About MAP

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

MAP’s new Legal Counsel Bryan Davis may be young, but he’s accomplished, earning a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University (MSU), two master’s degrees, a law degree and working on a third master’s degree.

MAP Legal Counsel Bryan Davis

With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling, a Master of Jurisprudence in Legal Doctrine and Analysis and a Juris Doctorate, the 26-year-old joked, “I’ve been a lifelong Michigan State student.” Davis is continuing to pursue a master’s in Human Resources and Labor Relations at MSU. However, his experiences beyond the classroom are just as noteworthy.

He worked as an intern in Career Planning and Consultation for Peckham, Inc., a community rehabilitation organization helping individuals with disabilities find employment. He also participated in Spartan Project SEARCH at MSU, which focuses on employment readiness for individuals with developmental disabilities. “High school students were utilizing this program for their final year in order to gain employment skills to find work after graduation,” Davis said.

While he didn’t take a traditional route into labor law, he said, “I found the Rehab Counseling master’s program and did get a lot of background in employment readiness for individuals with disabilities. A lot of the stuff I learned focused on disability rights in general, which are all things that I took with me when I got to law school.”

He understands the importance of unions when it comes to protecting workers’ rights. “My family has a pretty substantial relationship with unions,” Davis said. “My father, all of his brothers and his father were all carpenters. To this day my dad is still a business agent for the Local 687. “

“The bulk of my courses I tried to focus in labor and employment law,” Davis said of his Juris Doctorate. He put his law degree to work for the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) from January to October 2019. “A professor at MSU, Mary Bedikian suggested I reach out because the Bureau of Employment Relations was looking for a law clerk. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position there,” Davis said.

Photo by Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor                                                                                                                                                                          MAP Executive Board Vice President Mike Kunath (left of Heins Field sign) was one of the speakers at MAP Labor Relations Specialist Rich Heins' memorial service at Heins Field in Sterling Heights May 6, 2019.

 

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Several area police departments were represented by their Officers and K9s during a May 6, 2019 memorial service honoring Sterling Heights Police K9 Officer Rich Heins, who passed away after developing serious infections.

Heins began working full-time as a MAP Labor Relations Specialist after vacating his longtime MAP Executive Board President seat due to his March retirement from Sterling Heights PD. He died April 28, 2019 at the age of 54, following six weeks in intensive care at Henry Ford Hospital.

Over 300 memorial attendees passed underneath a large American flag poised atop fire truck ladders at the entrance to Heins Field inside Baumgartner Park in Sterling Heights, where the service was held. The field was named in Heins' honor in late 2018 for his many years training K9s there. During his nearly 30-year career with Sterling Heights, Heins helped start the K9 program, becoming a handler in 1996 and K9 Trainer in 1998.

Rich Heins

Honor Guard members presented his family with a large wreath, folded flag and performed a 21-gun salute. Speakers included family, friends and co-workers like MAP Executive Board Vice President Mike Kunath. Kunath took over Heins position as Sterling Heights Police Officers Association President, a position Heins held for 23 years.

MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner spoke about Heins’ numerous fine qualities as a parent, a Police Officer and as a Union Representative at the luncheon that followed. “He was respected by all on both sides of the bargaining table,” Timpner said.

Heins leaves behind two sons, Josh, 25, a Marine Corps Sergeant currently assigned to Paris Island, South Carolina and Jacob, 23, a student in the accelerated nursing program at Madonna University, completing his post-graduate studies.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are being accepted for the Richard C. Heins Memorial K9 Fund, 1433 Lochridge, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 48302 or by going to any branch of PNC Bank and asking to make a deposit to the Richard C. Heins Memorial K9 Fund. Funds will be used for Sterling Heights K9 Unit training needs and care of K9s on the force or retired. For more information, call the city of Sterling Heights at (586) 446-2489.

Staying safe during COVID-19

By Fred Timpner, MAP Executive Director

This country is facing a state of emergency like no previous generations of Americans have ever faced before. It is frednot the time for politics, blame or recriminations. If one wants to engage in that sort of thing, there will be plenty of time for that later. Now is the time that we all should band together to support the effort to combat this insidious disease.

As first responders and public employees, the very nature of our professions puts us in the forefront of the battle against the spread of COVID-19. Our work puts us in high risk of being exposed, if not infected with the virus.

As such we are advising everyone to put your safety and that of your family first. We are insisting for those of us who continue to work, the Employer provide the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) recommended by the CDC and the medical profession. In other words, N95 or greater masks, disinfectant etc.

If the Employer balks at issuing appropriate PPE or refuses to follow CDC guidelines, then please notify your labor representative immediately so that we may bring pressure to force the Employer to comply. After all, isn’t it to their advantage to see to it that we are protected? We are of no use if we become sick or infected. We then become spreaders of the virus infecting others we come into contact with, including our Employer, co-workers and members of the public.

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Jerald James has always enjoyed coming to the aid of others, so helping his fellow Detroit EMS co-workers resolve employment concerns was a natural transition for him. Now that he’s recently retired, James is taking his next step helping others as the newest MAP Labor Relations Specialist.

“The one thing that attracted me to the union when I started (Detroit EMS) in 1997 was witnessing employees rights not being honored or respected and watching co-workers or peers really struggle with their rights and their benefits and wages,” James said.

James represented EMS workers for nearly two decades through his various positions at Detroit EMS, including EMS Superintendent and his most recent position as EMS Captain. He begins his new career with MAP in September.

Labor Relations Specialist Jerald James

“Once I crossed into the union world, it became very rewarding to me to win a grievance or have a phone call and get some stuff straightened out,” he said. “It made the job dually rewarding - I was delivering babies and ... getting peoples’ jobs back when they were wrongly discharged. For a lot of people you end up saving their life or their careers when no one else would or could.”

James was a Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) Union Steward since 2014, when EMS Supervisors joined MAFF. Now MAFF representatives are hoping EMTs and Paramedics will join the union as well.

“I was actually the union president for the group when we affiliated with MAFF,” James said. “To me, it was a natural transition. I really liked what I’m doing - I wouldn’t change it. I think this is a nice group of guys I’m dealing with too,” he said of the Labor Relations Specialists.