• 2018 Candidate For "Statewide Offices" Questionnaire

    Dear Candidate for State Representative;

    The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union plans to endorse and support candidates who support issues that promote a safer Michigan. In addition, candidates for office need to support, protect, and advocate the advancement of firefighters and paramedics in the performance of their duties. Therefore, it is important that the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union has a clear understanding of your position on these issues.

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 586-243-9829 or email: markdocherty@comcast.net

    Mark Docherty, President
    Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union

    Questionnaires must be completed by June 1st to be considered for endorsement.

    Please return completed questionnaire online at www.mpffu.org or by mail to:

    Mark Docherty, President

    Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union

    208 N. Capitol Ave, 3rd Floor

    Lansing, MI 48933

    Please Note * Required Field

    * Date:
    * Candidate Name:
    * Office Being Sought/District:
    * Campaign Committee Name:
    * Campaign Address:
    * City/State/Zip:
    * Campaign Manager:
    * Phone (Home):
    * Phone (Campaign):
    Fax (Campaign):
    * Email (Campaign):
    * Incumbent: Yes: No:
    * Political Party:
    * Candidate ID: (your candidate ID issued by Secretary of State)

    Pension and OPEB Reform

    In February of 2017, Governor Snyder announced the creation of the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force.  This task force was created to develop solutions to communities’ challenges with funding their pension and OPEB liabilities for public employees. The task force produced a report July of last year which included recommendations for rising pension and health care costs, retiree support, and stabilization of local government services without impacting collective bargaining rights. The full report can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/R3_Task_Force_Report_579101_7.pdf.

    In December, the legislature passed a package of bills which implemented the language found in the task force report.  The legislation kept intact a core principle of ensuring local control and allowing each community to negotiate with their employees to decide what is best at the local level.  It also provides for greater transparency and data collection which will enable a more targeted approach to solving individual communities’ issues. Data collection is key to identifying what the real problem is but this process will take time.  Local governments need the opportunity to use the task force recommendations without the interference from the legislature.

    Do you support maintaining local control and allowing the implemented task force recommendations time to work?


    Yes: No:


    Municipal Funding

    Over the last 20 years, the funding local governments have received from revenue sharing has diminished by more than $7B dollars (MML Report).  This coupled with the restrictions to property tax growth due to challenges with Proposal A, have prevented communities from realizing the economic recovery happening in the state.   Communities across the state have made difficult decisions through reduction of services, consolidation of programs and cuts to employee benefits.  Michigan’s citizens have 2,400 fewer fire fighters in their communities since before 2011.  This is not a safe trend for our communities.

    State level funding needs to be addressed by the legislature.  Revenue sharing needs to be restored and changes to the property tax act must occur to give the opportunity for our communities to fully restore core services.

    Do you support finding ways to increasing revenue to local governments through reforms to the property tax act and revenue sharing?

    Yes: No:


    Cancer Presumption

    In January of 2015, the Governor signed Public Act 515 to amend the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act to include cancer as presumed to be a job-related injury for full-time fire fighters who developed one of the following types of cancers: respiratory tract, bladder, blood, kidney, lymphatic, prostate, skin, testicular and or thyroid.  A presumption places the burden of proof on the employer to establish that a disease was contracted outside the workplace. The act created the First Responder’s Presumed Coverage Fund to pay for the costs associated with lost wages and health care expenses of fire fighters diagnosed with the covered cancers.  The legislature appropriated the first $3M to the fund and then as a long-term solution, directed revenues generated from the marijuana licensing fees to the First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund.

    PA 515 can be viewed at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/publicact/pdf/2014-PA-0515.pdf

    Do you support maintaining this presumption and ensuring that it is properly funded to continue to protect fire fighters injured in the line of duty?

    Yes: No:


    Firemen’s Rule

    For the past two decades, fire fighters have been prohibited from seeking justice in civil court for injuries occurring on the job - that was when the Michigan Judiciary adopted a court rule known as the “Fireman’s Rule.”  This rule states that since firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation fire fighters have no right to sue for damages if they are injured in the line of duty as a result of another person’s negligence.  The court felt that fire fighters (and police officers as well) accept a certain amount of risk in their jobs and therefore do not deserve the same access to justice as everyone else.

    The MPFFU believes that this rule is completely unfair and ignores the fact that firefighting and police work are only two of hundreds of potentially dangerous occupations, although no other occupation is prohibited from seeking damages for wrongful injury.  For example, if a utility worker came on someone’s property to read the meter and was injured by unsafe porch steps, they would be able to recover damages from the property owner. Conversely, an on-duty fire fighter injured by the same steps would be prohibited from recovering damages solely because of his or her status as a fire fighter. The Legislature addressed this issue in part for police officers in the 1998 session, but fire fighters are still suffering under this court rule and statute.

    Would you support legislation to repeal the statutory reference to the court rule known as the “Fireman’s Rule?”

    Yes: No:


    Collective Bargaining Rights

    The Public Employee Relations Act (PERA – PA 336 of 1947) allows for collective bargaining which is a process in which employees, through their unions, negotiate contracts with their employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety polices. 

    Collective bargaining has a long and successful history in the fire service. When fire fighters and fire chiefs work together to address issues, it makes for a more productive workplace and improves public safety. Studies have shown that communities that promote labor-management cooperation enjoy more effective and more efficient delivery of emergency services. Despite productive labor-management cooperation in most of our communities across the state, the legislature has eroded these rights through multiple amendments to PERA over the last several years. In a short-sighted attempt to reduce costs, some policy makers want to abolish collective bargaining to make it easier to cut pay and benefits. 

    Would you support to continue the right of fire fighters to bargain with their employers over workplace issues?

    Yes: No:


    PA 312 – Binding Arbitration

    Due to the fact that fire fighters perform an essential function, it is unlawful for any organization of fire fighters to use a labor stoppage as a tool in collective bargaining.  As a way of leveling the playing field, Michigan adopted Public Act 312 in 1969. PA 312 provides for binding arbitration to settle disputes between labor and management.  When an impasse occurs at the bargaining table between labor and management, Public Act 312 is instituted sending both sides to binding arbitration. An arbitrator reviews the areas of impasse and makes a final outcome for the contract. This method has worked well over the years, and the MPFFU very much wishes to see it continue.

    PA 312 was amended in 2011 to require the arbitrator to consider a community’s ability to pay as the first factor in the negotiation.  PA 312 has served communities during the years to provide a responsible and balance approach to resolving disputes.

    Do you support the continuation of PA 312?

    Yes: No:

    Enter the text shown in the image above.

    The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union will not endorse any candidate who fails to return the questionnaire by June 1, 2018.

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    Contact Information for Local Union Executive Board Members

    You can access the most accurate contact information for local union officers from the IAFF website by clicking on this link.  After you log-in, click on Dashboard, then Officer Resources and then Affiliate Directory.. You can search by local name, local number, by state, or by the officers name if you know it.  This data is updated daily.

    Link for MPFFU Local Union Presidents and their email addresses can be found here.

    1. Visit the MPFFU online store to pay with a credit card for your district meeting and seminar registrations. 

    2. Locals on autopay can send an email to tchesney@mpffu.org to have their registration fees deducted from their auto-pay account. 

    3. Checks can be mailed to MPFFU, 1651 Kingsway Ct. Ste E, Trenton, MI 48183

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