HO Discipline and Your Rights

HO Discipline and what it means for you.

Very recently is has come to the attention of the HOA that house staff may be recipients of discipline outside the procedures agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The  HOA Agreement is very specific.  "The employer shall not discharge or take disciplinary action without just cause," Article XVIII.  

House officers are in a protected class of worker as members of the HOA.  As such, you are entitled to representation when faced with discipline.  This entitlement is known as your Weingarten Rights.  

The CBA goes on to state that, "It is the intent of the employer to assure that each House Officer is given appropriate due process in any issue concerning unsatisfactory work performance."

The HOA is concerned that elements of due process are not always followed, and we are here to help all House Officers exercise their Weingarten Rights and get the due process they deserve.




HOA Spring Social

HOA Spring Social at Bill's Beer Garden on Friday May 30.

The HOA will be hosting a spring social on Friday, May 30, from 6 to 10 pm at Bill's Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley Street. We will have a reserved area outside. Please bring your UM ID. An HOA wristband is needed for the event and will be given to you when you arrive. Food and drinks compliments of the HOA.  

Heartbleed Vulnerability

How OpenSSL Heartbleed effects the HOA suite of websites.

Yesterday a major vulnerability to OpenSSL was announced, called Heartbleed. OpenSSL is the method many websites encrypt their data when being sent between your web browser and their server, including usernames and passwords. The vulnerability allows attackers to steal this data.

More about Heartbleed and OpenSSL

So how does this effect HOA websites like the Housing Site and HOA Forums?

Our current hosting provider was not effected by the Heartbleed bug. In addition, it is highly unlikely that anyone targeted HOA websites, as there would not be much of a payoff.

The vulnerability has existed since December 2011, however, at which point we used a different hosting provider. So no matter how unlikely, it is not technically impossible that someone could have obtained your username and password. Therefore, our official recommendation is to change your password on the Housing Website, and the HOA Forums. If your account is newer than March 10th 2014, or you have changed your password since then, there is no need to change it again.

I haven’t already heard about this, what should I do about other websites I use?

At the very least we recommend you change your password on all social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc), Google, Yahoo, and your banking websites.

Additionally now is as good a time as any to create good internet security habits:

  1. Use a password manager, such as 1Password or LastPass, to generate a strong unique password for every website. When you have a unique password for each site, if one gets attacked, you only need to change your password for that site, instead of all sites that you used the same password on.
  2. Turn on 2 factor authentication on all sites that support it. When 2 factor authentication is enabled, at log in a website prompts you for something you know (your password), and something you have (usually a code from an app in your smart phone).

More about 2 Factor Authentification

Revised HOA Constitution Posted

The HOA board recommends addition of new position.

Because a HOA Board member's term is for one appointment year, it has become increasingly necessary to improve continuity from year to year.  Since the grievance/arbitration process can exceed a Board member’s term, the board recommends the addition of the position of President-Elect to the HOA board.  This will help solidify a multi-year commitment from an HOA member in good standing.

The amended Constitution can be accessed through the link below.  The areas in blue have been added and/or amended.  The membership will be asked to vote on the amendment on April 25, 2014.

Nominations for the 2014-15 Appointment Year will be open from May 1 - 14, with elections scheduled for the following week.  More information will be forthcoming.



Managing Student Loans

So what's the big deal about managing student loans?

Judging by the number of questions I get from house officers, this is one of most confusing financial issues most of you deal with.  As a resident/fellow you must choose between forbearance (no more deferment unfortunately), making regular payments, and Income Based Repayment, or its improved version- Pay As Your Earn (PAYE) or Income Contingent Repayment (ICR-A).  Yes, the University of Michigan qualifies as a 501(c) institution, which is a requirement for IBR/PAYE.  You will need to apply initially for IBR/PAYE and renew it each year.

So what is PAYE?

  • Annual payments are capped at 10 percent of “discretionary income” (IBR’s cap is 15%).
  • Remaining loan balance is forgiven after 20 years of qualifying payments (IBR after 25 years).

Otherwise, PAYE or ICR-A looks a lot like IBR:

  • Borrowers must demonstrate what’s known as a “partial financial hardship”.
  • Unpaid accrued interest is capitalized only if a borrower no longer has a partial financial hardship, or chooses to leave the plan.
  • Unpaid accrued interest is subsidized for the first three years in repayment.

But PAYE/ICR-A will only be available for people who:

  • Got their first student loan on or after October 1, 2007, AND
  • Got a student loan on or after October 1, 2011 (one loan can count for both requirements).