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A court properly held that an employee does not have a vested right in certain employee benefits

The court held that when "¶ 4.B of the 2010 MOU is read in its entirety, the paragraph is unambiguous and it does not create the vested right asserted by" plaintiff/counter-defendant-Cass. This was a breach of contract action involving a contract between defendant/counter-plaintiff-MSU and the defendant/cross-defendant-Coalition. Cass was a former employee and member of a union that is part of the Coalition. The gist of his claim was that he, "as a former employee, accrued certain benefits under a contract between MSU and the Coalition, and that the Coalition's decision to disburse those benefits to a group of employees that did not include him improperly divested him of this benefit." He claimed a breach of the 2010 MOU, a contract between MSU and the Coalition, to which he was not a party. Paragraph 4.B capped MSU's healthcare costs at a 5% increase each year. During each of the pertinent years, healthcare costs increased by less than 5%, resulting in an accumulation of over $7 million. Cass contended that because he would have had to pay for the increase in healthcare costs if that increase was above 5%, "he should be entitled to any savings generated under ¶ 4.B." The court held that "the Court of Claims did not err by determining that the meaning of ¶ 4.B was plain and unambiguous, and that it did not create in Cass any vested right to receive a payment from the healthcare savings fund." Immediately following "the phrase indicating that a fund 'shall accrue' to the benefit of Coalition-represented employees, is a grant of discretion to the JHCC" as to the funds. The 2010 MOU "provides that the fund 'shall accrue to the benefit of the employees represented by the Coalition as determined by the JHCC.'" The "identity of the employees represented by the Coalition was clear from the contract; the employees represented by the Coalition were those belonging to the unions expressly listed in the prelude to the 2010 MOU. Thus, the discretion given to the JHCC in this passage is to make a determination about the money that 'shall accrue' under ¶ 4.B." That discretion tended to "cut against the notion that the word 'accrue' refers to the creation of a vested right, and lends credence to the idea that the word 'accrue' was simply the accumulation of a fund, i.e., the accumulation of healthcare savings." Further, the next sentence in ¶ 4.B conclusively rejected the "notion that any employee had a vested right in any accumulated healthcare savings." Affirmed. 

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