As many established members know, the first few months at Michigan State University can be a struggle for new employees. Working at one of the world’s largest campuses with one of the largest student bodies, learning hundreds of policies and procedures, or even just acclimating to the unique culture of higher education can be overwhelming. Even long-term employees sometimes experience fresh challenges as they change positions.
Two years ago the MSU Administrative Professional Association began a new member welcome program to help make the process a bit easier. Within the first few months of joining the APA, new members are invited to meet with an APA representative to learn about their union, its services, and how their negotiated contract specifically benefits them. This one-to-one forum gives members the opportunity to ask those employment questions most relevant to their careers and lives.
Member feedback has been tremendously positive.
However, the program doesn’t stop there. Within a month or two after the 6 month interim evaluation check point, the APA Area Representatives join the conversation. New members can expect to hear from their local AR and be asked how things are going and if their interim evaluation was done. While we encourage members to contact the office at any point with questions, this is a great opportunity for new members to ask any questions they gained since their one-to-one and learn a little more about the provisions of their contract.
Last, but far from least, after the completion of the probation year, members are invited to a lunch session with our president, Maury Koffman and executive staff-person, Melissa Sortman. Maury and Melissa talk about rights and protections of “just cause” and many of the negotiated contract benefits added at the 12 month time point. Members are also reminded of all the engagement, education and social activities regularly ongoing for existing members.
Whether joining Michigan State University and our union for the first time, or transferring from another classification on campus, the Administrative Professional Association strives to help new members navigate their new contract and the myriad of services and negotiated benefits provided. APA regularly receives encouragement to keep the program going and plans to do so!
The Association encourages all members to call 517-353-4898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions they may have. APA also invites all members to participate in the numerous community and regional lunches, lunch & learn speaker series, More You Know contract sessions, annual membership meeting, special and constituency information sessions, and the many social and charitable activities.