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Michigan State Employees Association
6035 Executive Dr., Suite 104
Lansing, MI  48911
(517) 394-5900

Welcome to MSEA

Ken_Moore_MSEA_president2

Ken Moore
President
Michigan State Employees Association
AFSCME, Local 5 - AFL-CIO

Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez, Jr.
Vice President
Michigan State Employees Association
AFSCME, Local 5 - AFL-CIO

Applying State's Email Policies Inconsistent Print
Monday, 24 November 2014 09:32

Most state employee emails are public records, depending on their content, and they're supposed to be kept for a certain period of time, by law.  Even after an employee leaves his or her job, their emails may still be considered public records.  However, in two recent cases, those emails--including those of a department director--were deleted shortly after their time with the state ended.  

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Michigan Supreme Court Rules LARA Doesn't Have To Hold Worker Comp. Hearings In Every County Print
Thursday, 20 November 2014 11:41
The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) doesn't have to hold worker compensation hearings in every county where a case originates, according to a Michigan Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday.  The ruling upholds LARA's decision to divide worker compensation hearings into 11 different districts, meaning an injured Genesee County worker is expected to drive 70 miles to Eaton County, which is where hearings for the Genesee County district is held.  Michael Zimmer, executive director of the Michigan Administrative Hearing System (MAHS), closed their office in Sept. 2012 through a reorganization plan that required claims generated in Genesee County to be heard at the LARA office at the secondary complex.  A lawsuit filed against such closings was upheld by the Genesee Circuit Court and Court of Appeals, but the Supremes disagreed unanimously.
 
Detroit Bankruptcy And Beyond Print
Thursday, 20 November 2014 10:58
Retiree Group Apeals Detroit Pension Cuts
Late Monday, a group of 133 Detroit pensioners asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to stop the implementation of Detroit's pension cuts pending their appeal to a higher court.   Rhodes hasn't set a date for Detroit's exit from bankruptcy to become effective, though city officials expect it to happen in mid-December.  But once he does, the city can begin imposing its plan to reduce general retiree pensions by a minimum 4.5% and shave cost-of-living adjustments for retired police officers and firefighters from 2.25% to about 1%.  Detroit "will suffer no harm" in delaying the pension cuts because no money is coming from Detroit's general fund for pensions until 2023, an attorney for the Detroit pensioners said.  Under a "Grand Bargain," philanthropic foundations, the state of Michigan, and private companies are pumping the equivalent of $816 million into the pension funds over 20 years in exchange for shielding city-owned art from being auctioned off.   In July, pensioners in both the General Retirement System (GRS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System voted in favor of the city's plan, which includes deeper cuts for some GRS members who received excess interest earnings on an optional savings account.  Emergency Manager Kevyn Or and Gov. Rick Snyder warned retirees at the time that they could face double-digit pension cuts and the Grand Bargain money would go away if they didn't approve the plan.  
--edited from Detroit News Lansing Bureau
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Hillshire Brands Fined In May Death Of Worker Print
Thursday, 06 November 2014 09:38
Hillshire Brands, a meat processing plant north of Zeeland, has been fined $12,600 after a worker died in an accident on May 10.  Richardo Ramos-Burmudez, 49, a married father of three girls, died when some of his clothing became caught in machinery.  He was cleaning up at the end of his shift in the meat-packaging department when he apparently became entangled in a conveyor belt and died of accidental asphysxiation, according to Ottawa County sheriff's investigators.  Family members said his job was to clean industrial equipment used to make Jimmy Dean sausages.  Following an investigation through the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), Hillshire Brands was fined $6,300 each for two violations classified as "serious."  The fine was issued Oct. 1, although a final penalty hasn't been determined pending possible negotiation with MIOSHA.  Federal data also shows the Zeeland area plant was fined $4,500 after a July 17 referral inspection.  The inspection revealed one "serious" violation.  That fine also was issued Oct. 1.  According to Hillshire's website, the company generated about $4 billion in revenue last year.  
--edited from Mlive.com
 
Federal Courts Rule State Workers' Discrimination Lawsuits Can Proceed Print
Monday, 03 November 2014 09:58
Federal courts have ruled that job discrimination-related lawsuits by former employees of the State of Michigan can go forward.  In one newly-decided case, a judge in Detroit ruled that a legal secretary for the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) could pursue her allegation of a racially and sexually hostile workplace.  U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain said Sonya Bradley, who is African American, presented enough evidence of harassment by supervisors and co-workers to let the claim against three white supervisors proceed.  Drain dismissed the rest of her suit, including claims of civil rights violations and retaliation.  In a separate case, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a new trial to retired Michigan State Police (MSP) Sgt. Linda Mys.  She accused the department of illegally retaliating after she filed sexual harassment complaints through the Internal Affairs office.  Before trial, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker dismissed the sexual harassment claim and limited the evidence Mys could present at trial on the retaliation claim.  The jury sided with the state.  The state has denied all the allegations.  The Attorney General's office said it is reviewing both cases in consultation with the LARA and the MSP to determine next steps.
--edited from MIRS and Capital News Service correspondent Eric Freedman
 
$50 Million For Community Colleges Approved For Skilled Trades Training Print
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 12:16
The Michigan Strategic Fund on Tuesday approved $50 million in funding for the Communtiy College Skilled Trades Equipment Program.  The program will award the funds to community colleges on a competitive basis and the colleges will be required to match 25% of the award.  In an interview with mlive.com on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder said filling skilled trade jobs will be a top priority in his second term, should he be re-elected on Nov. 4.  The program could help workers gain jobs in health care, maintenance and repair, public safety, manufacturing, carpentry, plumbing and electrical jobs.  These fields constitute about one-third of the state's jobs, according to the governor's office.  There are tens of thousands of middle-class jobs that need skilled workers, Snyder said, but the equiment to train them is usually expensive and hard to replace.  Michigan has 28 community colleges which serve about 450,000 students.