MAPO representatives recently joined Gov. Rick Snyder (center) for the formal signing of HB 5097. From left to right are: Matt Kurda, Karoub and Associates, legislative advisor to MAPO, Rep. John Walsh, sponsor of the bill, Police Officers Labor Council Executive Committee Chair Paul Combs, MAPO Secretary/Treasurer and Michigan Association of Police Director Fred Timpner, and Mike Sauger, President Warren POA and MAPO Executive Board member.

By Jennifer Foley, MAP Editor with excerpts from www.michigan.gov

The wait has been long, but Gov. Rick Snyder approved a measure which removes Act 312 eligible public safety employees from earlier legislation restricting their collective bargaining rights. Snyder passed Public Act 322 of 2014, introduced by Rep. John Walsh (R-Livonia); honoring his earlier statements that he would support this change to Public Act (P.A.) 54 of 2011.

"Police officers and firefighters risk their lives daily to protect citizens across our state," Snyder said. "This legislation helps ensure these first responders continue to receive full compensation regardless of the status of their contract."

Under P.A. 54, once a contract expired public employees' wages were frozen, there were no step increases and no longevity - pay increases based on years of service. The law also prevented public employees from receiving retroactive wage or benefit increases greater than those in effect on the expiration date of the previous contract. P.A. 54 took one more swing at public employees by allowing employers to pass on up to 100 percent of health care cost increases once a contract expired.

HB 5097, now P.A. 322, no longer prohibits wage or benefit increases, including step increases, authorized under the expired contract for Act 312 eligible public employees. The law also does not prohibit retroactive application of a wage or benefit increase if the increase is awarded by an arbitration panel to a negotiated contract.

"It allows us to be able to negotiate retroactivity," said MAP Director Fred Timpner.

Furthermore, when a collective bargaining agreement expires, Act 312 eligible employee costs for health care, dental, vision, prescription or other insurance benefits shall not exceed the employee's share under the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act. This Act requires the employer to pay no more than 80 percent and the employee to pay 20 percent or more of health care costs or choose a Hard Cap. The Hard Cap for the employer is:
• $5,500 times the number of employees with single coverage, plus
• $11,000 times the number of employees with two person coverage, plus
• $15,000 times the number of employees with family coverage.

The amount necessary to purchase health insurance for employees that exceeds this "cap" must be paid by employees.

P.A. 322, which is supported by Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) and Karoub Associates, legislative consultants for MAP, takes affect immediately.

Professional lobbyists provide members with clout

Law enforcement officers have more of a stake in which laws are passed, and which are not, than virtually any other class of professionals. They are, for example, directly concerned with legislation that:

  • Helps them do their jobs more effectively.
  • Protects them from unwarranted vulnerability to legal proceedings against them.
  • Grants them workers' rights, both as individual employees and as union members.

No police union can properly represent its members without maintaining close and effective working contacts with lawmakers. No police union anywhere is more influential or respected in the political arena than the Michigan Association of Police.

Karoub and Associates, a highly regarded legislative liaison organization, represents MAP in Lansing and Washington. MAP is joined with the Police Officers Labor Council, Detroit Police Officers Association, Detroit Lieutenant & Sergeants Police Troopers Association, Warren Police Officers Association and Flint Police Officers Association in the largest police legislative coalition in the state. As a result, members wield considerable influence in the State Legislature and the halls of the U.S. Congress.