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Michigan Education Association

When you need help. . .

When you need assistance with job-related problems or other professional concerns, you can turn with confidence to the Michigan Education Association. Your association area representative (AR), local association president or the MEA UniServ director can provide invaluable assistance.

Here is a list of common concerns with suggestions for what you should do to protect your rights:


If you are involved in a job-related assault, report the incident promptly to your immediate supervisor. Write a summary of the incident as soon as possible listing all particulars of the situation, including names, witnesses, date, time, location and general conditions. Notify your AR.

Collective bargaining agreement

The negotiated agreement is your legal contract defining wages, benefits, work hours and other terms and conditions of employment. Make certain you obtain a copy of the bargained contract. Read it carefully; gain an understanding of your rights and benefits. If you believe you are being denied benefits or are being treated unfairly, refer to the appropriate contract provision.


In accordance with state and federal law, employment practices may not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, national origin, religion or color. Suspected violations should be reported to your AR.

Employee reprimands and suspensions

If you are disciplined (through a verbal or written warning), reprimanded, suspended or dismissed, contact your AR or other association official immediately, even if you believe the discipline is warranted or is a sensitive or confidential matter. In most cases, only a short time is provided to challenge disciplinary actions filed against you by the employer. Do not delay!

Legal representation

MEA members are provided with extensive legal representation for most employment-related matters. Generally, this representation is provided by your UniServ director or by MEA attorneys, depending on the situation. If you believe you need legal representation or advice, contact your AR or other local association official as soon as possible.

Liability Protection

As an MEA/NEA member, you are provided with a $1 million liability insurance policy for your protection in certain job-related matters. Contact your local AR and UniServ director immediately in the following circumstances: a) if you are being investigated by the police or other agency regarding a criminal matter; b) if criminal charges have been filed against you; or c) if you have been or might be sued by a parent or student. These circumstances may be covered by your MEA/NEA liability insurance and a claim form should be filed as soon as possible.

Personnel file

You have a legal right to review the contents of your personnel file and it is recommended that you do so at least once a year. You also have a right to attach a written rebuttal to any derogatory statement contained in your personnel file.


Most collective bargaining agreements provide for a seniority list which determines the order of layoffs, recalls, transfers, promotions, etc. Make certain your placement on the seniority list is correct. Report inaccuracies to your AR.

Unemployment compensation

If you are laid off, you are generally entitled to unemployment compensation. However, to be eligible you must apply for benefits immediately following your last day of employment. If you have questions, contact your UniServ director.

Worker's compensation

Report any job-related injury immediately to your supervisor. Although you probably will be required to complete a form, you should also make and keep a written summary of the incident.


Updated: February 12, 2009 7:44 PM