Transition out of Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) FAQs
Last updated: Monday, March 29, 2021
Q1: Will the FY22 Merit Program align with the FY21 Performance Valuation?
A: Michigan Medicine’s FY22 merit-based salary program is designed to help managers reward employee performance documented in the FY21 annual performance valuation.
Q2: Will there be a merit program for FY22 and when will it take effect?
A: Yes, Michigan Medicine will have a Merit Program for FY22, and it will be effective in Fall 2021. Further information and instruction will be provided later this year regarding the program.
Q3: Will there be any market adjustments in FY21 or next FY22?
A: Beginning in March, we will start the process to assess market pay rates to ensure eligible employees are paid competitively with market rates. We will also make labor market adjustments for select job classifications, and plan to continue these assessments on an annual basis. Pay adjustments will occur in May 2021.
Q4: Will tuition advancements be available for classes that begin in May?
A: No, while the tuition assistance program will return in May, all payouts will be made in FY22, after July 2021.
Q5: If spring classes begin in May, will employees be able to receive tuition assistance for these classes?
A: Tuition assistance will be reinstated with eligible enrollments effective May 1, 2021 and later (i.e. no retroactive payments for classes prior to May 1, 2021). While the program will return in May, all payouts will be made in FY22, after July 2021. No advanced tuition assistance funding will be available.
Q6: Can we begin returning staff to the office setting if they have been vaccinated?
A: Michigan Medicine has extended the work from home guidelines through the end of June 2021 for all employees able to work remotely. We ask that everyone continue to follow this guidance to keep our faculty, staff, learners, patients and visitors safe.
Q7: Will my department be able to fill its open positions?
A: With the exception of designated patient care staff and faculty in roles considered critical, we will continue to maintain the approval process that requires executive officer approval to post and recruit for open positions.
Q8: I understand that beginning July 1, 2021, departments and units may return to using 100% of their professional development funds. However, this doesn’t seem to align with resuming travel (once the campus approves it) at 50% of the FY19 budget. Can you please elaborate?
A: Resuming professional development was a top priority, and I am pleased we are moving forward July 1 with 100% use of these funds. Professional development funds are used for a variety of development activities including attending professional meetings. Most, if not all, professional organizations have curtailed in person meetings and by necessity have developed strong virtual programs in lieu of live, on-site meetings. Fortunately, the virtual options offer alternatives to national travel and will help to mitigate travel cost consistent with the targeted 50% of 2019 levels.
For example, if a faculty member usually travels to 4 meetings annually, they would now have the option to attend 2 of those meetings in person and attend other meetings remotely.
The rationale for reducing travel aligns with COVID safety precautions and the surge in virtual learning.
Q9: Are there exceptions to the tuition assistance reinstatement within Michigan Medicine?
A: According to the university policy, effective April 30, 2020, U-M has temporarily paused new requests from staff to support educational programs that have not yet begun. Support for those in existing programs is also paused until further notice. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis for employees that are:
- Near the end of their program of study
- In need of a required course as part of their program of study that is only offered on an intermittent basis and would prevent making further progress toward degree by more than one semester
- Taking a course critical to support their promotion or maintaining job-related licensure or certification within current function
- Continuing or newly enrolled students in a University of Michigan degree program (any campus)
To request an exception, please complete the form found at: https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/tuition-support-request.pdf
The decision to grant an exception rests with your Supervisor and Unit level leadership to determine if your situation meets the criteria above. Once you complete the form, please engage your individual supervisor to initiate the conversation regarding your request
Q10: Why are we not refunding the retirement match that was paused during the pandemic?
A: Michigan Medicine was losing between $1 million and $3 million per day during the peak of the pandemic. We had to institute a number of strict expense reductions and that included pausing the retirement match. We thought we would not be able restore the match until July 1, 2021; however, we were able to achieve financial stability sooner thanks to the expense cuts and government funding. Our financial standing allows us to move forward with salary increases, hiring and promotions, operational and capital funding and other benefits that directly support the work of our faculty, staff, learners and patients.
Q11: Why did the Medical School not follow the lead of the University’s other Schools when the expense reductions were implemented?
A: Michigan Medicine was formed in 2017 when the University combined the entire U-M academic medical enterprise, including patient care, education and research. As such, the health system and medical school financials are combined, and decisions are made as a unified organization. Sometimes those decisions mirror those of the University and, at other times, the medical enterprise bases actions on factors that are more aligned with academic medical centers.