The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  31

PERSONNEL

Employment

The Committee on Office Personnel was discontinued January 26, 1945, and its duties were absorbed by the Personnel Office established at that time.

The number of staff members of all types grew rapidly following World War II. Full-time counts grew from an estimated 5,500 in 1945-46 to 7,363 in 1951-52, 9,400 in 1959-60, 13,650 in 1969-70, and 14,121 in 1976-77.

In addition to full-time appointments, the University always has relied upon a relatively large number of part-time workers, including many student employees in the hospital, libraries, and residence halls. Also included are a large number of temporary appointees who work for a period as short as one or two days or who work intermittently from time to time. For the last six or seven years, total part-time counts have ranged between 9,000 and 10,000 per year.

Employee counts taken from payroll records during the month of October are reported annually to the U. S. Census Bureau. These counts are used as the institution's official count of employees for each year. Reports are also furnished monthly and quarterly to the Michigan Employment Security Commission, and these are automatically transmitted to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Annual reports are also furnished to the U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Special reports on the number of faculty are furnished each year to the American Association of University Professors and exchanged among the Big Ten universities.

Employee Classifications

Because of state and federal legislation and administrative requirements instituted over the years since World War II, it has become necessary to maintain separate classifications for employees in the personnel records. Important among these requirements are the union contracts, affirmative action regulations for minorities, sex, and age groups, Page  32and various other labor laws and regulations applicable to selected nonexempt employees.

At the present time personnel records provide data on the following job families: instructional, administrative, professional, office and clerical, technical, service, and trades. Data maintained for these classifications include sex, age, minority status, and exempt or nonexempt status as to certain labor legislation, among other items.

Traditional classifications for full-time instructional positions include Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, and Lecturer.

The history of development of noninstructional classifications on a University-wide basis is described in the following paragraphs:

In 1964, development began for centralized computer records of staff job classification titles and salaries by classification, with the reports being operational and produced on a regular basis by July of 1966. This provided the data necessary for the development of a uniform, University-wide job classification and pay system.

Historically, job descriptions, titles, and pay rates had been established on a departmental or divisional basis, until July 1964, when a system of uniform, University-wide job classifications, classification descriptions, and a wage schedule was adopted for all service and maintenance workers. This was the first step toward the implementation of a University-wide, centrally administered classification and pay program, and it began with this staff group in anticipation of collective bargaining, which occurred in 1967.

The administration of classification and pay programs of Office, Technical, and Professional and Administrative (P&A) staff continued to be primarily decentralized until the development of uniform job classifications, classification descriptions, and salary schedules began in 1967. The initial compensation program consisted of the preparation of classification descriptions for existing job titles and the assignment of each of these classifications to a salary grade and range, using the existing pay grades and ranges Page  33for office jobs (C-1 to C-6) and establishing a new salary schedule for P&A and Technical classifications, which consisted of twenty-four separate salary grades and ranges. This initial program was designed principally around existing job titles and pay rates, rather than a restructuring of what had been done before. To that extent, it was the formalization, documentation, and systematizing of established pay practices for Office and Technical staff and for P&A staff up to middle management levels but excluding higher level (or executive) positions.

In July of 1968, the first University-wide job classification list, salary grade assignments, and salary schedules were published and distributed to unit management for use in preparing the annual salary budget and the processing of salary increases for Office, Technical and P&A staff. The preparation of University job classification descriptions for all classifications continued during this time and, by the Fall of 1969, virtually all job classifications for these staff groups had been described, except for executive level positions.

These classification and pay systems remained in effect until 1973, with numerous adjustments being made to the salary grade assignments of individual classifications and the ongoing establishment and deletion of job classifications.

By 1971, it became apparent that an intensive, systematic review of P&A job classifications was needed in order to (1) update and complete the classification descriptions for P&A positions at all levels (2) formalize the job classification evaluation process, and (3) provide for the inclusion of an additional 800 ungraded "academic" P&A staff in the graded system, which had previously been in the Instructional appointment system. In addition, the extension of the Federal Equal Pay Acts to cover University P&A staff made an equity review of the individual salaries an integral and essential part of the planned study.

The Robert Hayes and Associates consulting firm was retained to assist in the conduct of this compensation study, and work began on it by the spring of 1972. A total of about 4,500 positions and staff were affected by this comprehensive review, which was completed by September of Page  341972, with the resulting program implemented in January of 1973.

Specifically, the study resulted in the adoption of a point evaluation plan to be used in evaluating P&A job classifications for assignment to salary grades; a reduction of P&A job classifications from 694 to 544; the adoption of a twenty-one grade salary-range schedule; the incorporation of 772 ungraded "academic" positions into the graded P&A classification system; the adoption of graded classifications for all levels of P&A positions; and salary adjustments for a total of 386 staff members, to assure the maintenance of equitable salary relationships. The P&A job classification and pay system adopted in 1973 continues to operate to date, largely unchanged from its initial implementation. It should be noted, however, that numerous individual classification and salary grade changes have occurred over time, in the routine maintenance of the system.

With regard to the classification and pay system for Office and Technical staff, the basic system adopted in 1967-68 has remained in effect with little change to the system itself.

Employee Unions

The Hutchison Act of 1947 in Michigan provided mediation procedures and established penalties for illegal strikes for public employees. The Public Employee Relations Act of 1965 in Michigan provided for collective bargaining and also prohibited strikes, but provided no strike penalties. Following this legislation in 1965, union activity began at a significant level.

The history of employee union contracts began with the first contract negotiated with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) for a small number of turbine and boiler operators and operating engineers, effective September 13, 1968. In rapid succession, contracts were negotiated with the Washtenaw County Local Building Trades Board of Directors (WCLBTBD) for skilled tradesmen effective October 4, 1968, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees for a large group of service Page  35and maintenance workers on November 15, 1968. On November 13, 1973, the first contract was negotiated with the House Officers Association (HOA), for medical interns and residents at the Medical Center. After lengthy discussions and hearings, a contract was negotiated on March 14, 1975, with the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) representing a large number of graduate student assistants, research assistants, and teaching assistants. A contract for clerical workers was negotiated on August 21, 1975, with the United Auto Workers (UAW), which was terminated August 31, 1976, after a decertification election of the clerical employees. The newest contract was negotiated on April 9, 1976, after several attempts in recent years, with the University of Michigan Nurses Association (UMNA) for nonsupervisory registered nurses, most of whom work at the University Hospital. Work stoppages of short duration by skilled tradesmen and service workers have occurred occasionally. Fortunately, these have not resulted in major impacts on University operations.

Additional information follows in the detailed descriptions of each union group history:

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)

In August 1965, following the passage of Public Act No. 376 of 1965, the IUOE petitioned the Michigan Labor Mediation Board to be recognized as the bargaining agent for the operating engineers, turbine operators, and boiler operators working at the University. An election was delayed while the University challenged the constitutionality of the Act, but following the trades strike in September 1967, and the University's announcement it would follow the election procedures while the courts were deciding the question, an election was held on November 6, 1967.

As a result of that election, Local 546 of the International Union of Operating Engineers was certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of the employees in the affected classifications.

Currently sixty-one employees engaged in the maintenance and operation of the University's heating and power plants Page  36are represented by IUOE. Employees represented by IUOE were first hired at the Flint Campus in November, 1976.

Six contracts have been negotiated with the Operating Engineers. The effective dates have been: September 13, 1968; January 1, 1970; April 1, 1972; March 31, 1974; April 1, 1976; October 1, 1977. The current contract expires November 30, 1979.

Washtenaw County Local Building Trades Board of Directors (WCLBTBD)

The Washtenaw County Local Building Trades Board of Directors (Council) was certified on November 17, 1967, as the exclusive bargaining representative for the various skilled maintenance trades classifications. This unit represents approximately 300 employees. Certification resulted after the Washtenaw Circuit Court ruled on the constitutionality of Public Act No. 379 of 1965, finding that the University employees had the right to organize and bargain collectively.

Five contracts have been negotiated with the Council, effective as follows: October 4, 1968; January 1, 1970; April 1, 1972; July 18, 1974; August 1, 1977. A work stoppage (strike) occurred during the 1974 negotiations from June 26, 1974 to July 18, 1974. The current contract expires July 31, 1979.

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees-Local 1853

AFSCME is an international labor organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The largest public employee union in the country, it is affiliated with the AFL/CIO. AFSCME Local 1583 represents approximately 2400 service and maintenance employees at the University.

AFSCME filed a petition with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission for a representation election in September of 1967, and an election was held April 25, 1968, resulting in AFSCME's recognition as the bargaining agent (union) for all regular service/maintenance employees except those in the trades and the operating engineers. AFSCME Page  37has negotiated four contracts with the University. The effective dates of the contracts have been: November 15, 1968; February 8, 1971; March 7, 1974; March 24, 1977 (expires March 20, 1979). The 1976-77 negotiations involved a 26 day strike.

AFSCME, over the past several years, has attempted to organize the Professional, Clerical, and Technical employees. The last attempt was in October 1975 when AFSCME lost a representation election of Technical employees.

Unsuccessful attempts to decertify from the union occurred in April 1977 (University Meatcutters) and in May 1977 (employees of printing department).

House Officer's Association

The House Officer's Association represents approximately 600 Interns and Residents at the Medical Center. The Association is an independent labor union which petitioned the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) for recognition in April 1970. The University challenged that the petitioners were students and not employees under the meaning of the Public Employee Relations Act and, therefore, not covered by the Act. In March 1971, MERC issued a 2-1 decision that a unit of Interns, Residents, and Postdoctoral Scholars was appropriate and ordered a secret ballot election. The University appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals and requested a stay of election. The stay of election was denied and an election was conducted April 21-23, 1971, which resulted in the Association being certified as the bargaining agent. The Court then reversed MERC's decision and the Association appealed this decision to the Michigan Supreme Court. On February 20, 1973, the Supreme Court decided that Interns, Residents, and Postdoctoral Scholars were both students and employees under the Act. The Court further ordered the University to bargain with the Association on employment matters, but excluded bargaining on educational matters. The University entered negotiations with the Association during which Postdoctoral Scholars were excluded from the bargaining unit.

Five contracts have been negotiated with the HOA, Page  38effective: November 13, 1973; October 11, 1974; November 19, 1975; August 31, 1976; August 31, 1977. The current contract expires August 31, 1978.

Graduate Employees' Organization

GEO has represented approximately 2,200 graduate student assistants. The majority of these are in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

In March of 1970, the "University of Michigan Teaching Fellows Union" petitioned MERC for recognition as the bargaining agent for the 1,500 teaching fellows. At a subsequent hearing before the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, the University argued that teaching fellows were not employees within the meaning of the law. The University's position was that teaching fellows were primarily University of Michigan graduate students and not employees. A majority of teaching fellow appointments were given to individuals who were fulfilling a degree requirement by teaching. In such cases the University was not required to pay the individual but, in many instances, chose to do so as a form of financial support. Most teaching fellow appointments were considered an intricate part of the financial support program for graduate students and, in cases where a degree requirement was involved, the fellowships were considered tax exempt. The University further argued that if teaching fellows were to be considered as employees they were part of a larger bargaining unit and, therefore, should not be certified as an appropriate unit by themselves. MERC did not rule on the employment status question but dismissed the teaching fellows' petition on the grounds that if they were employees they were part of a larger unit.

In February of 1974, the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) requested recognition by the University as the bargaining agent for all graduate student assistants. GEO set a target date for a strike vote to be taken in the event the University refused to recognize it as the bargaining agent. The University declined to recognize the GEO, but did agree to a consent election if the GEO was able to demonstrate at least a 30 percent showing of interest among the 2,200 graduate student assistants. An election, supervised by Page  39MERC, was held April 1-3, 1974, which was won by GEO.

A first contract was negotiated, becoming effective on March 14, 1975. Salary provisions of the contract were made retroactive to September 1, 1974.

The Graduate Employees' Organization affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers/Michigan Federation of Teachers as Local 3550 in March 1976.

The contract expired August 31, 1976, and a successor contract has not been negotiated; the legal issue of a graduate student's employee status under the Act is now being litigated.

United Auto Workers Local 2001 (Concerned Clericals for Action)

The United Auto Workers (UAW) were elected the collective bargaining representative for 3,300 clerical positions at the University in a run-off election in November of 1974. The run-off was between no union and the UAW due to the fact that no party had received a majority of the votes in a September 1974 election when AFSCME was also on the ballot. Negotiations resulted in a first contract being reached on August 21, 1975, with an expiration date of August 31, 1976. A group of clericals supporting a no union position successfully filed a decertification petition which resulted in a decertification election being conducted by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission on August 11, 1976. The no vote received a majority, and the UAW was decertified with the expiration of the contract on August 31, 1976. Attempts to reorganize a union by the former union supporters have failed to date.

University of Michigan Nurses Association

The Council represents approximately 800 Registered Nurses in various nonsupervisory classifications, almost exclusively working at the Medical Center. The Council is affiliated with the State Organization, Michigan Nurses Association, and with the National Organization, American Page  40Nurses Association.

The MNA tried for a number of years to organize the RNs at the University of Michigan. The first MERC-conducted election was held on December 14, 1967, at which time the nurses voted not to be represented by the Association. In the second election held on January 29, 1975, MNA won the right to represent the nonsupervisory RNs. The unit was certified on February 10, 1975.

Two contracts have been negotiated with the Nurses Association. After one year of bargaining the first labor agreement was signed, effective April 9, 1976 - December 31, 1977. The current contract is effective March 16, 1978 - June 30, 1980, with a single payment of retroactive wages to January 1, 1978, included. The contract established a two-schedule, graduated-step system for payment of wages.

Staff Benefits

There has been a dramatic growth in employee benefit programs since 1940. These have become a significant part of employee compensation. To serve employee needs better and to provide service and information for these benefits, the Office of Staff Benefits was established in January of 1960. Also at that time the Committee on Staff Benefits was formed to keep current the plans involving employee benefits. In April of 1976, an annual statement to employees was designed and issued for the first time.

Vacation and Holidays

Regular staff members other than faculty on an academic-year basis receive the various benefits described below:

Most professional and administrative staff and 12-month faculty receive twenty-four work days per year as vacation allowance, cumulative to two years. Other level professional and administrative staff, clerical and office staff, technical, trades, and service workers also receive the same vacation allowance after eight years employment, eighteen days per year for from five to eight years employment, and twelve days per year in the first five years of Page  41employment, except as altered by union contracts.

Holidays are recognized on New Years Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, two days at Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and three "swing" days between Christmas and New Years Days, except as modified by union contracts.

Disability and Preventive Care Income

Nonbargained-for employees are provided temporary salary continuation for sickness or disability: one year at full pay and one year at half pay for faculty and six months at full pay and six months at half pay for professional and administrative staff.

Disability Plan

A plan for long-term disability was first proposed by the Regents in October of 1952. The first effective date was July of 1953. It was a self-insured plan for employees aged forty or above and who had been enrolled in a University retirement program for ten years. The plan provided benefits of one-half salary between a range of $125 minimum and $200 maximum per month and paid premiums for retirement and group life insurance. Social Security benefits were integrated in 1960.

On July 1, 1966, the following changes were approved: No minimum age and five years only of service were required. Monthly benefit maximum was raised to $400. Health insurance premiums were also paid.

Further amendments were approved February 3, 1970. Monthly benefit maximum was raised to $700. Monthly benefit maximum was raised to $1,000 July 1, 1972. In December of 1973, Medicare "B" premiums were paid. On July 1, 1975, the monthly benefit maximum was raised to $1,200.

Other more minor changes have also occurred in this plan since 1953.

Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage is optional for University Page  42employees. Most exercise the option, as the greater part of the premiums are covered by the University.

In 1939 Blue Cross coverages were offered to the full-time staff and retirees. In 1940 Blue Shield coverages were added.

Major medical insurance coverages began in July of 1960 for faculty and certain other staff members. In December of 1973 coverage was extended to all regular employees and retirees. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) are the insurors.

The University began its participation in premium payments for health insurance in July of 1963. In January of 1973 the University began paying total premium cost for retirees and spouses of deceased employees. As costs increased over the years, the University has raised its payment share of the monthly premium for active staff, and at June 30, 1977, it was paying up to $65 per month per employee, or about 83 percent of the total premium.

Comprehensive periodic physical examinations were made available free of charge to faculty and certain administrative staff in 1956. In September 1963 the examination frequency was changed to include a one-stop birthday examination annually, and a more complete examination every five years.

In 1976 the University began a program of contributing $6.70 per month for Medicare "B" premiums for those applicable employees and retirees.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance coverage is optional for regular employees. The University contributes approximately one-half of the premium. The plan is experience-rated and net costs may vary from year to year.

The plan began in February of 1950 with Prudential Life Insurance Company as the carrier. It required participation of 75 percent of the eligible employees. Coverages vary with age and salary level. Premiums vary with age level.

Page  43Paid-up coverage of $1,000 was provided in July 1953 for retirees. In July of 1961 coverage was improved to approximately one and one-half of salary level. Retiree coverage was increased to $2,000 in July of 1961. In July of 1964 coverage was increased to approximately twice the salary level, and since 1972 ranges from two to three times salary level. From age sixty-five to seventy coverage now reduces gradually to $2,000 for active employees. These are some of the salient changes that have occurred in this benefit program since 1950.

Retirement Plans

The Older Faculty Plan, a limited plan for faculty members in the 1920s and earlier, is still paying annuities to a few retirees and surviving spouses. The last active member retired under this plan in June of 1963.

In July of 1945 the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) retirement plan for faculty was modified when the University increased its range of contributions to 10 percent from 5 percent, depending upon the vintage of contracts. In July of 1952 the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF) was made available to University employees as a companion plan to TIAA that allowed purchase of stocks to serve as a better hedge against inflation. In July of 1955 salary limits for coverage under TIAA/CREF were eliminated. In January 1962 a salary/annuity option was offered for employees wishing to declare premiums tax-deferred up to 20 percent of salary. By November of 1972 all regular staff became eligible at any appointment fraction for TIAA/CREF participation. In addition to the significant changes listed above, other plan modifications have occurred from time to time.

A retirement plan for nonacademic employees became effective in July of 1942. This plan became the Employees Retirement Plan in 1952 and followed somewhat the same general principles governing the TIAA faculty plan, although differing some in rates and eligibility requirements. Moneys provided by employees and matched by the University were held by the University in a separate fund entitled the "Employee Retirement Fund," and this fund participated in the University's investment program.

Page  44The University contracted with the Connecticut General Corporation to pay out annuities in this fund beginning in October of 1952.

As actuarial reserves exceeded needs for retirement and death benefit requirements from time to time, dividends were distributed to plan members as additional pension benefits.

Compulsory participation at age thirty-five with no service requirement began in January of 1967.

On July 21, 1972, the Regents authorized the use of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) - College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF) to replace the Employees' Retirement Plan (ERP), including the transfer of past service benefits, to provide continuing retirement benefits for the members of the Employees' Retirement Plan.

Following that authorization, the members of ERP, consisting of 4,516 service-technical, clerical, and professional-administrative staff, were informed about the features of TIAA-CREF and the various alternatives which were available. The most significant features of TIAA-CREF are immediate vesting, portability, the variable annuity, the salary or annuity option, and the ability for a participant to add additional money to the retirement plan.

By the end of December 1972, the assets of ERP had been transferred and allocations were made to each participant. The total amount of transfer from ERP assets to the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association was $61,856,936. Each participant benefited from a significant increase in the value of common stocks as well as from a release of actuarial reserves based on common stock values which were applicable to the individual's account under the TIAA-CREF plan.

The Congress of the United States in 1954 amended the Federal Social Security Act to permit the inclusion of certain public employees previously excluded from coverage under the Act. This amendment extended the coverage of Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance to these employees as of January 1, 1955. Adoption of the program by the Page  45University was dependent upon a referendum scheduled for September 1955, through which all eligible employees would, by secret ballot, indicate whether they did or did not wish to secure the retirement benefits made available by the 1954 amendment to the Federal Social Security Act. The referendum was held on September 26 and 27, 1955, and 85 percent of the eligible University employees voted to participate, and the University entered the program effective January of 1955. Since that time, the cost of the annual tax has increased greatly, and employees in 1977 are paying 5.85 percent of a salary base of $16,500 which is matched by the University.

An early retirement program was instituted in August of 1974 in which a staff member could retire before the mandatory age of seventy with reduced annuity benefits but group life and health insurance benefits protected, depending upon length of service and age, beginning as low as age fifty-five.

In the fall of 1969, the Personnel Office and the Office of Staff Benefits began an orientation program for prospective retirees entitled "Planning for Retirement Program." Four seminars are held each year for 15 to 20 employees per seminar.

Travel Accident

In February of 1960 the Regents approved blanket travel accident insurance policy for the benefit of employees traveling on University business. Coverage for an accident causing death ranged from a minimum of $50,000, or five times annual basic salary, to a maximum of $200,000. Scaled-down coverages apply to permanent disabilities resulting from such accidents. The University pays the full premium cost.

Workers Compensation

All employees are covered at University expense for medical expenses resulting from on-the-job injury or death.