Bargaining

Bargaining

Bargaining and enforcing local contracts is at the root of MEA and our advocacy for members and the students they serve. One of the biggest advantages of MEA membership is the service provided directly to members by MEA’s UniServ directors. These highly trained professional labor relations consultants help teachers and education support professionals access a wide variety of services available only to members.

Bargaining News

Support Staff Conduct Picketing in Lapeer

Education support professionals in Lapeer held an informational picket along Main Street last week to call attention to the fact they are working under an expired contract despite negotiating on a new agreement since last January. The 125 members of Lapeer Education Support Personnel believe their previous sacrifices during challenging financial times for the district should be recognized and compensated now…

Union Members Stand Up in Emotional Board Testimony

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Mike Eyre has been a middle school history teacher for 25 years, and he’s served nearly two decades as president of his local union. But even Eyre was moved by a recent turn of events that he and his Union City members influenced…

Local Unions Report Successful Bargains Across State

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Four years ago, serendipity stepped in to help MEA UniServ Director Mike McGee and a bargaining team in Portland win a good contract for secretaries—and set the stage for an even better outcome in talks this year for the district’s secretaries, paraeducators, and…

Flint Teachers Unite for Contract Win

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor The celebration was short-lived when members of United Teachers of Flint learned the district was offering to pay each of them a $22,500 bonus, using some of the federal COVID-relief money sent to the district this year. Soon after that, in contract negotiations…

Local Actions Combat Bullying Behavior at Board Meetings

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor One philosophy of the union bargaining team at Clarkston Community Schools says if it’s a problem for one, it’s a problem for all. For local president Daryl Biallas, that value now extends to a spate of attacks on school boards, administrators and educators…

‘Nonsensical’ Pay Threat Tied to Evaluations Needs Fix

As MEA pursues fixes to problematic teacher evaluation reforms enacted in 2015, bargaining teams in some districts have had to contend with a legislative change from 2017 that seeks to add more weight to already high-stakes evaluation scores. At the state level, MEA’s bargaining wing has developed prototype contract language to knock down the threat, and many local teams have fought it…

Union Presidents Lead through Unprecedented Crisis

What’s it like to be a local union president in the age of COVID? In this story, we talk with three local leaders in Macomb County—an urban hotspot in northern metro Detroit—who have employed every tool at their disposal to unite members and guide collective action through the most challenging circumstances in living memory. As in districts across the state,…

MEA files Unfair Labor Practice Charge against NCMC

East Lansing, MI — The North Central Michigan College Educational Support Professional Association (NCMC-ESP) today filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against NCMC for failing to bargain in good faith.  The bargaining unit, composed of Custodial, Maintenance and Office personnel began affiliation with MEA following a successful union representation election in May 2018.  Collective bargaining on the initial contract began…

Finding Strength in Solidarity

By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor MEA member Eric Curtiss thought he had a high number of students in his English classes last year when his numbers topped out at 144. This year he has 168, although the number fluctuates. Eric Curtiss Last year he had five preps, the most in his 22-year career. Now he has eight different courses…

Higher Ed Unions ‘Building a Bridge Over a Chasm’

In February, Martin McDonough became president of one of MEA’s largest local units—the Administrative Professional Association (APA) at Michigan State University. The next month, pandemic-related closures hit higher education in Michigan. Martin McDonough Formerly a shop steward in the pipefitters union and vice-president of the APA, McDonough knew that in times of crisis people feel especially grateful for the union.…

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