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Home » Issues » Will we receive back pay if the contract is ratified?

Will we receive back pay if the contract is ratified?

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This is the second in a series of short messages designed to provide accurate information about the proposed contract. Many members have had questions about retroactive salary increases, or back pay.

Back pay is the difference between what you were actually paid and what you would have been paid if the new contractual higher rates had been in place at the time your paycheck was issued. If the proposed contract is ratified, you will be entitled to back pay if you were on CUNY payroll in a position represented by the PSC at any time since October 1, 2018. That is the date of the first 2% salary increase in the proposed contract. A second 2% increase would be effective as of October 31, 2019.

How much back pay you will receive depends on three things: your salary, how many months you have been on payroll since October 1, 2018, and when CUNY management implements the back pay. If the contract is ratified, you will be eligible for back pay if you were on payroll at any time since October 1, 2018, regardless of whether you have since retired or left CUNY, and regardless of whether your position is full-time or part-time.

Examples of back pay for various titles and salary levels are available on the PSC website. Keep in mind that retroactive pay increases are taxed and subject to the same payroll deductions as your regular paycheck.

The date of the first 2% increase, October 1, 2018, means that back pay starts accumulating as of that date. It does not start on the first day of the contract. By negotiating an October start-date for the first raise, the union was able to create recurring funds that were used to provide salary and equity increases and other economic gains that will be repeated each year.

How long it will be before we receive checks containing our back pay depends on how long it takes CUNY management to complete the calculations with the City and State payroll offices. Management has not yet announced a date, but the union officers and staff have already begun pressing for timely payment if the agreement is ratified. We will notify you as soon as we have an update.

The only way to ensure that we receive back pay and the other gains in the contract is to reach a majority voting yes on ratification. If you joined the union before July 8, 2019, and are still in active employment, you are eligible to vote and should have received voting instructions by mail or email. Don’t leave the decision to others; cast your vote today.

In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen
President, PSC

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