LANSING – Following last week’s Court of Claims ruling that school employees were owed additional interest on 3 percent of earnings illegally withheld from them by the state, leaders of the unions that made the request of the court called on the state to not appeal the case any further.
“Gov. Snyder and Attorney General Schuette shouldn’t even contemplate appealing this ruling and must expedite payment of money owed to the hard-working school employees of our state,” said MEA President Paula Herbart.
In he ruling, Judge Stephen Borello found that additional interest is owed to school employees who had 3 percent of their salary withheld by the state from 2010-12 to fund retiree health care—a benefit those employees were not even guaranteed to receive. Last year, the Michigan Supreme Court, in a 6-0 ruling, ended the seven-year-long case and ordered the money be returned to employees, along with the meager interest eared while the funds were held in escrow.
“The small amount of interest school employees got was insulting after their money was stolen and kept by the state for seven long years,” said AFSCME Council 25 President Lawrence Roehrig. “Delaying this decision with more appeals is unacceptable.”
The specific amount of the additional interest needs to be calculated based on state law – lawyers are working to determine an exact amount. But school employees who received their 3 percent back could be getting hundreds of dollars in additional interest – if the state declines to appeal the case within 21 days of last Friday’s ruling.
“Dedicated educators across the state work hard every day for students and they deserve this fair interest back right away,” said AFT Michigan President David Hecker. “Snyder and Schuette need to respect this latest ruling by letting it stand and facilitating getting this money paid out as soon as possible.”
Steve Rzeppa, AFSCME Council 25, firstname.lastname@example.org, 734-308-7177
David Hecker, AFT Michigan, email@example.com, 313-204-6115
Doug Pratt, MEA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-337-5508