EAST LANSING – The Michigan Education Association won a union representation election at North Central Michigan College (NCMC) in Petoskey on Thursday, April 19. In an on-site election conducted by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) at the college, a majority of the 33 employees working as office/clerical professionals and custodial/maintenance workers voted to join the union.
“This was a very difficult organizing campaign,” said MEA Organizer Jake Louks. “The college was adamantly opposed to the support staff unionizing. They sent many letters and emails and held a number of meetings in an attempt to dissuade support staff from voting for the union.”
The level of opposition from the college, particularly the president, was surprising to the support staff, given that MEA has represented the faculty at the college for nearly 40 years. “There was an attempt to paint MEA as an outsider, which rang untrue, given our long-time representation of the faculty at the college. In addition, we have a local office in Petoskey and have represented Petoskey public school employees for decades,” said Louks.
NCMC support staff employees, who contacted MEA earlier this year seeking representation, are now preparing to go to the bargaining table. “For the first time ever, these employees will now have a voice in the decision-making process at the college concerning their wages, benefits and working conditions,” Louks said.
Contact: Jake Louks, 616/240-9973