With the continued attacks on all public employees and the direct assault on police officers’ pensions, health care, wages, and current retirees, the question is frequently being asked, “What is POAM doing?”  Some members are saying we don’t see POAM actively working, and attacking the elected officials who are destroying our careers.  Well, the answer is, POAM is working daily to stop and correct the assault on law enforcement.  This is an ugly period in our history, and the task is not easy.

POAM is meeting daily in Lansing with elected officials to educate and repair the damage.  POAM has its own full-time Lansing lobbying firm, Michigan Legislative Consultants, spearheaded by our representative, Tim Ward.  They are in the game and representing our concerns aggressively.

The State House of Representatives at a minimum will be in power until December 31, 2014, and the Michigan Senate and Governor until December 31, 2014.  POAM has to work with those who the electorate has sent us.  We are making progress on stopping many of the bills that are a direct assault on all of us.  Although admittedly the progress is slow, it is occurring.  POAM is expecting to have some technical amendments introduced by both the House and Senate to correct some of the damages.  POAM is being assured that police officers were not the target of most of this legislation and the unintended consequences are of concern to the elected officials.  These corrections are a must.

Additionally, POAM’s legal staff, on a daily basis, is reviewing proposed legislation.  They have drafted many language changes and are supplying that information to our lobbyist and “friendly” legislators.  Our legal staff is also constantly reviewing new legislation to determine if there is recourse in the courts.  We do not want to file a lawsuit just to file a lawsuit.  It must have legal standing, and POAM is waiting for the proper time and proper set of facts.  We are already geared up to file suit if there is any attempt to invalidate an existing, unexpired contract.  In addition, we are exploring legal options to utilize compulsory arbitration to block or minimize the impact of several pieces of legislation.

Make no mistake, POAM is extremely disappointed in many of our elected officials, and to be quite frank we feel betrayed.  However this is who the voters have sent us, and this is who we have to work with.  If these amendments and change of course do not occur, you will be informed, and there will be an election in 2012 and changes will be made.

POAM will be making endorsement decisions in the future.  POAM’s endorsement is the most sought after police endorsement in the State.  These endorsements will not be made in haste.  Elected officials must be aware of who they are supporting, and the damage that is being done to the careers of police officers.

IN THE MEANTIME, I CANNOT STRESS TO YOU HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO CONTINUE TO CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS.  YOU must keep the pressure on.  YOU must tell them how this legislation is destroying your careers.  They have to hear from YOU as individuals.  Many of our members are doing a great job and making these contacts, but I am sad to report it is a small minority.  GET YOUR FELLOW OFFICERS OFF THEIR BEHINDS AND MAKE CONTACTS!

 

(Photo © CedarBendDrive)

6 responses to “What is POAM doing?

Posted by Ed Jacques

Good morning George,

Please use the Contact Form link here: //www.poam.net/contact-poam/ and I’ll get in touch with you once we receive it.

Thank you,

Ed

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Posted by George Voight

Dear Ed Jacques,

Thanks for all your help. If you have an email I would like to share some documents for your review.

George Voight

Posted on January 18, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Posted by Ed

just found your e- mail george. sorry. ejacques@poam.net

Posted on January 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Posted by Jim Izeluk

I just listened to Frank’s podcast and I would like to thank the POAM for it’s lobbying efforts in Lansing. That being said I would also like to say that I think it is time to rally all the troops and start recalling some of these conservative morons that sponsor/vote for these bills. I heard Frank say that we are prepared to act when cities start enacting some of these new legislative bills. I think a proactive measure like coming out publicly against all conservatives would be a much better idea. Being involved in and successfully recalling some of these morons would be more effective than waiting to get screwed and than litigating it in court. Just my opinion!!! We need to get after these guys before it’s too late.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Posted by Ed Jacques

No employer or pension board can retroactively diminish a vested pension benefit. However, the courts will ultimately decide if this provision is constitutional for tenured employees hired before 1/01/2012. POAM will keep you informed. (Ed Jacques of POAM)

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Posted by Dave Zucchetto

Does the wording, below, in House Bill 4802 (also known as 4060, sponsored by Doug Geiss) mean persons hired as a police officer and/or firefighter before Jan 2012 are exempt from the pension cap?

Or, does it mean that persons, regardless of when they were hired, who retire after Jan 2012 and/or when their current collective barganing agreement expires after Jan 2012, will be subject to the pension cap?

“FOR A MEMBER OF A PENSION SYSTEM DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION WHO BECOMES A MEMBER OF THAT SYSTEM ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 2012, HIS OR HER PENSION CALCULATED UNDER THAT SYSTEM SHALL NOT EXCEED 55% OF THE MEMBER’S BASE PAY. IF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT THAT REQUIRES A PENSION GREATER THAN 55% OF THE MEMBER’S BASE PAY IS IN EFFECT ON JANUARY 1, 2012, THEN THE PENSION OF A MEMBER SUBJECT TO THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT SHALL BE ADMINISTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT UNTIL THE AGREEMENT EXPIRES OR IS RENEGOTIATED.”

I retired recently and this question is circulating around my former department, Westland PD. Im seeking clarification on behalf of my friends and former co workers.

I think it would be unfair not to grandfather police and fire personnel who have at least 5 or more years of service if in fact this bill is aimed at persons who retire after Jan 2012.

I cant imagine retiring with 25 years on the job just after Jan 2012 and having what was earned and expected cut to 55%.

I think making this bill applicable to those who are HIRED after Jan 2012 would be fair, as those new hires would know what they are getting into and would choose their occupation accordingly.

If in fact the meaning of this bill relates to NEW HIRES then the wording in the bill should reflect this.

Could you post a clarifcation on your website?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Dave Zucchetto

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Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM

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