..
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATORS ASSOCIATION
PROBATE COURT UNIT
Area Representative:      
Bridget Stewart

This Unit is represented directly by the
Association.  If you need
representation, please contact Bridget
Stewart or call the GAA office
(313-224-5076).
3031 W. Grand Blvd, Suite 415
Detroit, MI 48202
313-224-5076
Fax 313-224-0064
gaa@gaawayne.onmicrosoft.com
GAA PROBATE
CHAPTER
OFFICERS
Association Executive
Lorenzo A. Blount
lorenzoblount@outlook.com

Deputy Association Executive
Patricia Peña
gaawayne@comcast.net

Administrative Assistant
Shemika Jamison
"Working for Better
Government through Better
People"


    GAA Is Seeking to Improve Member Communication
                             with Personal E-mail Addresses

    GAA is committed to its entire membership, and we are working proactively seeking the communicate, especially during work
    hours, the status of every given activity, we that is not being addressed, please contact the GAA Office. Issues of a personal
    nature, disciplinary dispositions and other confidential matters will not be displayed on the website.

    In addition, we are asking for all members to notify GAA with your personal e-mail address to increase the effectiveness and timeliness of
    Association communication in confidential matters related to union business. This e-mail address will be used
    solely for the communication of GAA business.  Please designate your chapter affiliation with your full name when you submit this
    information to us.

CHAPTER UPDATES



    June 9, 2018

    Get Involved

    The resources of any union are limited, and there is always much more that unions could do to be even more effective in defending the
    members' interest. GAA's power is unleashed when individual members take it upon themselves to pitch in and each does a little
    something to contribute to the larger effort. No matter what kind of person you are, you have something you can contribute to make GAA
    stronger. If you have good writing skills, you might volunteer to work on the GAAzette. If you have some expertise in health care benefits or
    health and safety matters, you might volunteer to serve on a committee or help out during contract negotiations. If you are good with kids,
    you can volunteer to work at the annual picnic. At the very least, we've all got at least a little time to spare once or twice a month, so why not
    volunteer to help hand-deliver union literature to your fellow employees?

    -Adapted from The Union Member's Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer



    July 5, 2018

    Register to Vote by July 9th for Michigan Primary

    July 9th is the last day to register to vote in Michigan's August primary election. It is more important than ever that the voices of working
    people across our state are heard, because we need to elect politicians that value working families and are ready to stand up for good jobs
    and strong communities.
    Click here for a pdf of the flyer with
    map


    April 18, 2018

    IMPORTANT: 2018 family HSA contribution limit change

    On March 5, 2018, the IRS announced that the 2018 health savings account (HSA) contribution limit for families has been lowered to
    $6,850 ($7,850 if eligible for catch-up contributions) from the previous limit of $6,900, effective immediately. The individual limit was not
    changed and remains at $3,450.

    If you are on a family plan, please review your current contributions for 2018 to ensure you have not over-contributed and are not scheduled
    to do so.

    If you have over-contributed and wish to remove any excess contributions made through your employer’s payroll, please work through your
    employer; they have until the last pay period in 2018 to reverse payroll contributions.


    March 14, 2018

    TAKE ACTION:  Michigan Legislative Update--Senate Bill
    795 & 796 - Union Business Leave

    Today the Senate Education Committee passed two new bills that represent a direct attack on working people and our freedom to
    negotiate together.

    Specifically, Senate Bills 795-796 would ban public employee union officials from representing their members and collaborating with
    school and local government administrators during normal business hours.

    We need to take quick action to fight back and stop these bills. Can you help?

    Visit the AFL-CIO website by clicking here to send a quick email to your state senator. Tell them to vote NO on SB 795-796.

    These shortsighted bills will cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and make our schools, as well as local and state government, less efficient
    and less effective.

    We defeated these same bills when they came up two years ago. I know we can do it again, but we need to speak up right now to make our
    voices heard in Lansing.

    TAKE ACTION and email your senator right now

    Thanks for stepping up.


    Visit http://miaflcio.org/ | Facebook | Twitter




    March 5, 2018

    Michigan Legislative Update--Senate Bill 795

    The Senate Education Committee will vote as early as Tuesday on a bill that will end union leave time for public sector employees to
    bargain contracts, handle grievances, and talk to their legislators about important issues facing their work.

    Sen. Knollenburg, along with 11 other Republican Senators has reintroduced legislation designed to prohibit paid union leave time. This
    time he has also added Community Colleges to K-12 schools in the prohibition on dues collection by payroll deduction.
    Release time—or official time—allows workers to use time from their jobs to take care of issues in the workplace—most of it central to
    keeping the workplace running well.

    Unfortunately, there have been efforts in several states to prohibit public-sector union release time. The American Legislative Exchange
    Council has a model bill to outlaw release time.   Legislation was introduced in 2017 in at least four states (Connecticut, Minnesota,
    Missouri and Pennsylvania) to eliminate release time for public employees.

    The organizations attacking public service worker release time are the same organizations attacking workers’ rights around the country.
    This attack is part of a coordinated, systematic attempt to weaken or outright eliminate workers’ rights. The groups behind the attack on
    release time are the same ones promoting efforts to take away working people’s freedom to join together and negotiate, weaker wages
    and benefits, more dangerous workplaces and lower taxes for corporations.

    Release time is a widely followed management practice in the public and private sector. Employers recognize the value of releasing
    employees from their usual duties for small amounts of time in order to focus on workplace issues. States, schools, and municipalities
    should not be prevented from practicing sound management strategies because of the objections of a few anti-union ideologues.

    Please contact the following Senators and urge them to vote NO on Senate Bill 795:

    Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) Committee Chair, 25th District
    http://www.senatorphilpavlov.com/contact/

    Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy) Vice Chair, 13th District
    http://www.senatormartyknollenberg.com/contact/

    Darwin L Booher (R-Evart) 35th District
    http://www.senatordarwinbooher.com/contact/

    Joe Hune (R-Hamburg) 22nd District
    http://www.senatorjoehune.com/contact/

    Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) Minority Vice Chair, 6th District
    http://www.senatormartyknollenberg.com/contact/

    Release time benefits the public by creating a safer, fairer and more efficient workplace.

    Public service workers use release time to resolve employee disputes, protect workers’ safety and basic rights in the workplace, represent
    workers in conflicts with management, address issues of discrimination or retaliation, and work with management to improve the
    workplace. Release time saves taxpayer resources in the long run.

    Release time helps to resolve workplace conflicts in a more timely and cost-efficient manner than would otherwise be the case.
    Public service workers can use release time to serve on labor-management committees that help to solve problems and improve the
    workplace. Without release time, conflicts that could have been resolved in these committees instead may end up as part of expensive and
    time-consuming legal or administrative procedures.

    Release time also saves resources by allowing public employees to serve on labor-management committees that develop cost-saving
    proposals. Taxpayers have saved millions of dollars as a result. Release time allows public employers to benefit from the expertise of
    public employees in these important and effective labor-management committees.

Click the
image for a
pdf copy of
the flyer.


    TO:                        All Members, GAA Probate Court Unit

    FROM:                  Lorenzo A. Blount, Association Executive
                                  Bridget Stewart, GAA Probate Court Unit Area Representative

    RE:                        2018 Contract Survey

    DATE:                    February 23, 2018        

    The Collective Bargaining Agreement for GAA members of the Probate Court Unit expires September 30, 2018, and we must begin
    negotiations forthwith on a successor contract.

    In preparation for these negotiations, the Association is seeking to determine issues of major concern, which you would like addressed in
    the upcoming contracts.  

    Click here for a survey of pertinent bargaining issues.  Please rank these issues in order of importance adding comments, as you feel
    necessary.  Then return the form by March 23, 2018, to the GAA office, 3031 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 415, Detroit, MI 48080, fax to 313-224-
    0064 or e-mail to gaa@gaawayne.onmicrosoft.com.  

    The survey must be signed to be considered so that we can ensure that only GAA members participate in the survey; however, all
    responses will be kept strictly confidential.  Your input and ideas are valuable in the Association’s efforts to assess the needs of the
    membership and formulate appropriate bargaining objectives.  

    We are also looking for volunteers for the Contract Review Committee.  If you have not already signed up, please consider doing so.  































    WORKING PEOPLE'S DAY OF ACTION
    On Saturday, February 24, working people across the country will gather to stand up for our right to form a union and to fight for a better
    quality of life for ourselves and for our families. We’ll also be honoring the long history of labor rights activists and civil rights activists
    coming together to strengthen our communities.

    Next Monday, the Supreme Court will hear a case called Janus vs. AFSCME, which could limit the ability of unions to negotiate on our
    behalf and improve our communities. This weekend we’ll make our voices heard to show our strength when we come together.

    Join us in Detroit this Saturday to make your voice and help unrig the system! If you’re not able to make it to Detroit, find the event nearest
    to you and join us there.



    LABOR AND CIVIL RIGHTS: THE TIE THAT BINDS
    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24
    10:30 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M.
    NORTHWEST ACTIVITIES CENTER
    18100 MEYERS ROAD
    DETROIT, MI 48235

    JOIN

    AFSCME COUNCIL 25 | AFT MICHIGAN | COALITION OF BLACK TRADE UNIONISTS – DETROIT CHAPTER | COALITION OF LABOR
    UNION WOMEN – DETROIT CHAPTER | DETROIT ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATIONAL OFFICE EMPLOYEES | DETROIT FEDERATION OF
    PARAPROFESSIONALS | DETROIT FEDERATION OF TEACHERS | MICHIGAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION | MICHIGAN AFL-CIO | METRO
    DETROIT AFL-CIO | MOTHERING JUSTICE
    AND A GROWING LIST OF OTHERS



    December 7, 2017

    FINALLY, GOOD NEWS OUT OF LANSING

    At 3 am this morning both Houses adopted and passed substitutes to their Municipal Finance Reform package that essentially adopted the
    Governor’s Task Force report and removed the onerous provisions attacking collective bargaining and jeopardizing retiree health care.

    There is still more to do as the bills now must sit for 5 days in the other chamber before concurrence and presentation to the Governor.  
    There are a few places that need some language cleaned up and the other side has agreed to work with us on fixing those glitches but
    even if they don’t we were able to get most everything we asked for.  Unless something really strange happens, we will have a major
    legislative victory for the first time in a long time.

    All of organized labor stood together and stood strong proving that solidarity is more than just a big word.  Thanks to everyone for your
    activism.  If we keep it up we can finally start to turn things around.



    NICK CIARAMITARO, Director
    Legislation and Public Policy
    Michigan AFSCME Council 25
    Reprinted from www.subchapter38.com



    November 22, 2017

    State and Municipal Public Employee Retirement at Risk Again

    Please read the following webpost from the Wayne County Retirees Association.  We need all GAA members, retirees, and their families to
    contact their legislators and if possible attend the November 29th rally in Lansing.

    The current move in Lansing to eliminate your health care benefits is moving forward - NOW.  If you think this doesn't affect you and
    your family, think again, and then DO something about it.  All the tools you need were presented at the November 21st Emergency
    meeting and are being provided for you below.   Please share with every retiree and active government worker you know.

    A message From Nick Ciarmitaro Director of Legislation and Public Policy for Michigan AFSCME Council 25;

    THIS IS NOT A JOKE ....  Drafts are under consideration for introduction and possible hearings as early as next week which would
    make retiree health care for current municipal retirees optional with the employer unless you retired under a collective bargaining
    agreement that "clearly and expressly" conferred a longer period of time. Other provisions would allow action after a full review of
    funding but this provision would apply to ALL current retirees.  

    We do not know what the final bill will look like but this is clearly on the table.  It would apply to all employees of cities, townships,
    counties, road commissions, airport authorities and other public authorities including public hospital employees like nurses, and
    even those not eligible for Medicare.

 
Click here for a pdf version of this notice.


    October 30, 2017

    REMINDER:  GAA Member of the Year Nomination Form due Thursday,
    November 2, 2017.  

    If you know a GAA member who has exceptional job performance or has provided extraordinary service to the Community or the
    Government Administrators Association, please take the time to nominate this deserving member for GAA Member of the Year.  This award
    will be presented at the GAA Annual Meeting/Holiday Party, December 1, 2017.   Click here for a nomination form.


WE ARE MOVING
-------------October 6, 2017-------------

Our New Address is
Government Administrators Association
New Center One
3031 W. Grand Blvd, Suite 415
Detroit, MI 48226
313-224-5076
(Woodward and W. Grand Blvd.)

    After 30 years in the Cadillac Tower, GAA is moving its office.  The Cadillac Tower is not renewing long term
    leases while its new owners determine their future plans for the building.  In the meantime, GAA searched for a
    fiscally responsible and affordable office space that is convenient and assessable to the membership.  Our new
    office space provides members numerous amenities including ample validated parking in Lot 4 on Lothrup directly
    behind the building.  New Center One is also convenient for members using Detroit's new Qline.  We hope that
    everyone will take the opportunity to tour the GAA during our open house in November.  The date will be
    announced shortly.


    July 18, 2017

    GAA POLO SHIRTS FOR SALE/FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017,
    SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND WEAR YOUR GAA SHIRT TO WORK

    With the scheduled wage negotiations at Wayne County and continued contract negotiations at the Detroit Wayne Mental Health
    Authority, GAA is asking all members to show their unity and solidarity by wearing their GAA Polo Shirt to work on the Friday before
    Labor Day, September 1, 2017, if your Department’s dress code allows you to do so.    

    Should you have not yet purchased a shirt, there are still shirts available at the GAA office.  Shirts are $30.00, and you can e-mail
    gaawayne@comcast.net or call the office at 313-224-5076, with your size and contact information, and we will arrange to get a shirt   
    to you.

    We would like to thank the members for their continued support.


    July 17, 2017

    THE GAA OFFICE IS MOVING TO NEW CENTER ONE
    IN MIDTOWN DETROIT

    After almost 30 years in the Cadillac Tower Building in downtown Detroit, the GAA office will be moving to the New Center One Building in
    midtown Detroit in early September 2017.  This move was made necessary as the new owners of the Cadillac Tower are renovating the
    building with purposes other than office space in mind.  A formal announcement to the membership with the exact details and dates of this
    move will be made as the details are finalized.   GAA will also hold an open house in the fall to welcome members to the new office space.


    July 14, 2017

    GAA 1st ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP PICNIC, JUNE 25, 2017

    The GAA 1st Annual Membership Picnic was held Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the Parkland Recreation Area in Hines Drive, Dearborn
    Heights, Michigan from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The Picnic turned out to be a fun day for members and their families who had the
    opportunity to get to know one another increasing the solidarity among the Association’s various Chapters.   We hope this event will
    continue to grow in the future with greater membership participation.  If you would like to be on the planning committee for the 2018 GAA
    Membership Picnic tentatively scheduled for June 23, 2018, contact the GAA office at gaawayne@comcast.net.  

    Click here to view photos of the picnic.


    May 20, 2017

    GAA/AFSCME MENTAL HEALTH JOBS AT STAKE
    PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMERS AT RISK

    Both the House and Senate have passed their FY18 budget recommendations. Now legislative leaders will come together to mold their
    two separate budgets into one compromised budget bill for FY18. These discussions will begin to heat up again this week and should be
    finalized sometime over the next three weeks.

    REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION: Please contact your House and Senate members urging them to make sensible changes to the final
    298 boilerplate language. Timing is critical.  We have roughly three weeks to put pressure on lawmakers as they finalize the FY18 budget.
    We are asking that you reach out to your lawmakers between now and June 2, urging them to remove the Senate language in Section 234
    insisting on outsourcing all Mental Health Medicaid money to HMOs and to drop health plan run pilot programs in the final version of
    section 298.

    These contacts are critical, legislators must hear from us in order to counter the efforts by others opposed to the public management of the
    State's publicly sponsored behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability services and supports system.

    Below are quick talking points:

    •        REMOVE LANGUAGE - Section 234 of the Senate DHHS budget language referring to total Medicaid benefit and financial integration
    by 9/30/20, which would transfer all Medicaid resources to Medicaid Health plans.   

    •        INCLUDE LANGUAGE - Ensure that the policy and management role for Michigan's Medicaid behavioral health and
    intellectual/developmental disability services and supports system remains public.

    Concerns Regarding a HMO Run Programs  

    1.  Health Plans do not have a good track record managing behavioral health services
    2. Less money available for services because of higher overhead costs at HMO’s

    •        No direction in proposed pilots as to what are we trying to accomplish? What are we measuring? Outcomes?

    Community Mental Health Boards and Mental Health Advocates all agree that taxes raised for mental health services should go to mental
    health services and not to private HMO’s. People need these funds, not profitable companies. Make your voices heard by using
    the web addresses below to email your State Senator and State Representative.

    http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html

    http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/



    March 15, 2017

    GET YOUR GAA POLO SHIRT AND MARK THE CALENDAR FOR
    THE FIRST GAA ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FAMILY PICNIC

    The Association will be selling Polo shirts with an embroidered GAA logo as a fundraiser to offset expenses for the first GAA Annual Picnic,
    June 24, 2017.  We are gauging interest for our first order.  The cost of the shirt is anticipated to be no more than $45.  If you would like to
    preorder a shirt, please e-mail gaawayne@comcast.net or call the GAA Office at 313-224-5076, and let us know what size you would like to
    order, your name, your work location, and phone number.  We will contact you as soon as we have a final price and sizes.  It is our desire to
    use these shirts as a show of solidarity as we plan future GAA events as well as during upcoming negotiations with our various employers.

    Also, if you have not already done so, please e-mail your personal e-mail address to gaawayne@comcast.net and mark the date, June 24,
    2017, for the first Annual GAA Membership Family Picnic.  We will announce the details as soon as they are finalized.  We hope to see you
    there.



    February 16, 2017

    AFLAC

    AFLAC has approached the Association about conducting another open enrollment for the GAA members.  The Association has heard both
    good things from member’s regarding their AFLAC experience as well as many complaints.  If you chose to sign up with AFLAC last year,
    please send an e-mail to gaawayne@comcast.net indicating your overall experience with AFLAC.  Do you think this is a valuable benefit for
    members GAA should continue to offer?  If you had a bad experience, we would like to hear that as well.  Please send your comments
    before Tuesday, February 28, 2016.  



    GAA HONORS CHAPTER PRESIDENTS ELIZABETH PATTERSON
    AND CASSANDRA MCDONALD AT THE
    2016 GAA ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

















    GAA is proud to honor Elizabeth Patterson, President of the Wayne County Professional Nurses Chapter, and Cassandra McDonald,
    President of the General Fund Chapter, with the 2016 GAA President’s Award.  Their service to the Association has truly been
    invaluable.  Over the past two years, as Wayne County Administration implemented its plan to outsource Jail Health Services using
    the Consent Agreement, Elizabeth Patterson and Cassandra McDonald, have led the fight to oppose privatization of Wayne County
    Jobs.   These individuals spent countless hours lobbying Wayne County Commissioners urging them to vote against privatization as
    well as educating the public through the media regarding the dangers of privatizing such a critical County function.  To our chagrin and
    dismay, the County Commission voted to outsource Wayne County Jail Health Services to Correct Care Solutions as of January 1,
    2017.  

    Elizabeth Patterson, Chapter President of the Wayne County Professional Nurse Chapter, is the longest serving GAA volunteer with
    over 20 years of service.  Nurse Patterson has spent considerable time and effort researching and developing alternative solutions for
    Jail Health Services.  She consulted with a nationally recognized Correctional Health Care Consultant to explore the development of a
    remediation plan which would allow Wayne County to solve the challenges faced at Jail Health Services “in house” with Wayne
    County employees.   Patterson was instrumental in organizing members to attend Commission and membership meetings in order
    to show solidarity in the opposition of privatization.   Patterson, along with Cassandra McDonald, was able to negotiate a transition
    agreement for those members who will be employed by CCS.  This Agreement included union recognition of GAA to represent certain
    CCS positions at Jail Health Services.  Patterson and McDonald were ultimately able to assist in excluding the Juvenile Detention
    Facility from the outsourcing contract saving at least twelve GAA County positions from being privatized.

    Cassandra McDonald, General Fund Chapter President, is also a longstanding GAA volunteer having over seven years of service.   
    McDonald is a staunch supporter of union activism and membership participation.  McDonald, too, spent countless hours attending
    Commission meetings in the fight against outsourcing.  While the number of affected General Fund Chapter members was relatively
    few, McDonald advocated for each of these members with zeal and tenacity.    

    The Association would especially like to thank GAA members at Jail Health Services for the time and effort spent attending
    Commission meetings, membership meetings and supporting the fight against privatizing their jobs.



    November 19, 2016

    GAA ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING/HOLIDAY PARTY

    Friday, December 2, 2016
    5:30 P.M. Refreshments
    Business Meeting will
    begin at 6:15 P.M.
    Dinner 6:45 P.M.
    DJ & Dancing 8:00 P.M. - 10:30 P.M.

    707 East
    707 East Lafayette Street
    Detroit, MI 48226
    At the Corner of E. Lafayette and the
    Chrysler I-375 Service Drive on the Lafayette side
    of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
    Complimentary Parking

    GAA Members:  Suggested $5 Donation
    to The Open Door
    GAA Retirees & Guests:  $50.00
    (Tickets Sold in Advance)

    AGENDA
    General Business Meeting
  •  Officer Reports
  • Chapter Reports
  • 2017 Budget
  • Service Awards

    Party- In appreciation of the support by the Membership, there will be dinner, an open bar and dancing after the meeting. To encourage
    more membership participation, the party has been moved to Friday, December 2, 2016.  We are selling tickets for those members who
    would like to bring a guest and GAA Retirees.  Tickets for Guests and retirees who retired before 2015 are $50.00 which includes the cost
    of dinner and open bar.  Click here for ticket form.   Please mail your check for $50.00 along with the attached Ticket Request form to 65
    Cadillac Square, Suite 2625, Detroit, MI 48226, and we will mail your tickets.   You may also purchase tickets at the GAA office.

    Absolutely No Admittance without RSVP
    RSVP by calling the GAA office (313-224-5076) or e-mail GAAWayne@comcast.net by Wednesday, November 23, 2016.   

    Again, the only charge for admission for members is a voluntary suggested monetary donation of $5 to the Fort Street Presbyterian
    Church's Soup Kitchen.  Please make any checks payable to: The Open Door.



    October 18, 2016

    ASSOCIATION ELECTION RESULTS:

    The Association Election was held at 4:00 p.m., October 18, 2016.  The Association President was the only candidate to be elected as Ann
    Mosley ran unopposed for Association Secretary, and Soraya Farver Williams was unopposed for Treasurer.  

    Election results for Association President are as follows:

    Margaret Keyes-Howard         89 votes
    Mark Plackowski                       21 votes
    Tyreesse Omani                        50 votes

    Margaret Keyes-Howard was elected Association President.  Keyes-Howard, Mosley and Farver Williams will begin their terms of Office
    January 1, 2017, and end December 31, 2018.

    We would like to thank all members who voted in this election.




    October 12, 2016

    ASSOCIATION ELECTION UPDATE:

    Nominations were held for GAA Association Offices beginning September 27, 2016, and closing at the GAA membership meeting  
    Tuesday, October 4, 2016.   Nominated for President were Margaret Keyes-Howard, Tyreesse Omani, and Mark Plackowski.  Ann       
    Mosley was the only nomination received for Association Secretary, and Soraya Williams Farver was the sole nomination for Association
    Treasurer.  Both Ms. Mosley and Ms. Williams Farver were elected by acclimation to Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.  

    Ballots for Association President were mailed Friday, October 7, 2016, and are due back in the GAA office by 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, October
    18, 2016.  If you have not received your ballot in the mail, please contact the GAA office to request another ballot as soon as possible.  
    .

 
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