UPDATE – 2015-2016 PS&T Unit Tentative Agreement
Frequently Asked Questions
As noted in the recently mailed Communicator Special Edition, the 2015-2016 Tentative Agreement includes a 2% across the board wage increase, increases in funding levels for committees and programs, and no changes in health benefits. As noted in the gains and tradeoffs chart in the Communicator, there are some changes to the contract language to remove obsolete and expired language which is no longer in effect. We have heard that some people are concerned that the deletion of the obsolete language will result in increases or changes in health benefits. This is unequivocally not true. Please see the revised FAQs for an explanation as to why removal of the old language in the new tentative agreement results in no changes to your health benefits.
Q. What are the across the board salary increases in the Tentative Agreement?
A. Fiscal Year 2015-16 – 2% retroactive to April 2015.
Q. Will my retroactive across the board increase appear in my regular biweekly paycheck?
A. The State has historically included retroactive salary increases in employees’ regular biweekly paychecks. For example, this occurred after ratification of the 2007-2011 Agreement, which included retroactive raises. Final details cannot be confirmed until the Office of the State Comptroller provides official notice to agencies for processing these payments.
Q. Will the retroactive 2% increase be applied to overtime and holiday pay?
A. Yes. The 2% increase will be applied retroactively to overtime and holiday pay.
Q. Will I receive my performance advance/increment/step?
A. Yes. Employees who are eligible to receive performance advances/increments/steps will continue to receive them during the term of the 2015-2016 Tentative Agreement.
Q. What about my performance award/longevity?
A. The performance award program continues unchanged in the Tentative Agreement. Employees who became newly eligible for a performance award in April 2016 will receive it retroactively. Employees who are eligible for a performance award in April 2016 will remain eligible to receive subsequent performance award lump sum payments in each succeeding April, at the same rate received in April 2016 until a successor agreement is negotiated. Employees who are newly eligible to receive performance awards in April 2017 will not receive them until a successor agreement is negotiated and ratified.
Q. Will my location pay, inconvenience pay, hazardous duty pay, standby on-call pay, special assignment to duty pay and recall pay continue?
A. Yes. Location pay, inconvenience pay, hazardous duty pay, standby on-call pay, and special assignment to duty pay all continue at the same rates and on the same terms and conditions as existed at the conclusion of the 2011-2015 Agreement. Standby pay and recall pay will also continue to be paid consistently with how they were paid under the 2011-2015 Agreement.
Q. Does the Firearms Training and Safety Incentive Program for peace officers continue under the Tentative Agreement?
A. Yes. The program continues, and the safety incentive payment for training in state fiscal year 2015-2016 increases to $260.
Q. How will my retroactive 2% increase be calculated if I retired or otherwise left state service during the term of the 2015-2016 Tentative Agreement?
A. Your retroactive compensation will be based on the time you served in a PS&T bargaining unit position covered by the Tentative Agreement.
Q. How will my retroactive 2% increase be calculated if I was not a member of the PS&T bargaining unit for the entire period of the Tentative Agreement from April 2, 2015 through April 1, 2016?
A. OSC may have to do a manual salary calculation pursuant to existing rules for any employee who went from a PS&T bargaining unit position to another union-represented or M/C position.
Q: Are there changes in the level of health benefits (e.g., types of coverage) in the 2015-2016 tentative agreement?
A: No. The tentative agreement does not make any changes to your health insurance coverages.
Q: Are there changes in the costs of health benefits (e.g., employee premium contributions, copays, deductibles, etc) in the 2015-2016 tentative agreement?
A: No. The tentative agreement does not change the costs of PEF members’ health benefits. It does not reduce the amount the state contributes to the cost of that health insurance, it does not change the Empire Plan combined annual deductible, or any other cost sharing, including copays, under the Empire Plan. Empire Plan enrollees’ out-of-pocket costs are not going to increase as a result of implementing the tentative agreement. These are the same costs that were made effective by the 2011-2015 PS&T Contract.
Q. Are there any changes to health insurance in the Tentative Agreement?
A. No. The Tentative Agreement makes no changes to present health insurance benefits.
Q. Will the Productivity Enhance Program (PEP) be available under the Tentative Agreement?
A. Yes. PEP will continue to be available for the entire 2016 calendar year.
Q. Is there any change in how much sick leave I can use toward retirement service credit or to pay for health insurance in retirement?
A. No. There are no changes. Employees can still earn and accumulate the same number of sick leave days, and use those days for retirement service credit and/or to pay for health insurance in retirement.
Joint Contract Committees – Articles 9, 10, 14, 15, 18, 27, 42
Q. Does the Tentative Agreement continue to fund the joint contract committees?
A. Yes. The Tentative Agreement increases funding for the above joint contract committees by 2%. Additionally, the Tentative Agreement continues funding of the committees after expiration of the Tentative Agreement for the period from April 2, 2016 through December 31, 2016.
Education and Training Funding
Q. Is there funding for education and training in the Tentative Agreement?
A. Yes. The funding for the education and training programs offered through Article 15 of the Agreement has been increased by 2%. Additionally, the Tentative Agreement continues funding of programs after expiration of the Tentative Agreement for the period from April 2, 2016 through December 31, 2016.
Q. Can I get retroactive reimbursement for a class, program, training I took after funding ended on December 31, 2015?
A. Yes. If the Tentative Agreement is ratified guidelines on education and training benefits will be developed as soon as possible, and will allow for retroactive reimbursement. The guidelines will be available at: http://www.goer.ny.gov/Training_Development/PEF/index.cfm