New Ratification Vote on Tentative Agreement

To All Members in Good Standing:

As you may be aware, the tentative agreement brought back to the members was rejected by a single vote in the ratification process. Of significant importance is the fact that nearly 1/3 of eligible voters did not cast a ballot!! Because the Technical, Professional, and Officeworkers Association of Michigan (TPOAM) waived dues starting in early October, some new employees that have wanted to join and pay have not been enrolled and were not on the eligibility list. That was not TPOAM’ s intention, and I am sorry I did not communicate that to your Election Committee.

Regardless, TPOAM does allow and/or mandate a re-vote under the following circumstances:

  • Count differential is under 5%.
  • The current contract is expired, and the Employer has stated they will not honor the grievance procedure.
  • The Union has exhausted all reasonable methods of bargaining and implementation of a weaker offer by the Employer is eminent.
  • There is a legitimate argument about voting privileges that could have impacted the tally or more than 25% of members in good standing did not cast a ballot.

In your group’s circumstance, all of the above criteria is met so I am directing your local Executive Board to conduct another ratification vote at their absolute earliest opportunity. They will be communicating the details of that process to you in the very near future and encourage you to review the entire “Proposal through the Mediator,” detailing the specifics of the tentative agreement. There will be no more ratification votes by the general membership after this one. Unlike previous negotiations, there are no more options available to the group. I am thoroughly aware of all the challenges and hardline tactics faced by your bargaining committee over the last 8 months. They have served you well and are presenting the best economic package under very difficult circumstances. TPOAM strongly recommends that you VOTE YES for the following reasons:

  • The only avenue left is “fact-finding.” Any recommendation from that process is NOT BINDING. This is a “kangaroo court” and is the final step before the Employer can legally jam their last offer down your throat. And that “offer” will be significantly less than what is currently on the table and will result in the loss of your pension.
  • There are no step increases paid while a contract is expired.
  • There is no grievances procedure while a contract is expired. TPOAM cannot represent you on any contract violation including but not limited to: discipline, termination, mandation, etc. Employees serve at the pleasure of the Administration.

TPOAM acknowledges that there are divisive issues left in the proposal that we a.rgued about with the Employer until exhaustion. There are also some financial and employment language improvements of significant value. The bottom line is that your local leaders and TPOAM Business Agent started with a terrible offer and turned it into something acceptable. TPOAM has always promised, and practiced transparency .and we are urging that you protect yourself and other Union Members by VOTING YES. Months from now we could still be arguing futilely with the Employer, or negotiating the re-openers for 2022-2023 wages, health insurance, and opt-out payments as called for in this agreement. Please review the specifics at our website and click on “Houghton County MCF.”

Feel free to contact Emil Kezerle; members of your Board, or me for clarity on any issue. Your decision must be an informed one!


Ed Jacques, Director Member Services

Houghton County Tentative Agreement Doc – Jan. 2022

Proposal Through the Mediator

View the proposal for Houghton County’s proposal through the mediator.

Houghton County – Proposal Through Mediator – Jan. 2022

For More Information

If you have any questions or comments about the Houghton County Tentative Agreement Proposal 2022 post, please contact us.

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