FAQs FOR PSC-REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES

NEW CONTRACTUAL SALARIES AND RETROACTIVE PAY

New Contractual Salaries (see next section for Retroactive Pay information)

I am an instructional staff employee represented by the PSC. When will I receive my new salary?

Instructional staff employees represented by the PSC at senior colleges will be paid at the 4/20/2016 contractual bi-weekly salary rate beginning with the January 19, 2017 paycheck, if they are scheduled to receive a paycheck on 1/19/2017.

Instructional staff employees represented by the PSC at community colleges will be paid at the 4/20/2016 contractual bi-weekly salary rate beginning with the January 27, 2017 paycheck, if they are scheduled to receive a paycheck on 1/27/2017.

Please note:

  • Teaching adjuncts will receive a blended hourly rate for the entire spring 2017 semester starting with the first spring 2017 paycheck (senior colleges scheduled on February 16, 2017, community colleges scheduled on February 10, 2017). The blended rate averages the 4/20/2016 contractual hourly rate and the 4/20/17 contractual hourly rate based on the hours worked during the spring 2017 semester.
  • Other employees, such as non-teaching adjuncts, continuing education teachers, adjunct CLTs, who are not scheduled to receive a paycheck on 1/19/17 or 1/27/17 will receive the 4/20/2016 contractual bi-weekly salary rates on their first paycheck after those dates.

Will I receive any additional salary schedule increases after January?

Yes, there is another salary increase of 1.5% scheduled to take effect on 4/20/17. (See links to salary schedules below).

How much more will I be making when the new salary schedules are implemented?

As expressed in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between PSC and CUNY, all employees in the PSC-CUNY bargaining unit will see the same percentages applied to their salary rates. How much that means to each employee depends on your job title and current salary. Below are links to the MOA and salary schedules. The first pages of the MOA detail the wage increases and effective dates.

I’m an instructional staff employee represented by the PSC and scheduled to receive a step increase on 1/1/2017. How will the implementation of the new contract salaries affect my step increase?

The January 1, 2017 step increases will be implemented -- based on the old (2009) salary schedule -- before the salary increases in the MOA are implemented. The January 1 step increases will be implemented in the paycheck of 1/5/2017 for eligible full-time senior college employees and in the 1/13/2017 paycheck for eligible full-time community college employees.

Example: An employee (Assistant Professor or a Higher Education Assistant) at $ 61,903 on the 2009 salary schedule will receive the January 1 step increase to $64, 956 on the 2009 salary schedule in his/her 1/5/2017 (senior college) or 1/13/2017 (community college) paycheck.

Retroactive Pay

When will I receive my retroactive pay?

Instructional staff employees in all titles represented by the PSC at senior colleges will receive their retroactive pay on the January 19, 2017 paycheck, for many, the same paycheck in which the 4/20/2016 salary rates will be implemented.

Instructional staff employees in all titles represented by the PSC at community colleges will receive their retroactive pay on the January 27, 2017 paycheck, for many, the same paycheck in which the 4/20/2016 salary rates will be implemented.

If I’m scheduled to get a regular paycheck on 1/19/2017 or 1/27/2017, will I get a separate check for my retroactive pay?

No. It will be included in your regular bi-weekly check, all in one paycheck. If any of your retroactive payment is based on work performed at different CUNY campuses, then you will get a separate paycheck, either through direct-deposit or available to be picked up, at the different campuses.

If I'm not scheduled to get a regular paycheck on 1/19/2017 or 1/27/2017, how will I receive my retroactive pay?

Retroactive paychecks for current and former employees will be sent to the campus where they work or worked or will be deposited on either 1/19/2017 or 1/27/2017 into their bank account, if they have direct deposit. Contact your campus HR Office about where to pick up your retroactive paycheck.

How will I know the amount of my retroactive pay?

Your paystub will have a separate line listing the total amount of your retroactive pay.

Are retroactive payments going to be split into two separate payments?

No, all retroactive payments are being paid at one time.

How will my retroactive pay be calculated?

Your retroactive pay will be calculated based on the contractual salary schedules covering the period 2010-2017 (see salary schedule links above).

I worked at different campuses during the contract period. Will I get retroactive pay in one paycheck?

No. An employee who worked or is working at two or more campuses will receive pay for the applicable retroactive amount from each campus. The date that the retroactive pay will be direct-deposited or available in a check at the campuses where you work will depend on whether you work or worked at a senior or community college.

Instructional Staff represented by the PSC

Full-time and Hourly Employees on a salary schedule with steps:

Applicable pay rates (annual salary or hourly rate) that were in effect on April 19 of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 will be increased by the percent in the MOA, effective April 20 of each year as follows:

  • April 20, 2012 - 1%
  • April 20, 2013 - 1% compounded
  • April 20, 2014 - 2.5% compounded
  • April 20, 2015 - 2% compounded
  • April 20, 2016 - 2% compounded

Based on the dates that you were employed at CUNY, the amount of the retroactive increases in your rates of pay for those years will add up to your total retroactive pay. The increased annual/hourly pay rates for each title are shown in the above salary schedules (see link).

Full-time and hourly employees on a salary schedule without steps (except Continuing Education Teachers):

If you were employed as a full-time or hourly employee – not including a Continuing Education Teacher -in a title with a salary schedule without steps, and if you were in active pay status on the day prior to the effective date of the collective bargaining increase, your annual salary or hourly rate, effective on April 19 of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and/or 2016, will be increased by the percent in the MOA, effective April 20 of each year.

  • April 20, 2012 - 1%
  • April 20, 2013 - 1% compounded
  • April 20, 2014 - 2.5% compounded
  • April 20, 2015 - 2% compounded
  • April 20, 2016 - 2% compounded

The amount of the retroactive increase in your rates of pay (annual salaries or hourly rates multiplied by hours worked during that year) will add up to your total retro pay.

Continuing Education Teachers (including CETs in the CLIP and CUNY Start Programs)

If you were employed in the CET title (including CETs in the CUNY Language Immersion Program and in CUNY Start) during the term of this agreement, your hourly rate generally will be increased by 1% retroactive to April 20, 2012; by 1% retroactive to April 20, 2013; by 2.5% retroactive to April 20, 2014; by 2% retroactive to April 20, 2015, and by 2% retroactive to April 20, 2016 – all compounded.

I’m an excluded Higher Education Officer and not represented by the PSC. Will I receive my new salary and retroactive pay at the same time as the represented Higher Education Officers?

Yes. An excluded employee who’s in a title that’s normally represented by a union, such as a Higher Education Officer series title, will receive his/her new salary and retroactive pay at the same time as the represented staff.

I was appointed to different titles at different campuses represented by different unions during the contract period. How will I get my retroactive pay?

An employee who worked, or is working, at two or more campuses represented by different unions will receive paychecks for the applicable retroactive amount from each campus.

My title changed during the contract period. How will this affect my retroactive pay?

Your retroactive pay will be calculated based on your title and salary during the contract period.
Example: You were an Assistant to HEO from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014 and a Higher Education Assistant since July 1, 2014. You will receive the appropriate retro amount on your salary for the time you were in the Assistant to HEO title (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2014), and you will receive the appropriate retro amount on your salary as a Higher Education Assistant from July 1, 2014 onwards.

I’m no longer working at CUNY. Am I entitled to retroactive pay?

In most cases, if you were an active employee between 4/20/2012 and January 2017, you will be eligible for retroactive pay for any period you worked at CUNY during which there was a contractual increase.

I’m no longer working at CUNY. How will I get my retroactive pay?

Your retroactive paycheck will either be direct deposited to your bank account (if the direct deposit is still active) or sent to the college where you worked. Contact the college HR office to find out where you should pick up your check or if alternative arrangements are possible.

I am a CUNY retiree. How will I get my retroactive pay?

Your retroactive paycheck will be sent on either 1/19/2017 or 1/27/2017 to the college where you worked. Contact the college HR Office as soon as possible to find out where you should pick up your check or if alternative arrangements are available.

I retired from CUNY and am now working in a part-time position at CUNY. How will I receive my retroactive payment?

You will receive separate retroactive paychecks for your full-time and part-time titles at each campus where you worked or are working on the appropriate pay date (January 19th or January 27th, 2017).

I am a beneficiary of a deceased employee. Whom do I contact for information on how to receive the retroactive paycheck?

You should contact the college HR Office.

What taxes will I pay on the retroactive amount?

Your retroactive amount is lumped together with your regular pay. The total gross amount will be taxed as regular salary. For example, if your bi-weekly salary is $1000 and your retro amount is $ 5000, your federal, state and city (if applicable) tax rate will be based on the gross amount of $ 6,000.

Keep in mind any retirement and supplemental retirement deductions are a percentage of salary and will also be applied to the total gross amount.

The total amount of my retroactive pay may have tax implications for the tax year 2017. What can I do?

You should speak with an accountant or tax advisor.

Will the college Benefits Officer give me tax advice?

No.

My salary is going up significantly and I’d like to discuss different savings plans available to me. Whom should I talk to?

You may contact the campus Benefits Officer for information brochures and materials on CUNY’s various savings plans. Please speak with an accountant, tax advisor or financial advisor to determine the most appropriate plans for you.

I think I want to increase my deductions to my retirement funds or increase my contributions to my savings plans. Whom should I speak with?

You may contact the campus Benefits Officer for information brochures and materials on CUNY’s various savings plans. You should contact an accountant, tax advisor or a financial advisor as soon as possible to determine the most appropriate plans for you.

If you are considering adjusting your current retirement contribution, keep in mind that it typically takes a period of time before the transaction can be reflected in your paycheck. Employees are encouraged to discuss options as soon as possible with an accountant, tax advisor or financial advisor.

I want to increase my TIAA TDA contribution for the retroactive paycheck only. What do I have to do?

The retroactive amount you receive is eligible for TIAA TDA 403(b) contributions. If you are increasing your contributions for the January 19 or January 27, 2017 paycheck, you must submit a Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to your campus Benefits Officer by no later than December 15, 2016. Please be sure to indicate on top of the SRA “Please process this increase for the retroactive paycheck only”.

If you don’t want your contributions to remain at the increased percentage for the remainder of the year – i.e., for the paychecks subsequent to the retroactive paycheck – you must be sure to simultaneously submit another SRA to decrease your percentage to the desired amount. Please be sure to indicate on top of the SRA “Please process this change for pay period after the retroactive paycheck.”

I want to increase my TRS TDA contribution for the retroactive paycheck only. What do I have to do?

The retroactive amount you receive is eligible for TRS TDA 403(b) contributions. If you are increasing your contributions for the January 19 or January 27, 2017 paycheck, you must submit your request on-line to TRS by December 15, 2016. TRS will send the confirmation of the increase for the retroactive paycheck to your campus Benefits Officer for processing. Your college will not be able to process the change until they receive this confirmation from TRS.

If you don’t want your contributions to remain at the increased percentage for the remainder of the year – i.e., for the paychecks subsequent to the retroactive paycheck – you must be sure to submit your request on-line to TRS by December 31, 2016 to process the change. TRS will send confirmation of this action to your campus Benefits Officer for processing.

Please note CUNY is not responsible for missing or late notification from TRS regarding your changes and will be unable to adjust your pay if they do not receive the confirmations from TRS in a timely manner.

I want to increase my New York State Deferred Compensation Plan 457(b) contribution for the retroactive paycheck only. What do I have to do?

The retroactive amount you receive is eligible for 457(b) contributions. If you are increasing your 457(b) contributions for the January 19 or January 27, 2017 paycheck, you must call the NYSDCP or go online and request the increased contribution for that particular paycheck. You must call NYSDCP by December 15, 2016 to request the change for the retroactive paycheck. You may also notify NYSDCP on the call that you would also like to change your contribution for the paycheck subsequent to the retroactive paycheck.

When calling the NYSDCP 457(b) plan, please be sure to have your paystub handy during the call so that the representative can verify your Employee ID and Department ID. The NYSDCP 457(b) plan can be reached at 1-800-422-8463 Monday through Friday 8AM-11PM and on Saturday 9AM-6PM.

What is the maximum percentage that I can contribute to my TIAA 403(b) or TRS 403(b) TDA and/or NYSDCP 457(b) TDA from my retroactive paycheck?

The maximum combined contribution among plans should not exceed 50% from your retroactive paycheck to ensure that enough earnings remain for other required tax and benefit deductions.

How much annually can I contribute to the 403(b) TDA?

If you are under age 50, your maximum contribution can be $18,000 per year. If you are age 50 or over, your maximum contribution can be $24,000 per year. You can distribute your contributions over the rest of the pay periods in 2017 to reach the maximum listed above.

How much annually can I contribute to the 457(b) TDA?

If you are under age 50, your maximum contribution can be $18,000 per year. If you are age 50 or over, your maximum contribution can be $24,000 per year. You can distribute your contributions over the rest of the pay periods in 2017 to reach the maximum listed above.

Note that you can contribute to the maximum in both your 403 (b) and the 457 (b) plans.

I am no longer working at CUNY, may I opt out of paying union dues on my retroactive pay?

No, neither current nor previous employees can opt out of paying these dues because payment of dues and fees is a collectively bargained obligation, and the retro pay is based upon the period of time you were in active service with the University.

I am a retiree collecting my pension benefit and currently working at CUNY. My annual earnings are limited to $30,000 but I know I will receive a large retroactive amount in 2017. May I opt out of receiving the retro payment?

No, you cannot opt out of receiving the retroactive payment as this is a collectively bargained provision based upon the period of time you were in active service with the University. You should consult with your pension system for appropriate advice.

   
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