Deficit Reduction Program

SUNY has begun to implement the Deficit Reduction Program. The first DRP extraction was in this past Wednesday’s paycheck. The first two days of the DRP are days that all UUP members are permanently losing pay. All members must be given two days off as a result. The remaining seven days will be paid back at the end of the contract period.

Please keep this in mind: The Deficit Reduction Program was imposed on UUP members, and all other state employees, by the state. SUNY, and not UUP, is responsible for its implementation. UUP will monitor campus plans and do everything possible to make sure that our members’ rights are protected.

Campus administrations must come up with campus-specific plans that allow our members to get two days off. Chapter leaders have been instructed to work with our Labor Relations Specialists to review campus plans and address problems and questions with campus administrations at Labor-Management meetings. Problems that are not satisfactorily resolved at the campus level will be brought to SUNY Central by UUP’s statewide office.

If members have questions about the Deficit Reduction Program, please refer them to the Contract Q & A posted on the UUP website at the following link: http://uupinfo.org/negotiations/index.php

Below is a section on the DRP from UUP’s Contract Q & A.

In Solidarity,

Fred

Deficit Reduction Program (DRP)

What is the Deficit Reduction Program and how will it affect UUP members?

Gov. Cuomo demanded that every NYS employee bargaining unit have nine days of “deficit reduction” that takes pay from employees over a two-year period in order to yield savings for the state agencies employees work for. UUP members will have their salaries reduced by the value of a total of nine days’ pay over the course of fiscal years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The cash value of seven days will be repaid to employees at the end of the contract period or at separation from service from the University, if that occurs before the end of the contract period. For the two other days, two Deficit Reduction Leave days will be given in lieu of pay. Members must be given two days off.

How much will be deducted from my paycheck and over what total period of time?

In fiscal year 2013-2014, there will be deductions from pay to cover five days of Deficit Reduction. A total of 2.5% of the salary earned over 20 pay periods will be deducted over those 20 pay periods, beginning in September 2013 and ending in June 2014. There will be no deductions from pay periods in July and August.

In fiscal year 2014-2015, there will be deductions from pay to cover four days of Deficit Reduction. A total of 2% of salary will be deducted over 20 pay periods beginning in September 2014 and ending in June 2015. There will be no deductions from pay periods in July and August.

Why are the deductions occurring over 20 pay periods and not the entire calendar year (26 pay periods)?

The decision to do it this way was initially made to avoid having the Deficit Reduction extraction levied on extra service pay during the summer months. This is a substantial issue for our bargaining unit given the amount of extra service earned by members for summer school, new student advisement/orientation, and other activities that fall outside of the normal professional obligation of many members. Other bargaining units had the deficit reduction extraction levied on their full annual salaries, so all extra service activities were included. All extra service pay will be exempt from the DRP extraction for UUP members.

How will the DRP affect extra service pay, overtime pay, and clinical practice income?

Extra service pay, overtime pay, and clinical practice income will not be included in the DRP extraction.

How does the amount extracted for nine days of Deficit Reduction for UUP members compare to the amounts extracted from state employees in other bargaining units?

It’s the same. For all other bargaining units, an extraction of 1.9% of annual salary occurred in the first year to cover five days and an extraction of 1.6% of annual salary occurred in the second year to cover four days. Since UUP’s extraction does not cover annual salary and is limited to salary over 20 pay periods only, a higher percentage will be extracted over a shorter period. The end result is the same with regard to impact on annual salary. Having a higher percentage extracted over a shorter period of time (20 pay periods instead of 26 pay periods).

I understand that seven out of nine DRP days will be repaid to me. How will this occur?

Pay back of seven Deficit Reduction Days will occur in equal installments over 39 payroll periods beginning with the final payroll period of fiscal year 2015-2016 (June 2016) at the rate at which it was taken. Employees who separate from service prior to full repayment of the Deficit Reduction days will be paid the balance of money owed at the time of their separation, up to seven days.

Does the DRP pay loss affect my base salary?

No. Your base pay will not be affected by the loss of pay under the Deficit Reduction Program.

Since seven days will be returned at the end of the contract period, but two will not be repaid, what total percentage of my salary will I lose from the two days that are not repaid?

The two leave days will result in a loss of .38% of your annual salary for each day. You will lose that money, but you will not work for two days in exchange. Technically, you will not earn the money for those two days.

Why do we have to work seven days and get only two days off?

This was the only way UUP could get the State to agree to pay seven days back, which amounts to substantial money for our members. The State was willing to pay only four days back, which was its standard provision for all other state employee unions. The only other way to get additional days paid back would have been to give up other monetary provisions in the contract. UUP did not want to sacrifice salary increases on base, which was the only option the State would consider to cover the “cost” of the Deficit Reduction day repayment. They insisted on yielding savings for SUNY through the Deficit Reduction Program. We understand that two unpaid leave days are painful to our members and the Negotiations Team took this hardship very seriously. To obtain more than seven days paid back would have required us to trade on-base raises that reoccur year after year, which are much more valuable for our members. UUP’s priority was to get as much money as possible back to our members and the Deficit Reduction Program we ended up with was the best option in order to retain other, more valuable, monetary provisions in our contract.

Who will decide what two days I will get off under the Deficit Reduction Program?

Each campus president will determine how the two days off will be handled. UUP chapter leaders will be asked to request each campus plan at a chapter Labor-Management meeting and to ask that all employees be notified of their campus plan. Potential problems will be addressed with help from the statewide UUP leadership once we know what each campus plan is.

How will DRP be applied to part-time employees?

The DRP extraction will be pro-rated for part-time employees. Details about how this will be done will be provided by each campus.

I am a per diem employee who works intermittently on an “as needed” basis. How does the DRL reduction apply to me?

Similar groups were affected in other bargaining units. Details about how this will be done will be provided by each campus.

All or part of my salary comes from federal funds. Am I still subject to DRP?

Similar pay categories were affected in other bargaining units. Questions about this should be directed to your campus administration.

Will the DRP days affect my health insurance eligibility or whether I am in the “lower income” or “higher income” group with regard to the premium share?

No. The DRP will not affect your health care premium share.

Will the DRP days affect my eligibility to participate in the Productivity Enhancement Program and whether I am in the “lower income” or “higher income” group with regard to the number of vacation days I can trade for a credit toward my health insurance premium?

No. The DRP will not affect your eligibility to participate in the Productivity Enhancement Program or your annual salary on which eligibility is based.

How will the DRP affect my retirement contributions if I am in the Optional Retirement Program?

If you participate in the ORP, the effect is minimal and is related to the two DRP days that will not be repaid. The dollar amount contributed to your ORP is based on a percentage of your paid salary. For 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, there will be a reduction in the contribution to your ORP because there is a reduction in the salary you are paid. However, beginning with the last paycheck of the 2015-2016 SUNY Fiscal Year (June 2016), when seven days will begin to be returned to you, there will be an increase in the contribution to the ORP.

How will the DRP affect my retirement service credit if I am in ERS or TRS?

There will be no effect. For the seven days that will be repaid, since the DRP salary reduction for fiscal years 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 will be repaid starting in June 2016 (or upon separation of service from SUNY), days worked will not be reduced when reported and there will be no impact on service credit.

If the DRP reduction or repayment periods fall within a Final Average Salary (FAS) calculation, the repaid salary will be attributed to the appropriate time period. This means the repaid salary will be counted in the year it was extracted and there will be no impact on the Final Average Salary.

What happens if I leave State service before nine days of pay for DRP have been collected from my pay?

You will be paid for the amount deducted minus the two leave days. For example, if you leave after the first year and five days were extracted, you will be reimbursed for three days.

If I retire or leave state service for other reasons during the first year of the Deficit Reduction Program, how much money will I get back at retirement?

You will be paid for the amount deducted minus the two leave days. For example, if you leave after the first year and five days were extracted, you will be reimbursed for three days.

If I retire or leave state service for other reasons during the second year of the Deficit Reduction Program, how much money will I get back at retirement?

You will be paid for the amount deducted minus the two leave days.

How will the DRP be applied to me if I am on an unpaid or partially paid leave during the DRP period?

You are not affected by the DRP if you are on an unpaid leave. If you are on a partially paid leave, the deduction is based on the daily rate of the amount you are being paid.

Does the DRP pay loss reduce my taxable income?

Yes. Since it will reduce your earnings for the year, it can reduce your tax liability, and when it is returned, it may increase your tax liability. We suggest you consult with a qualified tax consultant.

Is there a difference in the way the DRP is applied to people on academic year appointments compared to people on calendar year (12 month) or college year (less than 12 months but more than academic year) appointments?

The DRP is based on a formula for your daily rate of pay derived from your annual salary, so there is no difference based on the type of appointment employees have.

Will the DRP affect overtime pay, on-call/recall pay, and inconvenience pay?

With the exception of overtime, all similar pay categories were affected in all bargaining units. Overtime pay will not be affected.

Will new hires in 2013 and 2014 be subject to the Deficit Reduction Plan? If so, how will their salary extraction occur? Will they lose one or both of the two days that are not paid back at the end of the contract period?

Yes, new hires are subject to the DRP. The salary extraction will be based on when they are hired into the system. For example, if someone is hired after five days were extracted from existing employees, new hires would have the remaining four days extracted over whatever period of time is remaining in the DRP. They would be repaid for those four days extracted.

Will the DRP pay reductions affect the union dues I pay?

You only pay union dues on money that is earned, so your dues assessment will decrease when the Deficit Reduction payments are taken from your pay. It will increase when the money for seven days is returned to you at the end of the contract period.

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