has ended for the season?
A7. The employee is not on layoff so cannot bump, but may exercise the same rights to a vacancy as a current employee.
Q8. If an employee's option upon layoff is to bump a probationary employee who has no seniority in the classification and several such probationary employees exist, which one does the laid off employee bump?
A8. The laid off employee has no standing to make this decision. The decision is made by the head of the department(s) employing the respective probationary employees. (Article 12)
Q1. Employees A and B each have a 75 percent time appointments supplemented by hourly appointments for their work time exceeding 30 hours per week. During a week that contained a holiday, Employee A worked eight hours on the holiday and six hours per day for other four days. What pay did Employee A receive for the week?
A1. Employee A's 75 percent time appointment provides a workweek of five six-hour work days, or four six-hour work days plus a six-hour holiday. The employee normally receives 30 hours of straight time pay per week. The contract requires time and one half pay for all hours worked on the holiday. So, the employee received the normal 30-hours per week pay plus an additional 12 hours of pay (eight hours at time and one half) for the eight hours worked during the holiday, for a total of 42 hours of pay. Employee A did not work more than 40 hours during the week, so overtime was not a factor. This situation does not trigger overtime. The pay above 40 hours was the result of a premium paid for working on a holiday and that premium does not trigger overtime. (29.5) (16.1)
Q2. During the same week, Employee B did not work on the holiday, but worked eight hours on one day and six hours per day for the other three days. What pay did Employee B receive for the week?
A2 Employee B's 75 percent time appointment also provides a workweek of five six-hour work days, or four six-hour work days plus a six-hour holiday. Employee B received eight hours pay at straight time for the eight-hour day, six hours of pay at straight time for the holiday, and six hours of pay at straight time for each of the other three days, for a total of 32 hours of pay. Employee B did not work more than 40 hours during the week, so overtime pay was not a factor. (Article 29.9)
Q3. If a holiday or a day recognized as a holiday falls within the dates of an employee's appointment, does the employee automatically receive time off with pay for the holiday?
A3. No. To qualify for holiday pay, the employee must have an appointment at a designated percentage time of 50% time or more, and the employee must work or be on paid leave on the workday immediately preceding or immediately following the holiday or the day recognized as the holiday. Moreover, holiday cannot be the last day of the employee's appointment; the employee must return to work after the holiday. (Article 29.1)
Q4. A new employee's appointment began on January 1, a holiday. The employee reported for work on the first work day after January 1. Does the employee receive holiday pay for January 1?
A4. Yes. However, a more prudent use of University funds would start the new employee's appointment on the first work day following the holiday. If a current employee transfers, promotes, or demotes to a new department effective on the day following a holiday, the two departments should work out an agreement about which department pays for the holiday. (Article 29.1)
Q5. Does an employee receive pay for a holiday that occurs during a period of unpaid leave?
A5. An employee on unpaid leave is not paid for holidays occurring any day during the leave except for the first and last workday of the leave, provided the employee returns to work when the leave ends. Employees in this bargaining unit who are laid off during a semester break, may use a day of their accumulated vacation on the day before or a day after a holiday occurring during their layoff to qualify for pay for the holiday. Employees on a nine-month appointment may use their accumulated vacation to extend their appointment by the number of consecutive days required to earn holiday pay for the fourth of July. (Article 29.7) (Article 29.9) (Article 29.1)
Q6. What are the University's guidelines for approving a personal holiday?
A6. The University's guidelines for approving a personal holiday are:
- An employee must be appointed at a designated percentage of time and begin employment prior to May 1 of the fiscal year to be eligible for a personal holiday;
- A supervisor may limit the number of employees permitted to take a personal holiday on any given day, subject to operational needs;
- The personal holiday must be taken in a whole day increment at the employee's current designated percentage;
- The personal holiday must be taken by June 30 in any year;
- If the employee has not requested their personal holiday by May 1, the supervisor has the option to schedule the employee's personal holiday.
- An employee who terminates from University prior to using the personal holiday shall not be entitled to compensation for it;
- The Chancellor of each campus may designate an additional "floating" holiday on which the campus is closed in lieu of granting a personal holiday to each employee. (Article 29.1)
Q7. Employee A works a schedule of four 10-hour days per week and has Fridays off. Employee B works a schedule of four 10-hour days per week and has Mondays off. Both work full time, 40 hours per week. A holiday fell on a Monday, the Employee A's workday and Employee B's day off. Neither employee worked on the holiday. How much pay should each receive?
A7. A standard full-time schedule of 40 hours per week consists of five eight-hour days, so holiday is worth eight hours. If a holiday falls during a week, an employee having a standard schedule works 32 hours and has the holiday (eight hours) off. In the example above, Employee A worked 30 hours during the week and had 10 hours off. Since a holiday is worth eight hours, Employee A must work two more hours or use two hours of vacation to be paid for the full week. Employee B, whose holiday fell on a day off worked 40 hours and did not receive credit for the holiday, so the University owes this employee eight hours of pay or time off at a later date. The easiest way to avoid having this problem is to return to a schedule of five eight-hour days for any week containing a holiday. (Article 29.8)
Q8. With regard to the above fact situation what might be the overtime implications?
A8 Paid holidays on days not worked counts as work time for purposes of calculating overtime. Therefore, an employee who does not work on the holiday would receive 8 hours of pay for that day and would be eligible for overtime if in addition they worked over 32 hours in the week.
Q9. How much pay or time off does an employee in BU 3 receive for a holiday, or day observed as a holiday?
A9. An employee's pay for a holiday is proportional to the designated percent time of their appointment. For a 75 percent time employee, a holiday is worth six hours of pay or time off. (Article 29.8)
Q10. Work that is normally performed by an employee in BU 3 occurs during a day recognized as a holiday. A student employee is available to do the work. Should the holiday work assignment go to the BU 3 employee or a student employee?
A10. The employee who usually performs the work is given the first opportunity to work during the holiday. The general ratio of students to bargaining unit employees should be maintained during holidays. (Article 29.5)
Q1. An employee in BU 3 is promoted to a supervisory position. Can the employee return to their former position in the BU 3 if the new position does not work out?
A1. The contract does not provide the employee with bumping rights, layoff rights, or priority rights to BU 3 vacancies. The employee may be reinstated at the sole discretion of the employer if re-employed in their former classification in the bargaining unit within six months of the effective date of the promotion. (Article 34.1)