Alcona County Central Dispatch joins POLC based on excellent reputation
Posted by: jgomori Posted date: March 22, 2022
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Alcona County Central Dispatchers decided it was time to get a new perspective for contract negotiations and representation. They chose the POLC based on their excellent reputation.
The group of six full-time 9-1-1 Dispatchers had been represented by the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM) for over three decades.
“I have no qualms about POAM. It’s just time for some new eyes or opinions on different things and getting our contract cleared up,” McKenzie said. “It’s encouraging to have fresh eyes on things and we’ve heard a lot of good things about the POLC.”
They joined the POLC in November 2021 and jumped right into negotiations with their contract expiring at the end of the year.
“I’ve been here for 35 years,” said DeAnna McKenzie, Alcona County Central Dispatch Local Union President. “We’ve been with the POAM since the same time the Alcona County Sheriff’s Deputies joined in 1987.”
Their unit was run by Alcona County Sherriff’s Department when POAM was brought in. Now it’s a Central Dispatch unit with a 9-1-1 Director appointed by a board. However, Dispatchers continue to work in the Sheriff’s Department, providing close contact with the officers.
“The Deputies talked with Oscoda Township Police and learned more about the POLC and shared information with us,” she said. “When we sat down with a couple different unions, all three of us – the Deputies, Command and Dispatch groups, we decided to go with POLC. We all communicate in here since we’re all here together.”
POLC representatives have been readily available, providing detailed information. “I’ve been in contact with Member Services Rep. Lloyd Whetstone and Chris Watts and we have set up dates for negotiations and both have called me back immediately, and answered my questions,” she said.
McKenzie said Whetstone made the process of changing unions as simple as possible, assisting her with the proper steps. Watts is helping the group navigate the negotiations process under new representation.
“In just the short amount of conversations I’ve had with them, things are rolling right along and they’re keeping in contact with me,” she said prior to contract negotiations.
Top concerns going into negotiations were language cleanup, wages and possibly pension improvements.
“We just need to have things updated and we need clarification between us and the Employer,” McKenzie said. “We’re looking at improving some things.”
The POLC was able to negotiate a 9 percent increase in wages in Alcona County Central Dispatchers’ three-year bargaining agreement along with a total of 5 percent in lump sum payments into their DC pension plans. The lump sum payments are in addition to what the Employer already contributes. They also received shift differential increases of over three times more per hour for afternoons and four times more per hour for midnights.