Retroactive Reclassification and Agency Fees

What happens to the "agency fee" deductions when an employee is retroactively reclassified?

Positions covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) require employees who are not a member of the union to pay a legally mandated "agency fee." Occasionally, an upward reclassification of a position results in the position being removed from the coverage of the CBA. Some employees have questioned whether they are due a refund for such fees when they are retroactively reclassified to a position that is not covered by the CBA. The answer is “No." The employee is not due a refund of the agency fees. The agency fees were properly paid because the employee’s position was covered by the CBA, the very reason the Legislature and Governor enacted the agency fee provision.

It is expected therefore, that under the following three circumstances the agency fee will continue to be deducted from the employees’ salary. These three circumstances are, 1) when an employee has been assigned the duties of a higher classification not covered by the CBA, 2) during the period when the department is preparing the position description for a review, or 3) when the Compensation unit is reviewing the position description. The fact that the employee will be paid for past performance of the duties of a higher-level position does not change their previous status of being covered by the CBA.

UC Davis Health staff employees continue to grow in their careers by increasing their job skills through formal or on-the-job-training. The health system has also benefited from an increase in higher-educated candidates in the labor force. Departments strapped by budget restraints have asked their employees to take on related, but higher-level tasks than the ones intended when they were hired a few years prior. This new experience readies the employee for advancement. The employee either advances via applying for positions listed in the health system Job Bulletin, or their position is upwardly reclassified. In most cases, the effective date of the reclassification goes back a month or more, and the employee is paid the difference between the wage they already received, and the new wage for those past pay periods. Thus follows the understanding between the health system and our labor unions that HEERA does not require the reimbursement of properly paid fair share fees following a retroactive reclassification.

Employees with questions about the payment of agency fees should contact their union.

Source: Supervisors Update 6/7/02, updated 7/21/05