Task Force Appointment

In light of recent news, President Jim Tignanelli shares his thoughts on the appointment of Dr. Kenneth Wolf to the new task force appointment for Suicide Prevention. We encourage our members to read the post below.

I’m glad to see our members sharing opinions and taking an interest in the politics that play such a role in the lives of those public employees we represent. I think it’s important to realize there is a delicate balance in all decisions we make. Understand that we currently have a Republican House and Senate while we, at the same time, must deal with a Democrat governor and attorney general. While some might prefer an all democrat or all republican Lansing, we are forced to deal with those that are sent to us, regardless of their party affiliation. POAM scores among the highest of all statewide organizations in their endorsements. While all seek that endorsement, we don’t stand in the middle of the road. We study the candidates and make recommendations that are well-publicized through our social media.

In this case, we endorsed the losing candidate for the governor’s position. Some liked that and some didn’t. The losing candidate had been very loyal to our members for many years, and POAM returned that loyalty with the endorsement. Does this mean we refrain from political action for 4 years? Of course not. Our members continue to depend on us in Lansing. When I was asked to recommend someone for the Governor’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention, I did so without hesitation. Should I have remained silent and let a group of lawyers or doctors or elected officials pick that spot? I don’t think so.

Doctor Ken Wolf has been our most trusted person for all serious incidents for over 25 years. He regularly presents seminars to our members. He runs our 24/7 Lifeline program. He responds to our most serious critical incidents to counsel and guide our members. I am currently working with him on a COVID-19 program that will allow our members to “vent” online in either group or individual chats.

While I write this, our legislative team is working with a bipartisan group that includes the governor to suspend PA 54. This can have a dramatic impact on the several thousand members we have that would be affected by an expired contract. We are working to change the language the governor had suggested on how positive testing for COVID-19 would be presumed to be an on-duty injury. We are working to dilute the exclusion of first responders from many of the federal dollars that are being given to the governor for distribution.  

For years, some of the other statewide labor organizations chose to “pick a party” and stick with it. Do a review of how those organizations’ have fared for their public employees.

POAM leads the way in Lansing. We must deal with those that are elected. I’m proud of the job our team does on behalf of our members.

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