All Local Executive Board Members and Local Stewards are encouraged to attend a series of Grievance Seminars being held on Thursdays and Fridays at the MAPE Office. The Seminars, being conducted by MAPE Executive Director Fred Timpner, will provide valuable information on key grievance issues.Seminars on Aug. 24 and Oct. 13, 2017 will focus on contract interpretation. Discipline will be discussed at the Seminars on Sept. 28 and Nov. 17, 2017. Each Seminar begins at 10 a.m. and lunch will be served. Details can be found on the website Calendar.

These Seminars are limited to 12 persons on a first-come basis. Please contact Julie Palmquist at (248) 509-7159, ext. 231 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible to make reservations.

By Jennifer Gomori, MAPE Editor

MAPO representatives recently participated in a meeting with the leadership of the West Michigan Policy Forum to discuss ways to tackle unfunded liabilities in communities without breaking the bank when it comes to the state’s budget. This meeting was connected with Gov. Rick Snyder’s Responsible Retirement Reform Task Force.

Attending on behalf of MAPE members was Rich Heins, Michigan Association of Police (MAP) President, to hear concerns of task force members which include state and local officials, private sector business leaders and employee representatives. Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) President Mike Sauger is a member of Governor Snyder’s task force. MAPO represents MAP and several other Michigan public safety unions.

“We’re going to have all the information first hand because he’s on that task force,” Heins said of Sauger.

The Feb. 15, 2017 meeting in Grand Rapids at Western Michigan University highlighted concerns leaders have with municipalities, such as Detroit and Flint, both previously placed under the leadership of state Emergency Managers to fix their budgets in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Going forward Snyder and other leaders are trying to avoid situations like these where communities cannot afford to fully fund pension plans and retiree healthcare.

“Now the governor has taken this on as one of his causes,” Heins said. “He’s trying to figure out a way to fix it without it being entirely on the state.”

Union leaders want to ensure their members aren’t stuck paying the bill either now or in their retirement. “In the lame duck session this past year, there was an effort to pass legislation that would harm retirees and the prospect for retiree health care for active employees” Heins said.

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What a public employees' union must provide members in today's world

In order to guarantee its members the highest level of employment protection that is absolutely necessary in today's world, a public employees' union must provide total representation. This means that a complex battery of resources and a broad spectrum of specialized expertise must be readily available, at all times, to every member of the organization. In other words, the union must be armed with complete service capacity and a dedicated staff of eminently qualified professionals who will consistently deliver these services in a timely and coordinated fashion.

Specifically, all members must be assured:

1. Maximum appropriate financial compensation for the work they perform.
2. The best possible employment benefits, including pension and medical insurance.
3. Working conditions maintained at the highest standards.
4. Protection of all employees' rights, as established by law.
5. Immediate access to top-quality legal counsel whenever necessary.
6. Direct availability of professional assistance in matters of financial, insurance and retirement planning.
7. The strongest possible collective voice in communicating needs, opinions and positions to national and state lawmakers.
8. An internal communications program that keeps everyone in the organization fully informed, shares ideas, and functions as a two-way interconnection between the membership and the organizational leadership.
9. A media relations program which informs the public about the organization's position on issues affecting the membership and/or local associations.
10. A leadership structure which represents the membership's collective interests and goals in the creation and implementation of the organization's operating policy.

Total representation therefore entails delivering full-service in negotiating and enforcing contracts, guarding all members' rights, helping members plan their futures and protect their families, providing the membership with political and communications clout and guaranteeing that the organization's operating policy reflects the sum total of the membership's needs, objectives and ideals.

The Michigan Association of Public Employees is a full-service public employees union in every sense of the term. Each element of MAPE's extensive professional services is profiled on the following pages.

A program of information and media relations

A complete union communications program has two primary facets:

1. To keep the entire membership as informed as possible about important developments and events; and;
2. To convey to the public and to state and national lawmakers the positions and opinions of the organization on all issues which affect it and its members.

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Internal communications enhance teamwork, help stimulate ideas and provide the vehicles by which ideas are shared and refined. Media relations give members a cumulative voice in speaking to the thousands of persons whose tax money pays public servants. They also augment the efforts of both legislative liaisons and the union leadership in bringing organizational influence to bear.