Date: August 30, 2017

Bulletin Number: CU-599

Subject CUNY Retroactive Rate Increases for City Laborer

Purpose To provide agencies instructions for processing the rate increases and adjustments for miscellaneous earnings.

Affected Employees

CUNY employees in the title of City Laborer.
Background A Consent Determination based on a complaint filed under Section 220 of the NYS Labor Law was filed on June 6, 2017 between the Comptroller of the City of New York and the District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Local 924, New York City Laborers, for retroactive increases for employees in the titles of Laborer and City Laborer.  This determination covers the period from July 1, 2002 through October 15, 2017 and provides for four retroactive salary increases effective 01/01/14, 01/01/15, 01/01/16 and 01/01/2017.

The revised rate chart and additional information are contained in the Carmelo Batista, Jr. memorandum dated July 7, 2017.

Effective Date(s) The retroactive increases may be submitted in Pay Period 11C (Institution), paychecks dated 8/31/2017.

Eligibility Criteria General Wage Increase - CUNY employees represented by the Local Union 924, District Council 37, AFSCME-AFL-CIO who are in the eligible title of City Laborer on or after the first effective date of the wage increases, 1/1/2014, are eligible for the retroactive rate increases.

Agency Actions - Rate Increases Reporting the Rate Increases

To ensure all Job Action requests are submitted for each employee, the agency should submit requests in effective date order from oldest date to current date.  For example, if appropriate, submit the 1/1/2014 Pay Change, followed by the 1/1/2015 Pay Change.

To increase the hourly rate(s), the agency must submit the following requests regardless of the employee’s status:

  • For all rate increases, request a Pay Change with the Action/Reason code of Pay Rate Chg/CRT (Pay Rate Change/Change Rate) on the Job Action Request page, using the effective date of the appropriate increase, and submit the new hourly rate.
  • A separate request must be made for each of the rows that exist on the employee’s Job Data page, using the next available sequence number.

Reporting Retroactive Adjustments for All Miscellaneous Earnings

The agency must calculate and report the retroactive adjustment for all miscellaneous earnings.

The Time Entry Earnings Code AJR must be used to report the combined retroactive adjustment for all earnings.  The agency must provide an explanation of the adjustment in the General Comments page or on a separate worksheet.  If the agency uses a worksheet, the worksheet must be received in OSC’s Payroll Earnings mailbox by the submission deadline for Pay Period 11C.

The Earnings Code AJR must be reported as follows:

Earnings Begin Date:

Enter the first date to be adjusted.

Earnings End Date:

Enter the last date to be adjusted.

Earnings Code:

Enter AJR.


Enter the total amount of the adjustment.

Agency Actions - Holiday Pay Adjustments Previously, effective 6/22/12, City Laborers were not eligible for Paid Holidays and were paid double time for designated holidays only.  Retroactively, effective January 1, 2017, this title is now eligible for eleven (11) paid Holidays per the Consent Determination and Carmelo Batista memorandum dated 7/7/17. Work performed on the eleven holidays shall be paid in cash at time and one-half. CUNY will submit adjustments for employees with under or overpayments of Holidays effective 1/1/17, 2/20/17, 5/29/17 and 7/4/17.  The Holiday adjustment code should  be submitted as follows:

Employee did not work and is due straight time for 1/16/17.


Employee did not work and used accruals. 

No adjustments are needed. CUNY will credit accruals to employee.

Employee did not work and did not use accruals for the holiday.  LT3 was used to reduce employee’s salary. 

Use LT3 to pay back the day.

Employee worked and was paid straight time.

Use HPL (138.00 + 276.00) $414.00

Employee worked and was paid double time.

Use HPL $-123.92

Agency Actions - Night Differential Increase Effective July 1, 2017, the Night Differential rate increases to 14.29% (PayServ earnings code SD7).  Night shift shall be paid for scheduled hours actually worked after at least 4 scheduled hours. A shift is considered a “night shift” if the schedule includes the hours between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.  Night shift shall not be paid in addition to other premium rates (OT, Sat/Sun or Holiday rates).

OSC Actions Processing Automatic Retroactive Adjustments

Provided the agency appropriately submits the applicable increases, OSC will automatically process the retroactive adjustments for all regular hours, RGH, and miscellaneous earnings of LSL, LT3 and PLB, paid to an employee regardless of the employee’s status.  The agency should refer to the AJR procedure above to submit retroactive adjustments for all other miscellaneous earnings.

Deduction Information All general deductions for employees whose Payroll Status is Terminated, Retired or Deceased will be automatically cancelled by OSC with the exception of percentage based union dues and agency shop fees and the following:




Strike/Discip Fine


CUNY Disciplinary Fine


Repay State Loans/Debt


Higher Ed Repay State Loan


HC Flexible Spending


CUNY Medicare Deficiency Flat Rate


CUNY Social Security Deficiency Flat Rate


CUNY SS/Med Deficiency




TIAA Before Tax Arrears


TIAA After Tax Arrears

Tax Information These monies are taxable income and are subject to all employment taxes and income taxes.  These monies will be included in the employee’s taxable gross and will be reported on the employee’s Form W-2.

The adjustment (AJR) is supplemental taxable wages, will be included in the employee’s taxable gross and is subject to all employment and income taxes.

Federal, State and New York City income tax withholding will be calculated using the Aggregate method. Yonkers income tax withholding will be calculated using the Flat Rate method (1.61135% for Yonkers residents and 0.50% for Yonkers non-residents).

Payroll Register and Employee’s Paycheck/Advice All retroactive adjustments will be displayed on the Payroll Register using the appropriate earnings code and the associated amount.  The description of each earnings code and the associated amount will appear on the employee’s paycheck stub or direct deposit advice unless there are more than 13 earnings codes.  For these employees, agencies should utilize Locked Query #49 to identify a complete list of all regular earnings and retroactive adjustments.

Undeliverable Checks If the agency has made an effort to deliver the check to the employee but the check has been returned and is undeliverable, the agency should forward the check to the NYS Department of Tax and Finance, Division of Treasury, per instructions in Payroll Bulletin No. 908.

Checks issued to eligible employees who are now deceased should be returned with a completed Next of Kin Affidavit (Form AC 934-P), original death certificate and a Report of Check Exchange (Form AC 1476-P).  If a Next of Kin Affidavit has been previously submitted for a deceased employee’s payroll check, OSC will accept a photocopy of this form along with a new Report of Check Exchange.

Questions Questions regarding transactions may be emailed to the Payroll Earnings mailbox.

Questions regarding Deductions may be directed to the Payroll Deduction mailbox.

Questions regarding Taxes should be directed to the Tax and Compliance mailbox.