The TPL Agreement: Q & A

What does it mean to me?
For six out of every seven TPL employees, the agreement will have no immediate effect on your salary. The expectation is that most TPL employees will continue to be paid as they have been under the TPL Law with annual reviews and salary adjustments. For these employees, the only real impact of the new TPL agreement will be in the event that they are denied TPL raises in the future or receive smaller than usual adjustments. In this event, the new agreement establishes a salary floor below which your TPL salary cannot go. Your salary floor will be adjusted upward as the Union negotiates cost of living adjustments and as you would advance in the state step system applicable to non-TPL employees.

For about one out of seven TPL employees, however, the new agreement will have an immediate positive impact on your salary. These are employees whose current TPL salary has fallen below what they would have been making had they not been in a TPL position.

What determines how it affects me?
The first step is to determine what your underlying job grade will be under the Unit 6 salary chart (see attached). If you became a TPL employee prior to January 1, 2000, your underlying grade will be the underlying grade you had as of January 1, 2000. If you were promoted since that time, however, your underlying grade will be adjusted upward to reflect the higher grade.

If you were hired into a TPL position after January 1, 2000, your underlying grade will be established as follows. If you are a TPL level A employee, your underlying grade will be grade 14. If you are a TPL level B employee, your grade will depend on your salary as of October 1, 2006. If your salary was less than the maximum of grade 14 step 14 at the time, you will be assigned an underlying grade of 14. If you were a TPL level B employee and your salary exceeded that amount on October 14, 2006, you will be assigned to grade 16.

Once your underlying grade has been established, we must now determine your step in grade. For employees hired directly into TPL positions from outside of state government, you begin at step one as of the date of your hire and advance one step on the salary chart for each year of service since then. For example, I was hired from outside of state government to a TPL position on March 1, 2002. Since I have been here for six years, my underlying step would be step seven as of March 1, 2008.

The rule is the same for employees promoted into TPL positions from regular bargaining unit jobs, except that such employees donít necessarily start at step one. Employees promoted into TPL positions get credit for the step level they would have been placed at had they been promoted into their underlying grade.

Management may attempt to deny you credit for a step for any year in which you received an unsatisfactory performance evaluation. If they do, this will be subject to the appeal procedure described below.

Is there any way I can lose money because of this agreement?

When will I find out how this affects me?
During the month of June, management will provide written notice to you of what they believe to be your underlying grade and step. They will also provide you with information about what salary adjustment if any, they believe you are entitled to.

If I donít agree, can I appeal?
Yes. Once you receive this information, you will have thirty days in which to file an appeal if you disagree with either your grade or step assignment. We will attempt to resolve any disputes in meetings with you (should you file an appeal), the Union and management. If we cannot mutually agree, however, on the correct grade and step, we have the right to go to final and binding arbitration to resolve the dispute.

If I am entitled to a salary adjustment, when will it be effective and when will I actually see the money?
The agreement contains a performance incentive to motivate management to make the salary adjustments as soon as possible. If management actually pays people the sums due them under this agreement by October 1, 2008, the salary adjustments are retroactive to December 1, 2006. If, however, management misses this deadline, they will have to pay retroactive pay to October 1, 2006.

TPL Agreement Signed!

May 20, 2008

After two long years of tough negotiations and the unrelenting determination of the TPL Committee, Unit 6 presidents Theresa McGoldrick and Greg Sorozan, and State Director Kevin Preston, a TPL agreement has been signed.

The Technical Pay Law Agreement, signed by Presidents McGoldrick and Sorozan at 5 p.m. yesterday, will provide raises of up to $13,000 for 120 "TPL" classified state employees. It will also guarantee all 700-plus TPL employees that they will never fall below a certain salary floor.

"We've been pushing for this agreement for a long time—through two administrations," said Local 207 President McGoldrick. "We've finally reached a resolution that's fair to our members and guarantees them salaries and raises that they deserve."

Local 282 President Sorozan agreed. "It was a great victory for us to finally reach this agreement with the Commonwealth. We've been working on it for a long time and it's an agreement that's good for our members and good for the state."

Affected employees will be notified directly by the Human Resources Division of their underlying grade and step placement, and employees will have 30 days to contest the assignment of their grade and/or step. If agreement cannot be reached, we have the right to go to independent arbitration to resolve the dispute.

A request to fund the half-million dollar agreement will be submitted to the Legislature no sooner than June 1, 2008. NAGE negotiated an incentive clause into the agreement to encourage the state to make retroactive payments in a timely manner. The clause states that if employees receive their retroactive pay on or before October 1, 2008, then their salary adjustment will be retroactive to December 1, 2006. If, however, employees receive their sums due after October 1, 2008, then they will receive salary adjustments retroactive to October 6, 2006.

TPL was created by the state "to attract and retain qualified information technology professionals in a highly competitive labor market." It took TPL employees out of the union pay scale, which in some cases, led to significant underpayment. The TPL agreement, which NAGE has been negotiating since the summer of 2006, was initiated in order to create a salary floor below which each TPL employee could not be paid. The salary floor was established by reconstructing the grade and step each TPL employee would be at, if instead of being TPL, they were paid as if they held regular union positions.

Read the TPL agreement