University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Administrative Interpretation - AFSCME Technical (Unit 7) Contract

The answers to these frequently asked questions are administrative interpretations of the contract language. All of the interpretations reference the specific contract language from which they were developed. They are written in an objective style to provide overall understanding of the contract. They do not provide specific advice or recommendations for a supervisor's problems.

Article 2, Recognition

1Q. Who is covered by the Bargaining Unit 7 contract?
1A. The BU 7 Contract covers all employees in classifications commonly referred to as, "technical classifications," listed in Article 2, Recognition, whose employment exceeds both fourteen (14) hours per week (or 35% of the normal work week) and sixty-seven (67) working days in any calendar year. (Article 2)

Article 4, Discrimination Prohibition

1Q. What internal avenues are available to an employee to resolve an issue alleging prohibited discrimination?
1A. An employee may allege a violation of the contract by filing a grievance under Article 21, Settlement of Disputes, or may file a complaint with University Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action according to Appendix A of the contract. An employee must choose between these internal remedies. (Article 4) (Article 21, Sections 2 and 3) (Article 7 , Section 6) (Appendix A)
2Q. Does a mandatory retirement age exist for BU 7 employees?
2A. No. The law does not permit a mandatory retirement age. (Article 4, Section 1)

Article 5, Recruitment and Employment

1Q. Applicants or employees with bumping rights must meet the measurable, job related selection criteria of the position they seek. What is meant by measurable, job related selection criteria?
1A. Measurable, job related selection criteria are specific, objective refinements of the qualifications required for a position. The on-line employment system uses the term “preferred qualifications” to refer to the selection criteria. Selection criteria are defined within the broad construction of the minimum qualifications of a classification. For instance, the minimum qualifications required for a Library Assistant 2 position is: "two (2) years of college course work and/or relevant library experience." The measurable, job related, selection criteria for a particular position are added to the essential qualifications to aid the recruiting and selection process. The selection criteria added for a particular Library Assistant 2 position might be the following: "A basic competence in the Chinese language, both written and spoken." (Article 5, Section 3, A, B, C, D)
2Q. When is it necessary for a department to process a Requisition and post a vacancy?
2A. A Requisition is required to fill any vacant position in a BU 7 classification, regardless if the vacancy is posted or not. Posting the vacancy is required if the designated position types are, "Temporary Posted" or "Continuing." (Article 5) (Article 6, Section 2B) (Article 25, Section 3)
3Q. When is it not necessary for a department to process a requisition and post a vacancy?
3A. A department is not required to a post a position nor process a requisition when increasing the percentage time of an existing position, reassignment of work, or a when a position moves as a result of a merger or acquisition.
4Q. Is a department having a vacancy in a BU 7 classification required to interview each applicant for the position who has been referred to the vacancy by the appropriate Human Resources Staffing Consultant?
4A. The department may screen the applications of the persons referred to the vacancy according to the measurable, job related selection criteria and may interview only those applicants who appear to meet the requirements of the position most closely. However, the department must offer interviews to the two employees with the most university seniority from BU 7 who are deemed qualified for the position, have applied for the vacancy within seven (7) calendar days of its posting, and meet the measurable, job related selection criteria. (Article 5, Section 4. A.) (Article 24, Section 3)

Article 6, Temporary Appointments

1Q. What is the employee's correct vacation accrual rate in the following situation? An employee who worked at the University for 18 years in a position eligible to accrue vacation, quit and was paid out for their accumulated vacation. Within a year the employee returned to University employment in a Temporary No Post position. What is the employee's correct vacation accrual rate?
1A. The employee had a break in service of less than three years, so the employee's previous vacation earning rate and eligibility are restored if their new appointment is for 50% time or more. The employee in this example would accrue vacation at the 13-20 year earning rate prorated by the percent time of their appointment. (Article 6, Section 3C.3) (Article 16, Section 2) (Article 24, Section 5)
2Q. Can an employee's appointment to a Temporary No Post position be extended beyond six months?
2A. Yes. A Temporary No Post appointment can be extended beyond six months without posting only to cover for another employee who is on a continuing disability, pregnancy leave, or other approved leave of absence and is expected to return. (Article 6, Section 3C.2)
3Q. An employee has been on a Temporary No Post appointment for more than six months, what can a department do to rectify the situation?
3A. The department has exceeded the length of time the employee can be in a temporary no post position. The employee must be terminated. If the department determines there is still a need for the position, they can post the position as temporary or continuing. (Article 6, Sec 3C)
4Q. What is a supplemental position?
4A. A supplemental position in a BU 7 classification has a variable, intermittent, or on-call schedule that is 14 hours per week or less and 67 work days per calendar year or less, and is paid on an hourly basis. If a position has a schedule of 14 hours or less per week or 67 or less work days per calendar year, it should have a Temporary or Casual job code (0001; 0007). (Article 6, Section 3A)
5Q. A department filled a Temporary Posted position with a set term of one year. The position has been extended for another year. Does the department have to post the position again?
5A. The position must be posted as a Temporary Posted or a continuing position, unless the extension is the result of a continuing disability, pregnancy leave, or other approved leave of the employee holding the original appointment and that employee is expected to return. (Article 6, Section 3B.2)
6Q. An employee was hired on a Temporary No Post position for six months. The position is posted as a Continuing position. The employee who held the position on a Temporary No Post appointment is hired. Is the person considered as a new hire?
6A. The employee is treated as a new hire and must begin serving a new probationary period. The hiring department must follow the compensation guidelines noted in Article 19 in determining what salary within the pay range to pay. If the employee passes the new probationary period, seniority will be credited for the time served in the Temporary No Post position. (Article 6, Section 3C.2)

Article 7, Probationary Period

1Q. An employee who has passed probation in a continuing position in BU 7 is transferred or promoted to another position in BU 7. If the employee fails probation in the new position, what are the employee's rights to return to their prior position?

1A. Before bumping back to their prior position, the employee must apply for vacancies in the classification of their prior position, for which the employee is qualified and meets the measurable job related selection criteria. If offered a vacancy at 90% or more of their salary on the prior position, the employee must take it or lose the right to bump back into their prior position. The employee retains the right to the BU 6 layoff list. If the employee declines more than two such offers, the employee also loses the right to be on the layoff list.

If there is no vacancy in their prior classification, and the employee has more University Seniority than the current incumbent of their prior position, and the current incumbent has not passed probation in it, the employee may bump back to their prior position. (Article 5, Section 3) (Article 7, Section 6) (Article 25, Section 7D) (Article 25, Section 3) (Article 25, Section 10)

2Q. An employee has passed probation in a continuing position in BU 7. The employee transfers or is promoted to a position outside the bargaining unit and does not pass probation on the new position. Can the employee bump back to their prior position in BU 7, or be placed on the layoff list for BU 7?

2A.

  1. The employee must take a vacancy in their prior continuing BU 7 classification, if qualified based on the minimum qualifications, selection criteria, and University Seniority.
  2. If such a vacancy does not exist, the employee shall bump the incumbent of their former position provided the employee has more University seniority than its current incumbent, and the current incumbent has not passed probation in the position.
  3. If the employee cannot take a vacancy, or cannot or chooses not to bump the incumbent of their prior position for the reasons listed, the employee may go to the BU 7 layoff list. The employee may not go to the layoff list in their new bargaining unit, because they did not pass probation in that bargaining unit. (Article 5, Section 3A) (Article7, Section 6, paragraph 4)
3Q. A probationary employee in their initial probationary period is not performing satisfactorily. What action does the contract allow the supervisor to take?
3A. The contract requires the supervisor to give the employee one performance appraisal near the mid-point of the employee's probationary period, but allows more than one. The supervisor can discuss the employee's performance with the employee, or give the employee more formal performance appraisals to let the employee know how well they are doing and explain what they must do to improve. The supervisor also has the right to terminate the employee immediately if in the supervisor's judgment, the employee's performance is such that termination is warranted. The employee can appeal the termination only if the employee believes the supervisor's decision to terminate was based on prohibited discrimination. (Article 7, Sections 1, 5, and 6) (Article 4) (Article 22, Section 1)
4Q. A continuing position is being abolished. The incumbent has passed probation and has four years of seniority in the classification. The department has no vacancies in the classification. Three positions in the same classification exist in the Collegiate/Administrative Unit. Each is filled by an employee in their initial probationary period. Which probationary employee should be bumped?
4A. The collegiate or equivalent unit should decide which employee is to be bumped. (Article 25, Section 7, F)
5Q. An employee in BU 7 with more than two years of seniority took another position in the same collegiate/administrative unit. The employee failed probation, but does not want to return to the former position. Can the employee go to the layoff list instead?
5A. If the employee has rights to a vacancy, they must exercise those rights ahead of all other options, before bumping or going to the layoff list. If the employee does not have rights to a vacancy, and chooses not to exercise rights back to their formerly held position, they will be allowed to choose the layoff list instead. Once on the layoff list, if they choose to accept a position in a lower classification than they formerly held, they must be paid within the salary range for that classification and cannot receive a salary increase. (Article 7, Section 6, paragraph 4) (Article 19, Section 3)
6Q. What are the rights of an employee who voluntarily chooses a demotion and then fails probation in that position? Does the employee have rights back to their previous position and/or the layoff list?
6A. The employee does not have rights to their prior position but does have rights to be placed on the layoff list in classifications in which they have passed probation.
7Q. What are the rights of an employee who is laid off during a subsequent probationary period?

7A. The employee has the rights of an employee who has failed probation on the position. If the employee did not have a break in service between the prior Continuing position provided the employee left for a promotion or transfer (the Continuing position the employee last held in which the employee successfully passed probation), and the current position, the employee has the right to return to the prior Continuing position.

Before the employee can return to the prior Continuing position, the employee must take a vacancy in the classification to which the employee would return. To be eligible for the vacancy, the employee must meet its essential requirements and its measurable, job related selection criteria.

If such a vacancy does not exist, the employee can choose to bump into their prior Continuing position, if it still exists, and if its incumbent has not passed probation in the position, and if the incumbent does not have more University Seniority than the employee.

If the employee cannot take a vacancy or chooses not to bump back into their prior continuing position the employee shall go on the layoff list. (Article7, Section 6, paragraph 4) (Article 5, Section 3A)

8Q. If an employee who held a continuing position in another bargaining unit takes a continuing position in BU 7 and fails probation, can the employee return to their former position in the other bargaining unit?
8A. The BU 7 contract does not cover rights an employee may have in another bargaining unit. The employees return rights depend on the language in the Civil Service Rules or bargaining unit agreement that covered the former position.

Article 8, Performance Appraisals

1Q. An employee covered by the BU 7 contract is due for a performance appraisal. Should the supervisor ask, or must the supervisor grant an employee’s request for a union steward to attend?
1A. The presence of a steward is not required or recommended. However, if the employee feels the performance review meeting has become disciplinary in nature, the employee has the right to adjourn the meeting and reschedule it with a union steward present. (Article 8, Section 1, paragraph 2)

Article 9, Classification and Reclassification

1Q. Can an employee file a reclassification appeal and a related grievance at the same time?
1A. An employee may appeal a reclassification decision. The appeal would be heard by a classification appeal panel. Such an appeal would allege a violation of Article 9, Classification and Reclassification. A related grievance must allege violations of one or more other articles of the BU 7 Contract. (Article 9, Section 4)

Article 12, Hours of Work

1Q. The Bargaining Unit 7 employees in a department want a meeting to discuss flexible work schedules. What should be discussed at the meeting?
1A. The employees in a department may request a meeting to discuss flexible schedules as often as once each six (6) months. The discussion should focus on the possible effects of flexible schedules on administrative costs, work productivity, delivery of service, and the benefits of flexible scheduling. After the meeting, the department's decision should be communicated in writing to the employee(s). The employee(s) may appeal the department's determination within 14 calendar days of its receipt. This appeal should go to the next level supervisor who did not have an active role in making the decision. The employer's decision may be appealed only through the procedure set forth in Article 12, Section 2. (Article 12, Section 2.)

Article 15, Holidays

1Q. An employee has a 75 % time appointment and a supplemental hourly appointment for time worked in excess of the percent time appointment. How much pay does the employee receive for the week if the employee worked for 8 hours during the holiday and 6 hours per day for the rest of the week? If the employee worked 8 hours for one day of the week, but not on the holiday?

1A. If an employee has a 75% time appointment, their work week is 30 hours and a holiday is 6 hours. Overtime is paid only if the employee works over 40 hours in the work week.

If the employee worked for 8 hours on the holiday and 6 hours per day for the rest of the week, the employee would receive 8 hours pay at time and one half for work on the holiday, plus 6 hours of compensatory time or pay for the holiday, and 24 hours at straight time for the other four days in the work week.

If the employee worked for 8 hours on one day of the week, but not the holiday, the employee would receive 6 hour of pay at straight time for the holiday, 6 hours of pay at straight time for each of the other four days, and 2 hours pay at straight time for the 2 hours worked on the 8-hour day.

In both examples above, the employee did not work more than 40 hours in the week, so overtime pay at time and one half did not occur. (Article 13) (Article 15)

2Q. A new employee began work on January 1, the beginning of the new year. January 1 is a holiday. Does the employee receive holiday pay?
2A. Yes. However, the new employee should have been appointed on January 2 instead. If the new employee were appointed on January 2, the University would not be liable for holiday pay. In cases where an employee transfers, promotes, or demotes to a new department effective on the first day following a holiday, the two departments should work out an agreement as to which department pays for the holiday. (Article 15)
3Q. An employee is on an unpaid leave. A holiday occurs during the leave. Is the employee paid for the holiday?
3A. No, employees on unpaid leave of absence do not receive pay for holidays occurring during the middle of an unpaid leave. However, they will be paid for holidays that are adjacent to the first day of the unpaid leave and holidays that are adjacent to the last day of the unpaid leave if they return to work at the end of the leave. (Article 15, Section 4)
4Q. What guidelines do a supervisor use to approve a personal holiday?

4A. Personal holidays shall be taken at an employee’s discretion subject to the supervisor’s approval. (Article 15, Section 1)

Also see personal holiday guidelines detailed at http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/policies/leaves/persholiday.html

5Q. Two employees work full time, forty (40) hours per week, on a schedule of four, ten hour days. A holiday falls on one employee's work day and on the other employee's day off. Neither employee worked on the holiday. How much pay should each receive?
5A. Employees usually work five 8-hour days, so a holiday for a 100% time employee is eight hours. The employee whose holiday fell on their day off worked 40 hours during the week 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 employee whose holiday fell on a work day received ten (10) hours off, but a holiday is worth only eight (8) hours. So, this employee must work two hours on another day during the week to be paid for their full work week. The easiest way to handle this problem is to return to a schedule of five eight-hour days for each work week containing a holiday. (Article 15)
6Q. An employee has a 75% time appointment. The employee normally works six hours per day, Monday through Friday, On a particular holiday, (a Monday) the employee is required to work eight (8) hours. What pay should the employee receive?
6A. An employee having a 75% time appointment, receives holiday pay worth 75% of a normal work day, or six hours. An employee who does not work on a holiday receives their six hours of pay for the holiday. The employee who works on the holiday receives pay at time and one half for all hours worked, plus their regular pay for the holiday. This employee is paid a total of 18 hours for the day (6 hours at straight time plus 8 hours at time and one half). (Article 13, Section 1, Paragraph 1)(Article 15, Section 2)
7Q. How much pay or time off does an employee in BU 7 receive for a given holiday, or day observed as a holiday?
7A. An employee's pay or time off for a holiday is proportional to the designated percent time of the employee's appointment, that is between 36 and 100 percent time, inclusively. The contract does not recognize appointments of 35 percent time or less. (Article 15, Section 3) (Article 2, Section 1)

Article 16, Vacation

1Q.Does an employee on a 50% to 100% appointment accrue vacation during months when the employee works less than 50% time?
1A. Yes, the vacation accrual is based on the percentage appointment. (Article 16, Section 1)
2Q. Can an employee who terminates from the University extend their appointment by the number of accrued vacation days they have?
2A. An employee's appointment ends on their final day of work The employee is paid in a lump sum for the vacation accumulated as of their last day of work. An employee does not accrue additional vacation days or receive pay for holidays that occur after their termination date. (Article 16, Section 5, paragraph 2).
3Q. If an employee from BU 7 takes a vacation eligible civil service or academic position and returns to a BU 7 position at a later date, what is the effect on the employee's vacation accrual rate?
3A. This employee’s vacation accrual rate is based upon all uninterrupted service in vacation-eligible positions. (For civil service employees this means having an appointment with a designated percentage of 50% or greater and in academic positions the percentage is 67% or greater in a 12-month appointment.) (Article 16, Sections 1 and 2) (Article 24, Section 5)
4Q. An employee in BU 7 worked at the University for 18 years in vacation eligible positions. The employee terminated and was paid out for their accumulated vacation. The employee returned to a Temporary No Post position at 100% time after a break in service of three years or less. What is the employee's correct vacation rate?
4A. An employee who returns to a vacation eligible position after a break in service of three years or less has their previous vacation accrual rate and eligibility restored. The employee is eligible to accumulate vacation if their current appointment is 50% time or more. The new position may be Temporary No Post, Temporary Posted, or a Continuing position. The employee in the above example will accrue vacation at the 13 through 20 year earning rate. (Article 24, Section 5) (Article 16, Section 2), (Article 6, Section 3 B, C)
5Q. If an employee requests vacation leave 30 or more days in advance, how much time does the supervisor have to decide if the leave will be granted?
5A. If a supervisor receives a written request for vacation 30 or more days in advance, the supervisor must respond within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the request. (Article 16, Section 3)

Article 17, Sick Leave

1Q. A paid holiday fell on a day an employee was on paid sick leave. Should the employee receive holiday pay instead of sick leave for that day?
1A. Yes. The employee receives holiday pay for the day. Whenever a holiday or a day recognized as a holiday occurs during any leave of absence with pay, the employee receives holiday pay instead of sick leave or other paid leave for the day. The employee does not receive sick leave or other paid leave in addition to holiday pay for the day. (Article 15, Section 4)
2Q. What happens to a BU 7 employee's unused sick leave accumulation if the employee takes an academic appointment?
2A. The employee's unused sick leave accumulation is lost. However, it may be reinstated if the employee returns to a sick leave eligible BU 7 appointment, provided there has been no break in service. (Article 24, Section 5)
3Q. If an employee has exhausted all accumulated sick leave, can the employee use accumulated vacation leave as sick leave?
3A. Yes. If sick leave is exhausted, the employee is allowed to use vacation leave or compensatory time for legitimate sick leave reasons. The employee may also use their vacation or overtime accruals subject to the provisions of the use of vacation or overtime. (Article 17, Section 2, paragraph 4)

Article 19, Salary

1Q. What is the progression date for an employee in BU 7 hired prior to October 1, 1997?
1A. Each employee in a BU 7 classification is eligible for a step increase on October 1 of each year, except those employees recently hired between October 1, and March 3, (See question 2 below) provided the employee has served one year in the bargaining unit and has not reached the maximum salary rate for the pay range. An employee who is rehired from the layoff list shall retain credit toward the next progression increase for their time worked before their break in service (Article 19, Section 4)
2Q. What is the progression sequence of an employee hired between October 1 and March 3 of each year beginning in 1997?
2A. An employee who is hired between October 1 and March 3 will progress to the second step of the pay range for their classification after completion of their six months probationary period. The employee will be eligible to progress to the third step of their pay range on the October 1 following completion of one year of service at step two. Thereafter, they are eligible to progress one step each year on October 1, until they reach the top of their pay range.
3Q. An employee was eligible to receive a progression increase on October 1, but the employee was off the payroll for more than four consecutive months during the preceding year. Should this employee receive their progression increase on October 1?
3A. No. Since this employee was off the payroll for more than four consecutive months, the employee's progression increase eligibility date for this year is extended beyond October 1 by the entire amount of time off the payroll. Next year, the employee will be eligible for a progression increase again on October 1, unless their eligibility is extended because they are off the payroll for more than four consecutive months between October 1 of this year and October 1 of next year. (Article 19, Section 4, paragraph 5)
4Q. What is the effect on an employee’s progression anniversary date when moving from 100% time to 75% time?
4A. The progression anniversary date remains the same when an employee changes their percentage appointment.
5Q. How is the employee's salary determined when a new employee is hired or a current employee is promoted, transferred, demoted, or reclassified?

5A. All employees in BU 7 shall be paid within the salary range of their classification and on a step of the salary range for the classification. The normal starting salary for a new employee is the beginning of the pay range for the classification of the position.

A promotion occurs when an employee moves from one BU 7 position to another having a classification with a higher pay range midpoint, or when an employee moves from a position outside BU 7 to a position within BU 7 that has at least a 4% higher pay range midpoint. A promotion can occur if an employee is hired for a higher level position or when an employee's position is reclassified. The normal starting salary for a promoted employee is the nearest step of the salary range of the new classification that provides at least a four percent (4%) salary increase. Promotional increases may be greater than 4% when in conformance with University policy. Starting salaries greater than the beginning of the pay range, or promotional increases greater than 4%, are possible upon approval of the appropriate responsible administrator or their designee. Requests by hiring authorities to pay an employee at a higher salary must be documented using the following points of consideration: the salaries of employees supervising or giving work direction to the employee; the employee's salary relative to salaries paid similarly qualified, or experienced employees in comparable positions within the department or collegiate/administrative unit; the employee's current or previous salary; the timing of anticipated salary adjustments; and the performance record of the employee on previous positions.

A transfer occurs when an employee moves from one BU 7 position to another BU 7 position having a classification with the same pay range, or a pay range such that it does not qualify as a demotion or a promotion. A transfer may also occur when an employee moves from a position outside BU 7 to a position within BU6 that has a pay range midpoint within 4% of their former pay range midpoint, when the respective pay ranges are compared at their mid points. A transfer occurs if the employee applies for and is hired for an equivalent level position or when an employee's position is reclassified. Employees who take transfers must be paid within the pay range, but may receive salary adjustments.

A demotion occurs when an employee moves from one BU 7 position to another having a classification with a lower pay range, or when an employee moves from a position outside BU 7 to a position within BU 7 that has a pay range midpoint 4% or more lower than their former pay range midpoint. An employee who is demoted has their salary cut by no more than 10% or the top of the new lower pay range, whichever is lower. (Article 19, Sections 1, 2 and 3)

6Q. What is a break in service for an employee on a supplemental appointment?
6A. Employees on Supplemental Positions have work schedules that are variable, intermittent or on-call. Twelve (12) months of service is defined as a 12-month period of service during which no break in service occurred. For an employee on a supplemental appointment, a break in service is a termination of employment, or a period of employment at 14 hour or less per week for 8 consecutive biweekly pay periods. (Article 24, Section 1) (Article 6, Section 3)
7Q. What is the progression anniversary date for an employee appointed on a nine-month per year basis, or any recurring term of appointment of a less than 12-month per year basis?
7A. The employee who works on an appointment of 9, 10, or 11 months per year receives service credit of 12 months each year. The employee receives a progression increase on the first October 1 following completion of 12 months of service credit since their appointment or their last progression increase. (Article 19, Section 4)
8Q. An employee is appointed on a 12-month, percent time basis. The employee is reduced to a lesser percent-time or to a term of appointment that is lower than the employee's definition of layoff. What is the employee's eligibility for a progression increase?
8A. If the employee accepts the reduction in term of appointment or percent-time, their progression increase date does not change. If the employee goes to the layoff list and is reemployed from the layoff list, the time worked between their last progression increase or appointment (if they have worked less than one year), and their layoff is credited toward their one year of service in the bargaining unit required for their next progression increase. (Article 19, Section 4, paragraph 4)
9Q. What is the progression anniversary date of an employee appointed on a less than 12 month basis who has been transferred or demoted into their current classification?
9A. The employee who was transferred or demoted maintains their eligibility for the next progression increase on the following October 1. (Article 19, section 3)
10Q. What is the effect of a layoff on a progression anniversary date?
10A. If an employee exercising layoff list rights is rehired from the layoff list, the employee retains credit for the time the employee has worked prior to the layoff toward the one year of service in the bargaining unit required for their next progression increase. If an employee on the layoff list is rehired into a position for which they have no layoff list rights, the employee will receive a progression increase on the October 1 following their first day of the pay period following their most recent entry into the bargaining unit upon the completion of twelve (12) months of service. (Article 19, Section 4)
11Q. If an employee is temporarily filling in for an employee in a higher classification and is receiving a salary augmentation, when is the employee eligible for a progression increase?
11A. Salary augmentations have no effect on the timing of progression increases. The employee should receive a progression increase on the October 1 following one year of service. (Article 19, Section 7)
12Q. What discretion does a hiring authority have in the determination of the salary paid to a current BU 7 employee hired to fill a vacancy in a BU 7 classification?
12A. The employee must be paid within the pay range for the classification. If the position is a promotion, the employee must receive at least a 4% pay increase or the minimum of the new pay range whichever is greater, and must be paid on step. If the new position is a transfer, the employee must be paid on step within the pay range. If the position is a demotion, the employee must be paid on step within the pay range and may not receive a salary increase. (Article 19, Sections 1, 2, and 3)
13Q. What salary should be paid to a BU 7 employee whose classification has changed, due to a reclassification or a periodic survey, to a position that is a demotion?
13A. The employee should be paid within the range and on step with no wage increase and no more than a 10% salary cut.
14Q. What is shift differential in BU 7 and how is it applied?

14A. A shift differential is paid for shifts beginning before 6:00 a.m. or ending after 7:00 p.m., and the shift must be at least six hours in duration. Shift differential will not apply when an employee has requested and is granted a flexible schedule. Also note:

  • Overtime worked on a shift that is eligible for shift differential is paid at time and one half on both the base and the shift differential.
  • Shift differential is not paid during vacation leave, sick leave, holidays or other paid time off. (Article 19, Section 6)
15Q. An employee's work shift is 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when it is from 11:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. What shift differential should the employee receive?
15A. The employee will receive shift differential only for their work on Wednesday, because only the Wednesday shift is eligible for shift differential. See the applications of shift differential, above, (Article 19, Section 6)
16Q. Can the supervisor withhold an employee's progression increase for work performance that is not satisfactory?
16A. The employee's progression increase may be withheld for unsatisfactory work performance. A written notice that the progression increase is being withheld must be given to the employee prior to the employee's progression anniversary date. The progression increase may be granted at a later date by certifying that the employee has achieved a satisfactory level of performance. Withholding or delaying the progression increase does not change the employee's eligibility for their next progression increase on the following October 1. A delayed increase is not retroactive. (Article 19, Section 4)
17Q. What happens if the employer fails to provide written notice that the progression increase is being withheld?
17A. If the employer fails to provide written notice that the progression increase is being withheld, the employee is entitled to the progression increase.
18Q. A department is hiring an employee who is currently employed in a higher level classification for a vacancy in a BU 7. How does the department determine what salary to offer?
18A. This is a demotion. The supervisor must offer a salary within the pay range of the classification and "on step." The employee's salary on demotion may be cut by no more than 10% or to the top of the new pay range, whichever is lower. (Article 19, Section 3)
19Q. If a position of an employee from another bargaining unit is reclassified to a classification in BU 7, how is the employee's salary upon the reclassification determined?
19A. The employee's salary depends on if the reclassification is a promotion, a demotion or a transfer. The comparison is made at the midpoints of the old and new classification and the promotion/demotion/transfer policy applies. In all cases, the employee must be paid within the pay range for the new BU 7 classification and "on step." (Article 19, Sections 1, 2 and 3 also see 4Q in this section)

Article 21, Settlement of Disputes

1Q. Are tape recordings allowed as evidence during a grievance hearing?
1A. Tape recordings can be presented as evidence in a grievance hearing. Their authenticity should be examined and questioned by the panel or individual hearing the grievance. The weight or consideration given the tape recording is an individual judgment call in each grievance. (Article 21)
2Q. Are grievance hearings tape recorded? Should they be tape recorded?
2A. The BU 7 grievance procedure does not provide for tape recorded hearings. The hearings should not be tape recorded unless all parties agree. (Article 21)
3Q. If a grievance is held during work hours, are witnesses who are University employees paid?
3A. The contract provides that union representatives and the grievant may attend grievance meetings during work hours without loss of pay but does not address witnesses. The department head of the aggrieved employee's department can decide if the witnesses from that department are on payroll while they attend the grievance hearing to provide testimony. If witnesses are from another department, the department head of the other department can decide if those witnesses are on payroll while they attend the grievance hearing to testify. The hearing officer may suggest affidavits instead of testimony, particularly if a witness is not present to provide testimony on disputed facts. (Article 21)
4Q. Does a representative from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action attend hearings of grievances that allege violation of Article 4, Discrimination Prohibition?
4A. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action is invited by the respective HR Consultant to attend hearings of grievances that allege violation of Article 4, Discrimination Prohibition. The decision if they should attend is made by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
5Q. If a supervisor receives an improper grievance, should the supervisor hear the grievance?
5A. 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.

Article 22, Discipline

1Q. Can an employee be disciplined for insubordination if the employee has not responded to a direct request from the supervisor to finish a project?
1A. Insubordination is the willful refusal to carry out a direct order or obey a work rule. An employee's refusal 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 discipline an employee for "insubordination." (Article 22)
2Q. Can a supervisor apply disciplinary action to encourage the employee to make improvement in work performance?
2A. Minor deficiencies in work performance normally are brought to the employee's attention privately through coaching. Coaching is not considered as discipline, but if an employee's work-related behavior does not improve after coaching, the supervisor may take corrective disciplinary action. Corrective disciplinary action usually is progressive and administered in increasingly more stringent disciplinary steps. The steps are: oral warning, written warning, suspension without pay, and dismissal. After each instance of disciplinary action, the supervisor should provide the employee an opportunity to improve.
3Q. Can a supervisor suspend or dismiss an employee at the first instance of serious misconduct?
3A. The level of disciplinary action may begin at a higher step for serious misbehavior. Theft, dishonesty, assault, etc. are examples of serious misconduct. The level of disciplinary action taken should reflect the level and seriousness of the alleged misconduct. In these cases, suspension or dismissal may be appropriate at their first occurrence. The supervisor should always consult with a Human Resources Consultant before taking a more stringent level disciplinary action. (Article 22, Section 6)
4Q. Should a supervisor conduct an investigation of the facts of the case before taking disciplinary action against an employee?
4A. The contract requires that an employee be presented with all charges and be given an opportunity to respond. An investigation permits discovery of all relevant facts. Upon request, the employee has a right to have a union representative present during any investigation which may result in disciplinary action. (Article 22, Section 3)
5Q. If the supervisor knows the details in a case of an employee's improper work behavior, should an investigation be conducted anyway?
5A. Yes. An investigation must be conducted before administering any disciplinary action, including oral and written warnings. The investigation provides the supervisor opportunity to uncover and consider all circumstances before taking disciplinary action. Information obtained during an investigation also gives the supervisor a better position for showing the disciplinary action was taken for just cause. (Article 22, Section 3)
6Q. Who should attend an investigatory meeting with an employee regarding misconduct that may result in disciplinary action?
6A. The employee and the supervisor should attend as they are the principals in the case. The employee is entitled to have a Union representative at the meeting if requested by the employee. If the employee has a Union representative, the supervisor should have another supervisor attend. The other supervisor should not be in a position to hear the case on appeal. (Article 22, Section 3)

Article 24, Seniority

1Q. What seniority may be restored for the following employee? Is it usable? The employee worked at the University in a continuing position for 18 years, terminated, and was paid out for their accumulated vacation. The employee returned to a Temporary No Post position after a break in service of less than three years.

1A. University and Classification seniority are restored if the employee is rehired within three years (Article 24, Section 3). However the University seniority is not usable while the employee is in a Temporary No Post position or until completion of the initial probationary period upon their return to the University. The  Temporary No Post appointment does not restrict the use of classification seniority for the selection of reassignable overtime. (Article 13, Section 2B)

If the position subsequently is posted as a Temporary Posted or a Continuing position, and the same employee who served in the initial Temporary No Post position is hired, the employee's University seniority from the previous positions (18 years) becomes usable. After passing probation, the employee also gains seniority retroactively for the time spent in the Temporary No Post position and gains layoff rights. Please note that an employee laid off from a Temporary Posted position does not have bumping rights, only access to the layoff list. (Article 24, Section 5) (Article 6, Section 2C) (Article 24, Section 2C2) (Article 13, Section B) (Article 25, Section 7G, paragraph 5)

2Q. One University unit is being acquired by another unit. How will the acquisition affect the seniority of the employees acquired by the new unit?
2A. Mergers occur when the positions in two or more seniority units are blended into one through reorganization. Acquisitions occur when one or more positions, but not all, are acquired by another seniority unit through reorganization. In both cases, mergers or acquisitions, the employee's seniority credit from the former unit transfers to in the new unit. (Article 24, Sections 1, 2, and 3)
3Q. If an employee returns to University employment in BU 7 within three years and is reinstated, how does the employee's new department know the specifics of the reinstatement?
3A. The Human Resources Information System (HRIS) auditor sends the employing department a statement showing the employee's unused sick leave and vacation anniversary date. The new vacation anniversary date is the employee's old vacation anniversary date extended by the number of work days in the employee's break in service. The period of time between the returning employee's new vacation anniversary date and their new hire date is their years of service from which to determine their vacation accumulation rate. (Article 16, Section 2, chart and paragraph 2) (Article 16, Section 2, paragraph 2) (Article 24, Section 5) 
4Q. What is the employee's seniority upon reinstatement?
4A. A former employee's seniority is reinstated whenever the employee returns to a position in BU 7 within three (3) years of their termination. Their seniority will appear on the next seniority roster. If the employing department must know the employee's seniority before that (as may occur if the employee is not serving a probationary period and the department has a layoff), a seniority report can be provided by the Office of Human Resources. (Article 7, Section 4, C and D) (Article 24, Section 4) (Article 24, Section 6)

Article 25, Layoff and Recall

For purposes of Article 25, “Department” shall be defined as the employee’s first bump area.

1Q. What is the appointment status of a BU 7 employee who is laid off from a continuing position and takes a vacant temporary position?
1A. If the employee is reassigned to the position by the employer, the employee retains a continuing appointment. (Article 25,Section 7G)
2Q. What is the status of a laid off BU 7 employee who had a continuing position and bumped an employee in the same Collegiate/Administrative Unit who held a continuing appointment in a temporary position?
2A. The bumping employee retains a continuing appointment and the position remains temporary. The employee who held the temporary posted position gained continuing appointment status in a temporary position by serving in the temporary posted position for more than one (1) year, and as a result, the employee is susceptible to a bump by a laid off employee from the same Collegiate/Administrative Unit who had more University Seniority. (Article 6, Section 3(B)(3)
3Q. If an employee on a continuing position is being laid off or bumped, what layoff notice should an employee in a continuing position receive?

3A. If a continuing position is being abolished or reduced to a level below its applicable definition of layoff, the incumbent of that position must receive a layoff notice in writing at least 28 calendar days before the effective date of the layoff, except in emergencies. The notice should identify the specific position, if any, to which the employee has bumping rights. The employee has seven calendar days to seek out an appropriate vacancy or decide whether to bump the incumbent of the position identified in the notice of layoff.

The employee is being bumped, he/she must receive a 21 calendar-day written notice of layoff that identifies the specific position, if any, to which the employee has bumping rights. The employee has seven calendar days to seek out an appropriate vacancy or decide whether to bump the incumbent of the position identified in the notice of layoff. (Article 25, Section 3, A-D) (Article 25, Section 5, Section 7B and 7D)

4Q. What are the layoff rights of an employee who has been laid off from a continuing position?
4A. The employee’s options may include taking a vacancy, bumping, going on the layoff list, or electing the layoff severance program. Vacancies are the first option. An employee who does not accept an appropriate vacancy (Article 25, Section 7D) will lose bumping rights but may be placed on the layoff list or elect the layoff severance program. If no appropriate vacancy is available, the employee may bump. If the employee chooses not to bump or no bump is available, the employee can choose to be placed on the layoff list or elect the layoff severance package.
5Q. How does an employee get on the layoff list?

5A. An employee who receives a written layoff notice or who fails a subsequent probation and submits an updated application may request the appropriate Human Resources Department in writing to have their name placed on the layoff list. (Employees in the Twin Cities Campus Immediate Geographic Area should contact the Layoff List Coordinator, Office of Human Resources. The employee's name will be placed on the layoff list if: (a) the employee has passed an initial probationary period in a bargaining unit classification and after the receipt of a written notice of layoff; or (b) a notice of failure to pass probation after a bump and after exhausting or waiving bumping rights.

The employee's name will stay on the layoff list for two years. It is removed if the employee is returned to work within that time. (Article 5, Section 3A) (Article 25, Section 10)

6Q. Does a former employee who returns to the University with seniority reinstated have layoff list rights if they fail probation upon their return?
6A. No, the employee’s layoff list rights would only apply to former employees who are rehired and successfully pass probation upon their return. The employee's reinstated seniority cannot be used until the employee has passed probation.
7Q. Can a laid off employee who is laid off use seniority gained in another Collegiate/Administrative Unit for bumping in their current unit?
7A. Yes. Bumping rights are based on University seniority. University seniority includes all service at the University in continuing and temporary positions. (Article 24, Section 1-3) (Article 25, Section 6)
8Q. Does an employee have the right to bump an employee in a lower level classification?
8A. Laid off employees can bump to a position in a lower classification if they cannot bump to a position in their current classification and if they have passed probation in the lower classification. If the employee has no other bumping rights, the employee can bump into a position in a formerly held classification, or to a position in a formerly held classification which provides less work time than their applicable definition of layoff, and the employee has more University Seniority than its incumbent. (Article 25, Section 6)
9Q. What are the rights of a laid off employee while on the layoff list?

9A. Employees should submit their application and request to be placed on the layoff list during their notice period. Laid off employees may submit this documentation anytime within two years of their layoff, or three years if laid off from a position outside the seven county metro area.

The laid off employee has the right to be recalled when a vacancy occurs in their former department, classification, and applicable definition of layoff provided the employee is qualified and meets the selection criteria for the vacant position.

Employees are rehired from the layoff list in order of University Seniority accrued in the Bargaining Unit 7, ahead of all other applicants (except recalled employees), within their previously held classifications and applicable definition of layoff provided the employee is qualified and meets the measurable job-related selection criteria for the vacant position. (Article 5, Section 3; Article 25, Sections 9 and 10)

10Q. Does an employee have to take every position offered to remain on the layoff list?
10A. No, but the employee must accept a recall to their former department and classification, if they are to remain eligible for the layoff list. The employee may refuse the first two offers to other positions in the same classification, Immediate Geographic Area, applicable definition of layoff, and salary more than 90% of their salary at the time of layoff. The employee must accept the third or be removed from the layoff list. Any refusal of suitable employment may affect the employee's eligibility for Unemployment Compensation. (Article 25, Section 9) (Article 25, Section 10, paragraphs 1 and 2)
11Q. What happens to an employee's vacation and sick leave balances if they are laid off?

11A. The employee will be paid out for the unused vacation balance at the time of layoff. If the employee is rehired within three years into a position which meets the criteria for vacation, their vacation accumulation rate, and their unused sick leave will be restored. They will be eligible to use vacation immediately as accrued.

If the employee is rehired from the layoff list, they will have the option to buy back the vacation that was paid out at the time of layoff. If the employee chooses this option, they must buy back their entire amount of vacation time that was paid out at the time of layoff.

A record of the employee's unused sick leave balance is maintained and is automatically reinstated if the employee is rehired within three years into a position which meets the criteria for sick leave eligibility. (Article 24, Sections 4 and 5) (Article 16)

12Q. Does a laid off Civil Service employee who has passed probation in their Civil Service position have rights to a BU 7 vacancy or position in a previously held BU 7 classification?

12A. Yes. A Civil Service employee retains rights in previously held BU 7 classifications if they have passed probation in a BU 7 classification, and did not have a break in service between their BU 7 position and their Civil Service position. If the employee cannot or chooses not to bump a civil service position they can move directly into BU 7 rights.

The laid off employee's first layoff right in BU 7 is to a vacancy in a previously held BU 7 classification in which the employee has passed probation. This right applies only within the applicable terms and conditions of the employee's position at the time of layoff. The right is to a vacancy in BU 7 for which the Employer determines the employee is qualified, in inverse order in which the BU 7 classifications the employee held, provided there are no applicants for the vacancy from BU 7.

If a vacancy is not available, the employee may bump into the position held by the BU 7 employee with the least classification seniority in a former classification held by the laid off employee in which probation was passed and the laid off employee has more classification seniority than the BU 7 employee to be bumped. If the employee has less than two years of seniority in the Collegiate/Administrative unit the bump is limited to the department in which the employee worked. If the employee has two or more years of seniority in the Collegiate/Administrative unit the employee first has the right to bump in the department and if there if nothing is available then the employee has the right to bump into the Collegiate/Administrative unit. (Article 25, Section 12)

If neither a vacancy nor a position to bump is available in BU 7, the employee's name is placed on the civil service layoff list.

13Q. An employee is given a layoff notice. No vacancy exists in the employee's classification and definition of layoff, so the employee decides to bump. Before the bump actually occurs, a vacancy is posted. Must the laid off employee cancel the bump and take the vacancy?
13A. The employee's decision was made from the best information available. Once made, the employee may no longer exercise rights to a vacancy.
14Q. If an employee is not qualified to bump the employee with the least University Seniority in their classification, department, or Immediate Geographic Area, can they bump the next least senior?
14A. No. If the employee is not qualified for the position held by the least senior employee in their classification and their department, they must go to their next layoff option.

Article 28, Worker's Compensation

1Q. Does an employee placed on the job transfer list through Workers’ Compensation earn seniority?
1A. Yes, An employee on leave of absence while on Workers' Compensation accrues seniority. (Article 18, Section 1)

Memorandum of Understanding Union Activist/Supervisor Orientation

1Q. Who may attend the Union Activist/Supervisor Orientation meetings?
1A. These meetings promote understanding between the supervisor and the Union Activist regarding accommodations that might be needed for Union activities, and the obligations of the Union Activist in their University position. The contract provides for attendance at these meetings by the supervisor, the Union Activist, the appropriate Human Resources Department Representative, and a Union Representative. However, these meetings have been more open and others have been allowed to attend. (M.O.U. on Union Activist/Supervisor Orientation)

Memorandum of Understanding Vacation Cash out Option for 3937

1Q. Can an employee submit multiple vacation cash out requests in one fiscal year if the total days requested is 40 hours or less?
1A. No, an employee can make only one vacation cash out request in a fiscal year and that request can be for up to 40 hours. (MOU Vacation CASH OUT OPTION 3937)