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MOU covers potential Oct. 1 federal shutdown

MAPE employees who work in federally funded state jobs might be laid off on Oct. 1, if the federal government shuts down due to a budget impasse.

Unfortunately, many of us have been down this road before. Per our contract with the state, you are entitled to a 21-day notice of possible layoff.

Since we have been down this road before, we have in place a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with MMB in the event of a federal government shutdown. The MOU protects members’ benefit accruals and health insurance during a shutdown.

For a copy of the MOU, scroll down this page or go here:

MAPE is committed to making sure that your rights will be protected and you will be returned to work as quickly as possible.

As most of you know, this has unfortunately become routine over the past few years. If we get any indication that layoffs are looking more imminent, or if we get to Sept. 24 with no clear sign of things to come, we will schedule meetings and conference calls for you to talk with us about what’s going to happen and make sure you are fully prepared.

If you have questions in the interim, please contact Dave Kamper at dkamper@mape.org and he’ll get back to you promptly.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN
STATE OF MINNESOTA AND MN AFSCME COUNCIL 5, AFL-CIO MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES MIDDLE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is entered into this 17th day of November, 2017, to address issues related to the potential impact of a 2017 potential federal government shutdown ("shutdown"). The provisions below apply only to the term of a federal shutdown and the positions affected by a federal shutdown and supersede any provisions to the contrary in the respective Collective Bargaining Agreements.

  1. The provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding apply only to those employees laid off (including bumped employees) or placed on an involuntary leave of absence as a direct or indirect result of the federal government shutdown.

  2. Within the targeted programs1 where layoffs are necessary, temporary classified, temporary unclassified, emergency and provisional employees will not be retained to perform bargaining unit work as long as regular employees are laid off within the targeted program.

  3. Layoffs shall be by inverse order of seniority within the “targeted program” and affected classifications.

  4. The layoff procedures/rights of Article 15 (AFSCME); Article 17, Section 3 (MAPE); Article 13 (MMA); Article 13 (MNA) shall not apply to layoffs directly or indirectly stemming from a federal shutdown during the first fourteen (14) calendar days of the initial layoff of any employee. After fourteen (14) calendar days on layoff, the layoff procedures/rights found in Article 15 (AFSCME); Article 17 (MAPE); Article 13 (MMA); Article 13 (MNA) shall apply and be available to any employees laid off as a direct or indirect result of a federal government shutdown. In all cases the exercise of bumping rights shall be permanent. Employees that choose not to exercise their bumping rights shall be returned to their former position, work location, shift, and schedule at the conclusion of the shutdown.

  5. Employees on layoff as the direct or indirect result of a federal government shutdown shall continue to accrue vacation, sick leave and holiday benefits.
    1 Targeted programs are those federally funded programs where layoffs are necessary due to loss of funding caused by a federal government shutdown.

  6. Employees laid off or placed on an involuntary unpaid leave of absence as a result of the shutdown shall not be eligible for liquidation of accrued vacation, compensatory time or severance pay.

  7. Use of vacation by employees not working as a result of the shutdown:

    a.Employees shall have the option of using up to 80 hours of their accrued vacation during the period of the shutdown. The Employer will pay out this vacation within two payroll periods following the end of the shutdown.
    b. Employees shall receive holiday pay for holidays occurring during the shutdown if the employee is in payroll status on the normal work day immediately preceding and the normal work day immediately following the holiday.
    c. At the conclusion of a shutdown, laid off employees may cash out additional vacation or compensatory time in an amount up to the period of layoff but not to exceed a cap established by the Appointing Authority.
    d. In no cases shall an employee be permitted to cash out vacation and/or compensatory time in an amount that exceed the regularly scheduled hours the employee would have worked during the total length of the shutdown.

  8. All employees who are laid off (including bumped employees) or placed on an involuntary leave of absence as a direct or indirect result of a shutdown and who at the time are eligible to participate in insurance coverage offered through the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) will remain eligible. This includes eligible employees with less than three (3) continuous years of service and unclassified employees.

    a. The Employer agrees to maintain an employer contribution to insurance coverage offered through SEGIP at the same percentage of premium in effect immediately prior to the layoff for all eligible employees laid off for the duration of the federal shutdown (period of layoff). Employer contributions may change in a manner consistent with changes in coverage due to life events. b. Employees whose 35 day waiting period expires while the employee is in layoff status shall have their coverage go into effect on the 36th day following hire, waiving the requirement that they must be actively at work on the initial effective date of coverage.
    c. In the event that an employee is laid off or placed on involuntary leave of absence as a direct or indirect result of a shutdown prior to December 31, 2017 and remains in layoff status on January 1, 2018, any benefits changes for 2018 that the employee had previously elected will go into effect on January 1, 2018 as scheduled.
    d. The premium deductions for eligible employees' share of the premiums shall be taken in accordance with the regularly scheduled premium deduction amounts and frequency including paychecks issued during a shutdown period. If there is not sufficient money in paychecks issued during a shutdown to cover the employee share, it will be billed pursuant to item "e" below:
    e. Eligible employees who are enrolled in basic and/or optional coverage shall not be required to pay their share of the premium until they return to work after recall from layoff or return to work due to the federal shutdown. Amounts owed shall be paid through payroll deduction out of the paycheck reflecting hours worked in the second and third full payroll periods following return of the employee to payroll status. Employees whose paychecks are insufficient to collect the premiums or separate from state service prior to full collection of premiums owed to the state or in the case of plan insolvency will be billed any premium in arrears and be provided 60 days in which to pay before retroactive cancellations would be applied.
    Upon returning to work, any contribution amounts not deducted from paychecks during the shutdown layoff/leave will be collected throughout the remaining paychecks attributable to the calendar year. The benefit information system will automatically recalculate the bi-weekly payroll deductions. When there are not sufficient funds in a paycheck after recall/return-to-work, the participant will be required to make after-tax payments to continue participation in this account. If the full amount is not contributed by the end of the calendar year, the employee will not be able to canyover up to $500 into the next calendar year.

  9. At the conclusion of a shutdown, all employees receiving an initial layoff (this excludes bumped employees) except those who later exercised their bumping or claiming rights shall be recalled to work from layoff and will be returned to their prior position/assignment, work location, shift and schedule held immediately prior to the shutdown.

    a. Employees shall make every effort to report to work on the date indicated in the recall notice, oral, written or electronic. In any event, employees shall report no later than three (3) working days after that date or at another date as mutually agreed to by the employee and the supervisor/designee.
    b. Subsequent to the shutdown, if any permanent layoff occurs such layoff shall occur only after the employee is recalled to work after the shutdown; such layoff shall be subject to the provisions of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. c. Contract provisions requiring advance schedule posting for recalled employees shall be waived for one full payroll period following recall.

  10. All time on layoff as a result of a shutdown shall be considered as continuous service for purposes of determining length of service for vacation accruals, seniority, severance pay eligibility, eligibility for insurance for part-time employees ("quarterly look back" language) and DNR seasonal employees who would have worked during a shutdown, and for length of service requirement for the employee contribution to the Health Care Savings Plan provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  11. If the Federal Government reimburses the Employer for State employee back pay and/or benefits, the Employer will provide back pay to those employees who were laid off and did not work during the shutdown. Pension contributions will be made to the extent allowed under state and federal law.
  12. Any disputes arising from this agreement shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration provisions of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  13. Copies of layoff notices shall be sent to the designated labor representatives of the bargaining units affected (see Attachment A). Employees who have an interest in exercising their bumping rights under the contract must provide notice within seven (7) days from the effective date of the layoff. Failure to provide such written notice will constitute waiver of bumping rights under the contract.
  14. The provisions in this MOU represent the complete and total understanding of the parties related to the federal government shutdown and shall not set a precedent.
  15. The end of a federal shutdown is understood by the parties to mean the date on which the last employee laid off due to the shutdown has been recalled to work.
  16. Except for Sections 1, 4, and 7 through 12, this MOU shall expire on June 30, 2019.
  17. This Memorandum of Understanding is intended to be in conformity with all applicable and valid federal and state laws and rules and regulations promulgated thereunder having the force and effect of law. In the event that any provision of this MOU is found to be inconsistent with such statutes, rules, or regulations, the provisions of the latter shall prevail. If any provision of this MOU is found to be invalid or unenforceable by a court or other competent authority having jurisdiction, then such provisions shall be considered void, but all other valid provisions shall remain in full force and effect.