Stanislaus State is required to reevaluate all salary increase applications that date back to March 2012 as a result of a settlement agreement that was reached earlier this year with the California State University Employees Union.
This mandate is the end result of an Unfair Labor Practice that CSUEU filed with the Public Employee Relations Board in November 2013. At the time, CSUEU found that the university had changed its in-range progression request policy by refusing to consider these requests on the basis of “increased workload” and “performance.”
This made it substantially more difficult to qualify for a progression request, according to CSUEU Chapter 308 President Neil Jacklin, who said that an IRP is the most prevalent way that a CSU employee can receive a pay increase.
“California State University employees do not get regular salary increases like most public employees,” said Jacklin. “Here, the most common form of pay increase requires the employee to apply for a higher salary.”
Jacklin said that when employees kept getting denied two years ago, the local CSUEU chapter discovered that the university had changed its contract and redefined how an employee gets an IRP without conferring with the union first.
By doing this, Jacklin said that Stanislaus State made it substantially more difficult for employees to qualify for an IRP. He estimates that over 150 employees were incorrectly denied as a result.
“For instance, many of our members have taken on substantial increases in the quantity of work they do,” said Jacklin. “According to the contract, taking on more work means that they should be given a commensurate increase in pay.”
Based on the facts that the CSUEU alleged in the initial complaint, the PERB issued a complaint in 2014 that stated that Stanislaus State had violated the contract and members’ rights by changing the IRP policy in the contract.
Before reviewing all IRP applications that date back to March 2012, Stanislaus State must first revise its IRP policies and procedures to be consistent with Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 20.24, which addresses IRP.
Under public employment bargaining law, Stanislaus State must adhere to CBA. Thus, any Stanislaus State definitions that do not align with definitions included in CBA Article 20.24 are void.
As detailed in CBA Article 20.24, an IRP may be granted for performance and increased workload, among other reasons. If an employee is denied for an IRP, the campus must provide the employee with written reason for denial.
“Several CSU campuses, including Stanislaus State, reached settlement agreements with CSUEU,” said Stanislaus State Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Tim Lynch. “The central issue was whether the campus could define certain criteria (including performance) as stated in the contract for In-Range Progression salary increases.
“Under the settlement, which was mutually agreed to and signed by all parties, ‘performance’ may not be defined beyond the language in the contract,” continued Lynch.
Lynch added that in the past three years, Stanislaus State has continued to support salary adjustments for staff that respond to IRP, classification actions and labor market demands. During this time period, he said that the campus allocated $645,029 to support these efforts.