Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear Fellow WLEA Members,
First of all, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your efforts to communicate with our representatives in Lansing! Secondly, I feel I have asked you a million times to pass on information this summer, and I hate to intrude on your vacation again. I persist only because I know how important quality health care is to all of us, and our health care is now being seriously threatened. In this blog I have included information from Steve Cook, the Vice president of the MEA.

First a Labor Coalition was formed by the efforts of Lu Battaglieri, the Executive Director of the MEA. Members of the Labor Coalition include:

Michigan Association of Governmental Employees
IUOE – Local 547
Michigan Nurses Association
SEIU Michigan State Council
Teamsters Local 214
Amalgamated Transit Union, Michigan Legislative Council
Michigan AFSCME Council 25
Michigan State Employees Association
IBEW Michigan State Conference

The Labor Coalition met with Mr. Dillon and here is Steve Cook's (MEA Vice President) summary of the meeting:
Dillon is sticking to his “concept” and we, together with members of the Labor Coalition, are working overtime with legislators to defeat it. Dillon however offered to the Coalition the idea that we could develop our own plan. Here’s the problem, each day at bargaining tables across the state each member of the Labor Coalition has members that are doing just that – dealing first hand with the high cost of health insurance with their employers in negotiations and selecting that insurance that both employers and union members can best afford. Dillon’s offer to the Labor Coalition to bargain against ourselves was refused.

Dillon’s unacceptable premise is that in order for the Labor Coalition to offer a plan it has to begin with the foundation of a one size fits all, take it or leave it statewide health plan and then build from there. As reported in Gongwer News Service yesterday, the AFT said there needs to be a “do-over” of the Dillon plan. AFSCME Council 25 said his plan is “not salvageable.” MEA agrees.

PLEASE WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS!!!! Use EMAIL!!! Use your home accounts! I have listed districts, names, and email addresses below!
District 37 – Farmington & Farmington Hills – Vicki Barnett VickiBarnett@house.mi.gov
District 38 – Novi, Walled Lake City, Wixom – Hugh Crawford HughCrawford@house.mi.gov
District 39 – West Bloomfield Twp., Commerce Twp.Lisa Brown LisaBrown@house.mi.gov
District 43 – West Bloomfield – Gail Haines GailHaines@house.mi.gov
District 44 – White Lake Township – Eileen Kowall EileenKowall@house.mi.gov