Bargaining update: MCO and OSE reach a tentative agreement for membership vote

MCO and OSE have reached a tentative agreement.

The tentative agreement calls for a one-year contract on wages and health care, but a three-year contract on everything else. OSE insisted on a one-year contract for wages and health care due to their uncertainty about the federal excise tax on premium health care plans (known as the Cadillac Tax). The employer took the position they could not weigh the possible effects of the tax on the budget, and therefore, were unwilling to bargain a longer contract on wages and health care. Also, it is worth noting that all other state employee unions were faced with similar challenges regarding contract length.

The one-year wage agreement includes a 1% base increase effective Oct. 1, 2016, and a 1.5% lump sum payment in Oct. 2016.

MCO secured current language on health care with some enhancements, such as additions to the vision and dental plans and dependent life insurance.

The MCO bargaining team negotiated using info gathered from member surveys and conversations with chapter leaders and other members. MCO is keeping current language on 12-hour shifts, comp time, meal periods, crossing work site lines, longevity pay and the uniform and boot allowances. There were some language adjustments to the sick leave bonus and the 32-hour rule for those working 12-hour shifts.

The Bargaining team wanted to ensure all members have the opportunity to vote on this tentative agreement. Although this agreement doesn’t have everything we wanted, MCO leaders do not believe the Michigan Civil Service Commission would give us a better deal.

Executive Board members attempted to contact all chapter presidents about the tentative agreement. Chapter presidents have been called to an Executive Council meeting Thursday for a more complete briefing.
A full analysis of changes and the rationale for them will be included in the Collective Bargaining Review that will be sent to members along with the contract voting ballot. Our goal is to have this in the mail by the end of the month.

If members approve the agreement, the Civil Service Commission will be asked to approve it at its Dec. 16 meeting.

Thank you, members, for your support throughout this process.