The Michigan Civil Service Commission has approved the impasse panel’s recommended contract but says the state doesn’t have to continue bargaining solutions to the retention crisis with MCO. MCSC made this decision at its meeting today.
The impasse panel’s recommended contract calls for a 2 percent wage increase and a 2 percent lump sum in October 2019 with no increase to health care costs for one year.
The contract the commission has imposed will last three years, but addresses only one year of wages and health care. The imposed contract requires the parties to return to the table in 2019 to bargain those issues for future years of the contract.
All other items tentatively agreed upon by MCO and the state were approved by the commission.
Cheryl Schmittdiel, director of the Office of the State Employer, asked the commission to reject the panel’s recommendation that we bargain retention solutions.
Commissioner Janet McClelland made a motion to reject that requirement, saying the parties will continue conversations and be back at the table in about six months anyway. The amendment passed 3-1, with Commissioner Robert Swanson opposed. The entire commission then voted 4-0 to adopt the panel’s recommendation with that change.
MCO Legal Director Jeff Foldie and MCO Executive Director Andy Potter spoke in favor of keeping the bargaining requirement. In fact, they asked the commission to strengthen it by setting retention goals and a time frame for bargaining on this crisis. That was not approved.
MCO will continue to insist MDOC recognize the recruitment and retention problem that we have and seek realistic solutions, even though the commission gave them a free pass today.
Soon the MCO bargaining team will begin preparing to bargain again next summer.