MCO Taking Fight to Impasse Panel

MCO and the State have failed to reach a total agreement on the next contract.

The State’s position on several issues is too extreme and MCO has decided to argue our position before the Impasse Panel.

The State is proposing to put all employees into one healthcare plan. MCO’s initial proposal was to move new employees (hired January 1, 2010 or later) into the legacy (current first-tier) plan. The Union’s latest proposal would keep the two-tier plans with some improvements for new employees, if all employees received decent wage increases.

OSE rejected both ideas and has indicated determination to go to Impasse on its proposal for one insurance plan.

The State’s wage proposals were pitiful and would not begin to cover the increased insurance costs to employees.

In addition, the State is attacking high security retention pay, uniform allowance, the meal period, and is still pursuing 12-hour or alternative shifts. Recognizing MCO members can’t get much time off, MCO has proposed putting comp time back into the annual leave formula. We are also fighting the State’s proposal to define comp time (like annual and sick leave) as time not worked for purposes of overtime calculation.

All differences between the two sides are to be filed with the Civil Service Commission by Monday afternoon. Supporting briefs are required by Friday, Nov. 1st. The Impasse Panel will then schedule hearings where both sides will formally present their case.

As the state and nation were in economically challenging times two years ago, MCO members stepped up to the plate and voted in a contract that dramatically cost each employee more. Member share of  health insurance premiums alone more than doubled.

In 2009, Rick Snyder said he wanted to deal with state employee compensation one time so we’re not being “tapped on the shoulder” year after year. MCO members showed a willingness to sacrifice and took big hits. We won’t agree to it now, while the Governor is touting Michigan’s economy as improving. The MCO bargaining team would rather fight for justice before the panel.

Let’s band together — we’re in for one hell of a fight!

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