Former MPFFU Member and Local 366 Member Kevin Sehlmeyer Appointed to State Fire Marshal Position
Friday, April 21, 2017
LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of Kevin Sehlmeyer of Rockford as state fire marshal.
“Kevin brings years of experience to this role and I am confident his knowledge in this field will give him an advantage as he works to better protect Michiganders,” Snyder said.
The state fire marshal leads the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, serves as a member of the State Board of Mechanical Rules, and as ex-officio member of the Fire Fighters Training Council and State Fire Safety Board.
Sehlmeyer is president of Rescue Resources LLC. He served more than 30 years on the Grand Rapids Fire Department and served as deputy fire chief in his final two years before retiring in January 2016. Before joining the Grand Rapids Fire Department, Sehlmeyer was a crash rescue firefighter for the Michigan Air National Guard. Sehlmeyer holds a bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University.
He replaces Acting State Fire Marshal Karen Towne. His appointment is effective April 24, 2017, and expires at the pleasure of the governor.
2017 FIRE OPS Event for Legislators
The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union held its annual Fire OPS event for members of the Michigan Legislature on April 17th. This event gives elected officials an opportunity to get a hands-on glimpse into the the many facets of the every day duties and responsibilities of a firefighter/paramedic in Michigan.
This years participants included Representatives Tommy Brann, Tom Barrett, Brian Elder, Abdullah Hammond, Leslie Love, Jeff Noble, Jenell Jones, Terry Sabo, Tom Cochran, and Donna Lasinski as well as representatives for Kelley Cawthorne Consulting.
The MPFFU would like to thank LCC for hosting the event and David Weisenberg and Melissa Yutzey for organizing the event. In addition, several LCC instructors, Local 421 members, and members of the MPFFU Politicial Education Committee assisted and contributed to making the event a great sucess. More pictures can be found here.
Dearborn Local 412 Prevails in Recent PA 312 Arbitration Award
Local 412 Dearborn recently completed the arbitration process and they had some very big wins on some key issues. They were able to secure hourly wage increases even with the City winning their increase in work hours proposal, the City was proposing hourly wage decreases to make up for the increase in work hours. They successfully eliminated the two tier multiplier for their Defined Benefit package. The second tier is a MERS pension, but now the multiplier equals the now closed City ran pension. Apparatus staffing was also a big victory...., the arbitrator not only ruled it a mandatory subject of bargaining but ruled that they will continue to staff all Engines with 3 Firefighters and increase their staffing on our Ladder Trucks from 2 Firefighter to 3. The 312 Award can be found here. updated 4/21, 2017
New Independent Report on Public Pension Funding
Please see the attached report on Public Pension Funding. This is one of the most useful, independent reports on funding that we have seen to date… particularly from a completely independent academic source. There are several items or quotes of value in this report that can be used in various venues including lobbying, educating the press, etc.
To note a few highlights, the report funding came from the Ford Foundation which is curious given that they have not weighed in on this subject before.
The next item of note is the amount of time dedicated to pushing back on the GASB reporting requirement and the documentation on how GASB is actually harming Funds and creating a blurred picture of liabilities while undervaluing assets. The report is as critical of GASB OPEB Statements as it is of their Pension Funding Statements.
The author also takes on the premise of municipal bankruptcy, in particular Detroit, by providing a semi detailed list of causes that do not include pension debt.
Governor Snyder Appoints MPFFU President Mark Docherty to Task Force On Municipal Retiree Benefits
Governor Rick Snyder has created a Task Force on Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government to address the unfunded health care and pension liabilities associated with the 334 local governments that provide such benefits to their employees.
“My goal for this task force is to have collaboration among legislators, state and local government officials, and employee representatives to ensure the financial stability and effective delivery of local government services for the coming decades,” Mr. Snyder said in a statement announcing the Task Force. “As we discuss this growing financial problem across the state, it is imperative that we also keep retirees in mind who rely on these programs.”
The issue of health care and pension unfunded liabilities has become a major issue and came up during December’s lame duck agenda as a possible last-minute item to clear before the start of the new Legislature. But the complexity of the issue crumbled under its own weight, setting it for returning legislators as a priority for this term.
The task force – comprised of subject matter experts representing labor and management, investment managers, insurance financial professionals and legislators – was directed by Mr. Snyder to provide recommendations on pension and health care reforms this spring.
Mr. Snyder’s staff led a workgroup on the issue about a year ago, but the governor said in December he wanted to assemble a group with a broader array of members.
Recorded Webinar Training Sessions Now Available
Would you like to learn more about being a "Union Officer"? The MPFFU recently offered a series of webinars to provide helpful information to current union officers and other union members that may want to become union officers in the future. These webinars were recorded and now you can view them anytime! Click on the tab labeled "Webinars to Watch Now" in the heading near the top of this page to see the list of available webinars.
First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund - Application for Benefits
Pursuant to Public Act 515 of 2014 the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund was created.(AKA Cancer Presumption Law) The Director of the Workers' Compensation Agency is the administrator of the Fund. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has created a webpage explaining the process to apply for benefits.
There are still many unanswered questions regarding how the funding is going to be distributed. According to the website, a list of potential claimants is being created and applications will be logged based on the date they are received by their office.
Anyone that meets the critera listed on this webpage should submit an application to get your name on the list. We will provide more information when it becomes available.
If you have any questions on the administration of this fund, you may also contact the Claims Processing Division at 517-284-8912.
Fire Fighters Assistance Program
Confidential FFAP Hotline: 1.888.731.FIRE Available 24/7
Free CONFIDENTIAL telephone assistance for MPFFU members, retirees, and their families
Get answers to your questions and concerns.
Find resoucres for information, treatment, and support.
Know your conversation is confidential.
Get referrals to quality professional care.
Click here for a recent article about suicide in the fire service.
MPFFU License Plate
The branch offices of the Secretary of State now require individuals to provide proof of MPFFU membership to obtain the MPFFU License Plate. You must show either your IAFF membership card or a letter from the MPFFU verifying that you are a member or eligible retiree to obtain the plate. Please call 734-675-0206 to obtain a proof of membership letter. If you see a non-member with the MPFFU plate on their vehicle, please contact the MPFFU with the plate number. The SOS will make the individual return the plate if they are not a member of our organization.