Posted by: Jennifer Foley Posted date: January 20, 2016
– By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
Grand Blanc Administrative Support staff liked the idea of having a full-time union representative who they could meet with, not just talk to on the phone. That’s why the group decided to switch representation to the Government Employees Labor Council (GELC) in February 2015.
GELC Labor Rep. Hal Telling, who also is a Police Officers Labor Council representative, fit the bill.
“Well it’s not that we were unhappy, but our rep was not local and Hal is here. He just seems more accessible and we knew that the Police Command unit had already switched to his group and they were happy with him,” said Elizabeth Hill, local union steward. “We really only had contact with (the former rep) by phone because he also has another full time job and Hal said this was his full time job. Having a local rep that’s dedicated to this as his job just seemed more appealing.”
The seven-member group, which was formerly represented by Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM), unanimously approved the switch to GELC.
The move has garnered them a tentative agreement similar to the one GELC negotiated for Grand Blanc DPW. Both groups are waiting to see if other City groups support a bond proposal to pay off the Municipal Employee’s Retirement System (MERS) – a measure supported in the two tentative agreements.
“(The City) wants a bond to pay off MERS,” said Tim Kehn, local DPW union president. “They’re waiting for the other groups, like patrol, to see if they’re going to go along with that.”
The three-year Administrative Support agreement, if approved, has a wage and health care re-opener in the third year and would expire May 31, 2018. Their former contract expired May 31, 2015. The agreement includes a $500 signing bonus, an additional signing bonus, and 2 percent raises in the first two years, Telling said.
If the pension is bonded, Telling said, the fixed Employee contribution of 11 percent will drop to 5 percent, which is a 6 percent savings to each Employee in the tentative agreement. “They’re going to get an additional 6 percent in their pocket plus the raise,” Telling said.