Paycheck Alert: Is Your Paycheck Changing Because Of Shift Differentials?

On August 30th and on September 26th, the State of NH’s Manager of Employee Relations, Matt Newland, issued memos to all Executive Branch human resource and payroll representatives regarding shift differentials.  The memos were issued to ensure consistent statewide compliance with all Federal and State laws, rules and collective bargaining agreements in relation to shift differentials.  Based on our analysis of the memos, some employees either are already or will experience different pay than they used to for shift differentials.  Additionally, we believe the memos provide incorrect instructions on how shift differentials should be applied based on your current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  As such, we have requested that the memos be rescinded because the State and the SEA should discuss the correct application of shift differentials through the appropriate contractual channel — the State Labor Management Committee (LMC).

As of this writing, the August 30th memo has been rescinded but the September 26th memo remains active.  We are continuing to work with the State on this issue as it is our hope that the LMC will be successful in resolving it quickly.  However, to ensure affected employees’ rights to full and appropriate pay are maintained, we have filed a grievance and are also in the process of filing an Unfair Labor Practice.  Each of these actions are intended to address a different aspect of the issue.  The grievance is to ensure correct application of the CBA; the Unfair Labor Practice is to ensure that the State does not violate state law that prohibits unilateral changes to the terms of conditions and employment in represented public employee bargaining units.

To assist us in best representing you on this issue, we need your help in identifying how many people are actually affected by the State’s changes to shift differentials.

If you are an employee who was earning shift differential pay, on or before August 30, 2012, we want to know what changes you are seeing in your paycheck.  We would like you to examine a couple of your August paychecks to identify what shift differentials you were being paid.  Then we would like you to examine your October 5th and October 19th paychecks for the same thing.  Is there any difference?  If so, what is it?  We want to know for all of your regular hours worked and any overtime hours you may have worked, how you were compensated with respect to shift differentials.

To make it easier to report, we are asking you to complete this worksheet for each pay week you examine.  If you believe your pay has been cut because different shift differentials are being applied to the hours you’ve worked than what you are used to being paid, please send us a copy of your worksheet by October 31, 2012.  It is very important that we gather this information so that we can accurately move forward with further discussions with the State.

Lastly, when you complete this survey, please insert an individual comment as to how these pay changes affect your family’s budget.  SEA President, Diana Lacey, reports “We’ve been told this has to do with the State’s new payroll system, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, audits, etc.  No matter what the reason, I know it has to do with real lives and real paychecks that are being changed.  We can’t lose focus on what this means to their families.  If workers are being harmed, we need to fix this right away.”

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