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Small units receive equal representation with POLC

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: November 10, 2015

— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor

Clio Department of Public Service (DPS) may only have two members, but that doesn’t mean their union representative should fail to respond to their requests. Police Officers Labor Council (POLC) representatives know the importance of meeting small groups needs in a timely manner and that’s why Clio DPS is now a POLC unit.

“Clio DPS was very unhappy with their group because their contract expired nearly a year ago and you don’t get raises without a contract,” said the group’s POLC Labor Rep. Hal Telling.

But it wasn’t just the lack of a current contract that bothered local union steward Mark Hubbard, it was the lack of attention they received from their union representative at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

“They were not contacting us,” Hubbard said. “I came on Dec. 1 of last year. My co-worker called (the AFSCME representative), but she never returned phone calls. Multiple emails were sent and we didn’t hear anything from her until after we talked to Hal about becoming members of the POLC. It was almost a too little too late kind of thing.”

“I hear from Hal probably once a week or once every other week,” Hubbard said. “If I need anything, he’s right there to take care of it. I’ve been pretty impressed with Hal so far.”

They jointly approved the switch to POLC after Hubbard did a little bit of campaigning since his co-worker is close to retirement and wasn’t anxious to make a change in representation.

“Hal and Lloyd, they were here three times before (the AFSCME representative) even made an appearance,” Hubbard said. “I said, ‘If this is any indication of what our representation from our union is going to be, it’s going to be good.’”

Clio DPS joined the POLC in March 2015 and Telling didn’t waste any time getting them a new contract.

“We got a guaranteed raise,” Hubbard said. “Instead of having sick, vacation and personal time … they just changed it to PTO so you don’t have to give explanations. If you want to take tomorrow off, you just take it off and that’s that.”

Clio DPS received a 2 percent raise for 2015 and 1 percent raise for 2016 for the three-year agreement, which expires in June 2017. Their previous contract had expired in June 2014. Since a year had passed when the POLC negotiated a new contract, the group received a larger pay raise in 2015 to make up for the lack of pay increase in 2014.

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