Why Be in a Union
Unions allow employees to band together and protect collective interests. Benefits like pensions, work life balance, and good health care coverage are associated with unions because they represent the core values we fight for. By being an involved member of MGEC you add your voice to hundreds of others as we negotiate for better compensation and benefits.
Studies show that union members often have better opportunities than their private sector equivalent. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, in 2018 nonunion workers earned on average 82% of what unionized workers made. Another Bureau report from July of 2018 showed that in state and local government jobs, 95% of union workers had access to medical care benefits while only 84% of nonunion workers did. This drops to 94% and 67% when looking at workers outside of government.
Strong unions can benefit everyone, not just members. Unions often set industry standards by influencing public policies and programs that affect wages and benefits that private sector often adopt in an effort to offer competitive compensation. For example, private sector employers are starting to offer paid parental leave and seeing state unions negotiate for it in previous bargaining likely made more businesses aware of the need to support new parents.
Any participation in the union is welcome, be it attending events, submitting ideas to a director or in our bargaining surveys, or one day running for the board of directors. We are better together, and we look forward to working with you.
Why Be in MGEC
MGEC offers all the benefits of a union while being small enough for you to help shape the vision and decisions of the union. We specialize in technical professionals, so any benefits MGEC negotiates for or issues we resolve often apply to the entirety of the membership. In recent years MGEC has fought for increasing the safety boot allowance and a new higher classification for our technician series. We have advocated for and against changes proposed by the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design that affect our members. MGEC helps our engineers obtain and maintain their professional licenses by organizing pertinent test practice sessions and continuing education credits. MGEC represents employees in work situations where there is a legitimate complaint about wages or terms and conditions of employment. Informal efforts are tried first, but if those fail, MGEC may pursue more formal efforts on behalf of the employee, from grievances up to and including arbitration.
MGEC leadership consists of a member-elected board who work among the different represented agencies and offices. Between these board members, the work site representatives, and the two full time staff it is easier to communicate and actually sit down and have a conversation about work issues. You can approach any of these people with questions and ideas.
Being a full member contributes valuable resources to help advocate and advance causes that support all MGEC members. Thank you for continuing as a full member. Not a member? Join today and help advocate for your future.