The first month of a new legislative session is coming to a close, and it has been a whirlwind of meeting new legislators, perusing committee assignments, and re-acquainting ourselves with policy makers in new positions. Moreover, the changeover from the Snyder Administration to the Whitmer Administration is moving along slowly but steadily as her cabinet and key staffers have been announced on a piecemeal basis. One of the last department heads to be named was Robert Gordon, the new DHHS Director. Mr. Gordon previously was a member of the Obama Administration where he served as the acting deputy director at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and also as the acting assistant secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Governor presented her State of the State address on February 12 in which she made several positive remarks about state workers and their value to Michigan. Her budget presentation will take place in early March, and it will be there where she lays out more detailed specifics about her policy goals.
Enclosed in this article are links to the OPEIU Scholarship applications, rules and regulations. Please remember to complete the application fully, then send to the MAGE office so we can verify for OPEIU that your membership is in good standing. Read on for the link to the applications.
At the end of every two year legislative session, there is a period after the election results are tallied, but before the new elected officials are sworn into office. This period is known as the Lame Duck session, since it allows recently defeated or term-limited lawmakers to set policy for approximately six weeks. This year, the election results changed the power structure in Lansing starting January 1, and the individuals currently in office took extraordinary steps to cling to that power.
The sheer volume of legislation passed by the Michigan House and Senate over the past month has dwarfed all recent Lame Duck sessions. In fact, the Legislature passed more bills in the last four weeks of session than they had in the previous two years. The pace was so rapid that the House and Senate often worked well into the early morning hours voting on one bill after another. The Legislature finally adjourned on Friday, December 21 at approximately 8am.
Since then, Governor-elect Whitmer has made an increasing number of announcements about her new cabinet choices. She has also stated her intent to keep the Department of Health and Human Services intact, addressing rumors that she might decide to split it again into two separate departments. More on these issues and others below.
Congratulations Demetrius Starling! Posted December 17th, 2018
We are proud to report that another MAGE officer has received a Director position in the Department of Health & Human Services. Demetrius has accepted a temporary assignment to Work Out of Class in a Director position overseeing the dual counties of St. Clair and Sanilac.
Demetrius has been serving on the MAGE Board of Directors for many years. “Demetrius has worked tirelessly to assist his fellow MAGE members for many years and he has been a committed, faithful employee of the Department”, said President Quattrin. “It’s always nice to see a sincere, dedicated, conscientious employee get recognized”.
After a hard-fought election, the next governor of Michigan will be Democrat Gretchen Whitmer. While Democrats made gains in both the House and Senate, Republicans kept their majorities in both chambers. The Legislature is returning to Lansing for the “Lame Duck” session that could include several attempts to make more changes to various pension laws. We may also face attacks on public employee collective bargaining rights as the Republican leaders see the next few weeks as their last chance before a new Democratic administration takes over.
OPEIU is pleased to introduce the newest union benefit for all OPEIU members – the OPEIU Free College Benefit. Just as the name implies, OPEIU members and their families can now earn an associate degree completely free of charge!
The Legislature wrapped up their summer recess with a two day session last week. They will not be in session again until October, and even that is expected to be abbreviated. The focus is completely on the November election right now, and with it shaping up to be one of the more competitive elections in recent years, legislators are spending all of their time on the campaign trail.
The Legislature has wrapped up the Fiscal Year 2018-19 appropriations process and has recessed for the summer. Before they left, they passed a large package of bills dealing with sexual assault in response to the events at Michigan State University.
The Michigan Legislature is back in session after the two-week spring recess. Over the last month, House and Senate Appropriation Subcommittees have been holding hearings to review Governor Snyder’s budget proposal.
The Michigan Legislature is in the middle of a two-week spring recess. Over the last month, House and Senate Appropriation Subcommittees have been holding hearings to review Governor Snyder’s budget proposal. We are approximately half-way through the budget process and most subcommittees are preparing their initial reports for their individual departmental spending numbers.
The Nominations and Resolutions Committee presents the following slate of MAGE members who have indicated their intent to run for office for the next term by submitting a Nomination application. The Committee has determined these are members in good standing, and therefore the delegates to General Council will vote to elect these individuals during the meeting on May 19.
The Legislature has returned from after the holiday recess and will soon turn much of its attention to the budget process. Governor Snyder gave his last State of the State address on January 23, and his final budget presentation will take place on February 7.
As 2017 comes to a close, we are halfway through the current two-year legislative session. The Michigan House and Senate have adjourned for the remainder of the year and will return to session on January 10. Before they left, they completed work on a package of bills aimed at making reforms to the state’s unemployment insurance system, said farewell to Representative Andy Schor who will step down to become the new Mayor of Lansing, and passed legislation creating an early warning system of sorts for municipal pension systems.
The MAGE General Council is our biennial meeting where members meet to elect officers, get information and vote on policy. If you would like to attend the MAGE General Council on May 19, 2018 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing please contact the MAGE office for reservations at 1-800-477-6243.
The Michigan Legislature spent much of the last two months working on reforms to Michigan’s No-Fault Auto Insurance law. While there is near universal agreement that Michiganders (and we are officially “Michiganders” now thanks to Senate Bill 562) are paying too much for auto insurance, there is a massive debate on how to solve that problem.
Although the Legislature has been on summer break since June, that does not mean that nothing is happening in Lansing. Plenty of officials and legislators are planning rule changes or legislation that will begin moving in the fall.
The budget impasse between the Legislature and the Governor regarding the future of the school pension system continues into June. State prisons would see a $10 million cut to their operations under the 2017-18 fiscal year budget approved today by a House-Senate conference committee.
“It’s Your Health, Your Families and Your Constituents We’re Fighting to Protect” Washington, D.C. – Nurse members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO, from around the country descended on Capitol Hill on Friday, May 5, 2017, to meet with their legislators and demand safe nurse to patient ratio legislation aimed at protecting nurses, patients and their families.
The last month has been a whirlwind of conflicting budget numbers and proposals between the House, Senate and Governor Snyder. Complicating the annual appropriations process has been the agreement between Speaker of the House Tom Leonard and Senate Majority Leader Arlen Meekhof that the greatest threat to Michigan at this moment are public school pensions.
OPEIU is happy to announce the Student Debt Reduction Program. This program provides five awards of $2,500 each year to a member who has completed an associate or undergraduate degree and who can demonstrate they have at least $10,000 in student debt and their account is current.
The MAGE Compensation Process for the non-exclusively represented employees (NEREs) has culminated with the Civil Service Commission approving a 3% general wage increase, effective October 2017 and no increases in healthcare premiums.
The 99th Michigan Legislature was seated in Lansing this month. The term begins with a new Speaker, Representative Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) in the Chair, but the same Republican/Democrat split of 63-47. It is widely believed that the Republican caucus has become more politically conservative as a result of the election, but that has yet to be seen.
The election is upon us and it is one of the strangest our nation has ever had. Rarely have there been two presidential contenders that were so unpopular. Donald Trump’s highly unorthodox campaign could still bear fruit on November 8, but the latest polls show him a longshot to defeat Hillary Clinton. In Michigan, Clinton is up by anywhere from 5-8 points in the polls, but it is still hard to say how that will affect down-ballot races, if at all.
The MAGE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the winners of the MAGE Scholarships for 2016. At the Board meeting held Sept. 17 the Board approved the payment of 5 scholarships, and each of these winners receives a $1,000 scholarship.
The Primary Election is over, and due to the nature of Michigan’s legislative districts, that means that about 80% of Michigan House Seats have essentially been decided due to the fact that most seats are skewed toward one party or the other.
The Michigan Legislature is in the middle of its summer recess, but most legislators and staff have shifted into campaign mode. Every seat in the Michigan House is up for election this year, though the Michigan Senate members will not appear on the ballot until 2018.
Today the House Workforce and Talent Committee reported out legislation that would seriously undermine Michigan's decades old Civil Service system. Civil Service was established in the Michigan Constitution as a bar to politically motivated employment practices in state government.
I am disappointed to report that we have received a final ruling from the Supreme Court on our 3% lawsuit. Although MAGE prevailed at the Court of Claims, the State appealed to the Supreme Court. The court concluded that the Civil Service Commission has plenary and absolute authority over the compensation of state employees.
MAGE and HotelStorm - A new benefit for you! Posted April 26th, 2016
To use this benefit - log on the MAGE website (upper right hand corner of our main page). Go to Member Resources, then click on Member Benefits. There you will find a link for this MAGE member only discount! It pays to belong!
A major disagreement has developed on the Department of Corrections budget with the chief senator on the topic backing a 2016-17 fiscal year budget proposal that would close two prisons and call for the department to lease and operate a privately owned prison in Baldwin.
The Legislature just embarked on their two week Spring Recess, also called the In-District Work Period. They will return on April 12 to continue work on the budget, Detroit Public School reforms, and other pressing issues. Fallout regarding the Flint Water Crisis continues to dominate the agenda, and there will likely be more discussions regarding assistance to Flint residents through the spring.
MAGE President Al Quattrin testifies at the Civil Service Commission. Also presenting for MAGE were Carolyn Madding, Cassandra Craig and Bobbie Tigues. MAGE is successful in getting a change to the sick leave usage policy.
As you may know, MAGE has been addressing this issue of mandatory overtime for our RN supervisors in DHHS for a very long time. We have met with numerous state representatives and convened countless meetings with the department.