Questions From The Trenches

What is MSU-APA?

Our membership is comprised of a wide array of professionals with more than 300 job classifications performing some of the most vital supporting roles at MSU. The Administrative Professional Association (APA) has more than 2,200 members, making it the largest union group on campus.

 

As a professional, why do I need a union?

Everyone has a need for fair wages, quality health care and decent working conditions. MSU-APA negotiates those important issues so that they are provided fairly and consistently across campus to every APA member.

 The biggest difference between a unionized workplace and a non-unionized workplace is the difference between being employed at will versus with just cause.

 An at will employee has no job protections and can be disciplined up to and including discharge for no reason.

 An employee with union representation is afforded just cause and due process that are contractually guaranteed and enforced which mandates discipline be based on just, equitable and reasonable actions. The University cannot be arbitrary or inconsistent in the procedures or discipline itself. Discipline should be with the desire of improving performance and correcting behavior. Therefore, a standard of progressive discipline is also a part of a unionized workplace with a verbal warning, a written warning, a suspension and then termination being the typical escalation of discipline.

 

What do I get for my union dues?

As an APA union member you have the right and protections of being represented by the MEA/NEA in many different ways including:

  • Negotiating with the University for fair compensation, benefits, working conditions, education development, and other plans and programs.
  • Participating as a member organization in the MSU Coalition of Labor Organizations to pool resources, lower costs, and increase coverage to MSU employees.
  • Assisting you in navigating the world of MSU support staff policies, practices, and how they align with your daily life and your contract.
  • Connecting you with pertinent information regarding administrative and legislative actions that affect you and your family, your colleagues, and MSU.
  • Advocating for you at every level of MSU and state and federal government.
  • Defending your contractual and legal rights as a member of the APA.
  • Linking you with MEA resources and programs such as MEA Financial Services and others found at www.mea.org.
  • Access to professional development, experts, and resources to enhance your daily work life and experience at MSU.
  • Creating communities of colleagues to educate and assist you in building a better career and connection within the MSU community.

 

Where do my dues go? 


The majority of your dues go to support contract bargaining, advocacy and enforcement of your contract. It provides for the legal representation for each member and for the union collectively.

 The local APA budget supports local member engagement activities and the governance structure of MSU-APA.

 The balance of the dues is decided by a democratic process at the regional, state and national level. The Michigan Education Association (MEA) and National Education Association (NEA) are both member driven organizations with members representing their constituencies at all decision-making levels.

 

How do I get more information about APA?

  • Go to www.msuapa.org for a copy of your contract, the most recent newsletter, and pertinent information related to your work environment.
  • Call the APA office at 517-353-4898.
  • Email msuapa@msu.edu if you would like to get more involved with APA.