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Over 25,000 University of Michigan employees will receive one-time, $1,500 “recognition payments” on Dec. 13. The payments are available to regular, non-temporary staff and faculty in bargaining units and non-bargaining units on all three U-M campuses. 

The payments amount to $37.6 million from the University’s reserves, according to an email from University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald to The Michigan Daily.

University President Mark Schlissel wrote in an email to campus employees that the payments are in “recognition of your efforts in these extraordinary times.”

“You are the backbone of this institution – a certainty proven time and again over the past two years,” Schlissel wrote. “You have worked tirelessly both in person and remotely to assure the ongoing success of our university and its students. And you’ve done so amid the stress and hardship that comes with living and working through a global pandemic.”

Eligible positions include Rackham graduate students, graduate student instructors, graduate student staff assistants, graduate student research assistants, Rackham doctoral fellows, research fellows, advanced post-graduate trainees and supplemental clinical instructors. 

Those who are eligible for the payments must have been actively employed between Oct. 1, 2021 and Dec. 1, 2021. Rackham graduate students will receive the payment later in December. 

The payment FAQ page stated that the payments will be subject to taxes, appearing as a “salary supplement” on pay stubs. 

Three categories of employees are ineligible for the payments: temporary employees; faculty that have zero-effort appointments, visiting appointments and emeritus appointments; as well as employees who are not compliant with the University COVID-19 vaccine policy. 

Michigan Medicine previously distributed similar payments to some employees in June and July 2021. Those who received a payment from Michigan Medicine are not eligible for this round of payments. 

At the time of the announcement, Michigan Medicine’s leadership wrote that the payments “in no way offsets the many sacrifices that you have made over the past year.” They went on to say that “it is one small way we can acknowledge the spirit of our people that continues to show their best selves in even the most trying circumstances.”

Daily Staff Reporter Elissa Welle can be reached at