About MAPE

Unequaled experience, expertise, achievement

MAPE's staff of labor relation's professionals is acknowledged as number one in experience and proven expertise in the state.  It has earned this recognition by achieving an unequaled record of success in all phases of union representation.

Experience is, obviously, an extremely valuable commodity in the law enforcement union business.  It reflects not only longevity -- many years of performing highly specialized work -- but also steady growth and adaptation, plus total familiarity with every phase of an increasingly complex field of knowledge.

Expertise is, of course, a similarly valuable attribute.  Except for documented credentials, however, it is largely a matter of the level of esteem afforded by other prominent figures in areas of labor relations.

The proverbial "proof of the pudding" is in actual achievement.

As the following individual profiles will clearly illustrate, each MAPE Labor Relations Specialist has accumulated many years of experience in all aspects of representation, has established superb credentials and has gained unsurpassed respect throughout Michigan's labor relations community.
Most important, though, these personal sketches demonstrate the proof of achievement.  MAPE labor agreements consistently rate near the top in wages and benefits, especially when compared with those of other public sector unions.

Achievement is what ultimately pays superior dividends to the hundreds of member who have wisely invested in their futures by associating with the Michigan Association of Public Employees.

Fred Timpner, a former president of the Southfield Police Officers' Association (SPOA) has more than three decades of experience as a law enforcement labor leader.  Within a year of joining the department in 1971, he was chosen as a shift steward for his local association.  Soon afterward he was elected vice president.  A subsequent election made him president of the 100-member group.

Timpner's obvious leadership qualities and rapidly demonstrated talents in labor relations made him a high-profile candidate for a new career as a union professional.  Fortunately for the many hundreds of public employees who since have benefited from his negotiating and advocating skills and knowledge, he decided to enter the field.  Armed with his considerable natural abilities, his valuable local association experience and a full complement of college-level labor relations studies, he became a full-time union service professional just a few years into the modern era of the public employees labor movement.

From that beginning, Timpner has earned an enviable reputation as an expert in contract negotiations, grievances and grievance arbitrations.  His tremendously successful record has been highlighted by negotiating two "breakthrough" contracts:  the agreement in Sterling Heights which for the first time brought base wages of over $70,000 a year to officers in Michigan and the pact which, years previous, smashed the $30,000 a year barrier in the state.  Just as important, Timpner is established as one of an elite few professionals who are experienced in presenting Act 312 arbitration cases.

His credentials are such, in fact, that the former outstanding student of the discipline has been called upon to teach college courses in labor relations.

Ronald Palmquist is a veteran of 21 years as a Southfield police officer with an ideal background.  He was a union steward in the early 1970's, became his POA's secretary by 1980 and served as its president during the '80's.  After he was promoted to sergeant in 1986, he was elected the Southfield COA's wage negotiator, which meant he was the chief of the bargaining team.  After retiring in 1991 he came to work full-time for the Union.  Since then he has gained immeasurable experience negotiating contracts and handling grievances through arbitration for member units.

He has excellent background experience in dealing with employers and has a first-hand knowledge of what officers need and how to help them get it.  He possesses exclusive knowledge in health care and pension plans.

“The proof is in the pudding” as the old adage says, and if it is, one has only to look at some of the collective bargaining contracts negotiated by Ron.  They are some of the best that are in the public sector.

Ed Wertz brings many years of experience to the members of MAPE, having served with the Detroit Police Department for 32 years and a member of the prestigious Mounted Police Section for 28 years. He served on the DPOA Executive Board for 20 years, chairing their Finance Committee and By Laws committee, as well as having served on their election committee. He has personally handled over 100 grievances and was instrumental in providing the goals and direction for the membership in the collective bargaining process.

Ed has also served members of the Retired Detroit Police and Firefighter Association as Vice President for two years and also as their President for three years. In addition, he served the Detroit Police employees as a board member for the Police Benefit and Protective Association.

He volunteered his time as a member of the Detroit Police Athletic League, earned his degree from Henry Ford Community College, and continues to be involved with the Knights of Columbus.

The Michigan Association of Public Employees is pleased to introduce Ed and welcome him as one of our Labor Relations Specialists. He has always taken his responsibilities seriously and will represent our members well.

James Steffes served 26 years with the Sterling Heights Police Department, retiring as a Sergeant. He was active for eight years with their Grievance Committee and was involved in the Association activities relating to them. He served a full career in a Department that, with the help of MAPE’s Fred Timpner, broke many statewide barriers in wage and benefit packages. He is our newest staff member serving MAPE since 2008. His personality and disposition, along with many years of experience in successfully handling difficult contract situations, lends itself to success.

Joe O’Connor spent 31 years with the Sterling Heights Police Department: Eight years as the Patrol Officers and nine years as a Sergeant. As their Grievance Committee Chairman, he reviewed all complaints and attempted to resolve the issues at the lowest possible level. As a member of the contract negotiation team, he represented his group and was instrumental in settling multi-year Collective Bargaining Agreements. He brings valuable experiences to MAPE in representing members in Disciplinary Hearings and Contract Negotiations. His unique perspective from specialized Internal Affairs training is also an added benefit to our members.

Joe comes from a Union family. His father was a Committeeman for the United Auto Workers, and having grown up in a Union household, Joe attended UAW meetings with his father since he was 10 years old. It’s this kind influence, experience and background that leads Joe to using a diplomatic approach in resolving issues. But make no mistake; Joe is not afraid to take a hard-line stand when necessary. Joe always fights to do what’s right for our members.

Joe has served as a Labor Relations Specialist for MAPE since November of 2009 representing members from each of our three Associations. We are proud to have Joe as part of our professional family.

The Michigan Association of Public Employees was founded in 1984. The original founding locals met and decided that since all of the major public sector unions were more interested in collecting dues then providing services to the members, it was time to form their own Union.

What followed was the creation of a new Union dedicated to representing the public employee in Michigan. All of the dues money collected stays in Michigan. It does not go to a strike fund or to an International Union headquartered in Washington D.C. Instead, it is used to improve the wages, hours and conditions of employment for MAPE members throughout Michigan.

The control of the Union rests with the members, as it should. Each member organization selects one person to sit on the MAPE executive board. The board then chooses the four officers from among the sitting members of the executive board. It is the responsibility of the executive board, and the officers, to set the policy and direction of the Union. The full-time, professional staff of the Union is charged with the responsibility of implementing the policies set by the board.

The dues are only twenty-five dollars per month per member and are set by the executive board of MAPE. The dues covers the costs of a full-time labor representative assigned to the local to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement and all of the associated costs related to that.

Once the new labor agreement is ratified by the local members and signed, MAPE works with the local officers to ensure that compliance by the Employer with the contract occurs. This not only means that MAPE will provide free training to all stewards on grievance processing, but stands ready to pay costs of arbitrating the dispute.

Our full-time staff of labor attorneys are ready to proceed to court for enforcement of grievance arbitration awards or to the labor department to pursue Unfair Labor Practices. No extra charge. MAPE pays their costs as well.

Just how effective is MAPE in representing its members? Just ask our members. Like you, they are public employees trying to preserve their health care and pensions without losing their economic status in the community. Ask them about MAPE and how effective it has served their members. After all, what have you got to lose except your wages, benefits and economic future.

A headquarters building designed for efficiency

The location and the resource structure of a union's central office combine to have a direct and profound impact upon the organization's ability to serve its membership.

The headquarters should be centrally situated in order for labor relations' professionals to have rapid access to all members. It should be in the closest possible proximity to the offices of the union's other service providers, such as its legal specialists. It should have the capacity to host large and small-group meetings, to house the modern hardware that is essential to sophisticated business operation and to provide the kinds of functional accessories that create a setting of which all members can be proud.

MAPE's central office is located near a network of expressways interconnecting Michigan's cities. The labor relations' staff thus is within swift driving range of points throughout the state. The office is literally across the hall from the Coalition of Public Safety (COPS) Health Trust, the organization's affordable health care plan which has been negotiated into several contracts. It boasts comfortable meeting and conference facilities and contains all of the state-of-the-art machinery, including a complete internet presence that is necessary to a modern union operation. And, just as important, it is kept working at peak efficiency by a highly qualified support staff that includes a research assistant.

Efficiency is both the objective and the result of the headquarters office design - the kind of efficiency that makes certain all members' needs receive immediate and full attention.