Confirmed January Dates for Retroactive Pay

Updated: January 6, 2017
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A Message from PSC Treasurer Sharon Persinger

Dear PSC members,

We have confirmed dates! In our meetings and phone calls with CUNY's Office of Human Resources Management, we continued to stress PSC members' anger at the length of time it has taken for the hard-won pay increases to actually show up in their paychecks. We insisted that the timetable announced in the first update must be made firm, and now it has been. We are assured by CUNY, New York State, and New York City that our retroactive pay back to 4/20/2012 will be paid in the second paycheck of January 2017, on January 19, 2017 at the senior colleges and on January 27, 2017 at the community colleges. In addition, faculty and professional staff who are on biweekly payroll on those dates will receive the biweekly pay reflecting salary increases through 4/20/2016.

For more details on the salary increases, back pay, tax-deferred retirement savings plans and reappointment letters, read the rest of this message. For even more information, you can follow this link to CUNY's "Frequently Asked Questions" on salary increases and retroactive pay, posted at the website of CUNY's Office of Human Resources Management.

Update on Pay #2

SALARY INCREASES & BACK PAY-Based on Information from CUNY

CUNY has confirmed the pay dates when faculty and professional staff on biweekly payroll will receive checks that reflect the increased biweekly pay, based on the 4/20/16 salary schedules, plus the retroactive pay owed back to 4/20/12 in one check-on January 19, 2017 at the senior colleges and on January 27, 2017 at the community colleges. This confirmation includes the EOCs and the Hunter Campus Schools.

Increased pay rates for teaching adjuncts will be paid as a uniform, blended rate for the scheduled adjunct pay dates during spring 2017. The hourly teaching adjunct rate during the spring 2017 semester will be a blend of the 4/20/16 hourly rate for hours worked between the start of the semester and 4/19/17 and the 4/20/17 hourly rate for hours worked between 4/20/17 and the end of the semester.

Increased pay rates (4/20/16 hourly rates) for non-teaching adjuncts, adjunct CLTs and continuing education teachers who are not on payroll during January will be reflected in their first check of the spring semester.

Adjuncts and other part-time employees working during inter/winter session be paid at the 4/20/16 hourly rates in the last January paycheck.

Part-time employees who are not on payroll in January but were working during the fall and have direct deposit to receive their pay will receive their retroactive pay by direct deposit on January 19, 2017 if they work at a senior college and January 27, 2017 if they work at a community college. (They could receive retro pay on both dates if they work at both a senior and community college.) Part-time employees who worked in the fall and are not on direct deposit can pick up the check for their back pay from the college (or colleges) where they worked on the applicable date/s. Contact the campus HR Office to find out where.

Active employees who are not on direct deposit will receive their retro pay in checks that can be picked up at the college where they last worked starting on the above payment dates. Contact the campus HR Office to find out where.

Retirees who are no longer working at CUNY must pick up the check for their retroactive pay at the college where they worked. Contact the campus HR Office to find out where. If you cannot pick it up in person, contact the college HR Office for possible alternative arrangements.

If you are retired but still working in a part-time position at CUNY, you will receive separate checks: one for your back pay as a retiree (available at the college where you worked) on the above payment dates. Your retro pay check as a part-timer will either be direct deposited or be available at the college where you are working now on the above dates.

Former employees who resigned from CUNY can pick up checks for retroactive pay, if they worked at CUNY on 4/20/12 or later, at the college where they worked.

Members will no doubt have many questions. Use the "Estimator" on the PSC website to estimate the retro pay you are owed. PSC is working with CUNY to develop answers to frequently asked questions, which should be available by the end of this week. Watch the PSC website and the CUNY or campus HR websites.

CUNY TAX-DEFERRED PLANS FOR VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT SAVINGS

Deadlines are fast approaching to complete tax-deferred salary reduction forms to enroll or change your contribution levels to voluntary savings plans offered through CUNY. Click on this link (2016 Universal Availability Notice attached) to understand these plans better, including information on the 2017 yearly contributions limitations. For your information, CUNY HR has stated that 50% will be the maximum permitted contribution from the retroactive pay check to all plans, to allow for tax and benefit contributions. Also remember that you can change your deferral percentage up to 3 times per year.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
If you are increasing your tax-deferred contributions for the last pay period in January 2017 with your retro payment in mind, please be sure to decrease the percentage contributed promptly to the level you wish to apply regularly to your biweekly pay going forward in 2017. If needed, contact your campus benefits office for assistance.

Below is a quick guide on what to do:

Online (TRS):

The Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) program-available only to employees who are members of the TRS pension plan- allows you to complete a salary reduction form online, if you have a functioning username and password for your account. (Visit www.trsnyc.org ) To increase your TDA contribution levels to take effect by January 19th or January 26th 2017 (for the retroactive pay paycheck), you should have completed the salary reduction form online no later than December 15, 2016. TRS will then send a confirmation of your requested change to the Benefits Officer at your campus for processing. Because TRS requires 2 weeks to process change requests, CUNY has stated they will not be responsible for missing or late notification from TRS. To reduce your contribution level for the paychecks subsequent to the retro paycheck, you must submit a 2nd request to TRS online by December 31, 2016. The same caveats apply. PSC cautions you to think carefully about any adjustments, since neither CUNY nor TRS can guarantee that the correct paycheck/s will be adjusted.

Paper (TIAA):

The TIAA 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan is available to all instructional staff employees, but you can only contribute to one 403(b) plan at a time. Click on this link (2017 CUNY Salary Reduction Agreement) to access the 2017 CUNY Salary Reduction Agreement for the TIAA TDA, which you must print out and fill out in order to enroll or change the percentage of salary you want to contribute to the plan. The paper form must be submitted to your campus Benefits Officer no later than December 15, 2016 for the salary reduction to apply to the January paychecks. Submit a new Salary Reduction Agreement/form to the Benefits Officer by January 1, 2017 to reduce your contribution percentage effective February 1, 2017.

Telephone (NYS 457 (b)):

The NYS 457(b) plan offers plan participants the option of calling to change their salary reduction for a given month or even a given pay period, but you must already be enrolled. If you want a different salary reduction percentage to come out of a check for a specific pay period, such as when the retroactive pay is in your paycheck, then NYS 457(b) participants are strongly urged to call. On the same call, you can notify them that you want to change your contribution level for the subsequent paycheck, after the retro pay. Have your pay stub handy so they can verify your Employee ID and Department ID. Call the NYS 457(b) plan anytime from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.at 1-800-422-8463.

REAPPOINTMENTS

Letters of reappointment for F/T faculty, CLTs and teaching and non-teaching adjuncts issued on or before December 1, 2016 may not have included the correct applicable salary/hourly rate for next semester or next year in addition to your title. (Some letters referenced rates from the 2009 salary schedules.) At the very least, your reappointment letter should include language that acknowledges that your salary or hourly rate will reflect the accurate rates in effect, according to the 2010-2017 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between PSC and CUNY.

The union is negotiating a letter agreement with CUNY so that any out-of-date salary rates in reappointment letters issued this year will be deemed updated to the correct salary/hourly rate, in conformance with the 2010-17 MOA.

For teaching and non-teaching adjuncts, movements in schedule (to a higher salary step) occur on July 1st for those who are eligible under the contract. To be eligible, an adjunct must have served for 6 semesters University-wide over the preceding 3 years, including summer sessions.