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MIFT 2144 President's Message

Welcome to the Macomb Intermediate Federation of Teachers website!

Please take moment to explore the site, specifically the About Us or Membership tabs to find member specific information including the names, photos and contact information for your building representative.

On this site we also have copies of the Constitution, the current contract, the seniority list, contact information for your legislators and a New Member handbook to lead you through the process of participating in your union. Sign in with your AFT Member email and password to view all member information.

From a history of this organization to the services and discounts you can get as a union member, this site will provide answers to your questions and give you the information you need to make decisions about your future.

Welcome to the MIFT 2144!!!

Jacqueline Goosen

MIFT 2144 Photo Directory

Click here to access the picture directory.

Local 2144 History

Where did our union start?

The history of MIFT, Local 2144, cannot be totally understood without a brief history of the Macomb Intermediate School District. The Macomb County School Board was originally formed before the legislature created Intermediate School Districts. Local school districts of Macomb County had a need for a consortium of specialized service providers and consultants, since many of the districts were extremely small in the mid – 1950’s. With the legislative creation of ISD’s, for the purpose of regional consortium of specialized services, statewide, the MCSB became the Intermediate School District, County of Macomb, and today Macomb Intermediate School District.

The early professionals employed by the Intermediate School District, County of Macomb, felt a need to organize, and did so under the Michigan Education Association (MEA), creating the Intermediate School District, County of Macomb Education Association (ISDCMEA). The diversity of MISD employees created some problems with the philosophy of the MEA in the early days, as did the employment of professionals without teaching certification, in non-teaching positions, and the employment of non-degreed specialists. The fact that the MEA did not want the ISDCMEA to exercise its own local control did not set well with our professionals either.

In 1970, the professionals of the MISD voted to decertify from MEA, under Michigan Employment Relations Commission rules and to join the Michigan Federation of Teachers. The Macomb Intermediate Federation of Teachers, Local 2144 Charter was granted on February 3, 1971. The early organization numbered in the teens, until the first need for a county wide special program arose. The MIFT grew to 40 in 1972, and with the onset of State and Federal Special Education Rules, went over 100, in 1974, as Bovenschen and Peters Schools opened. The closing of the State Institutions prompted another growth in membership. Today’s membership, at 375+, represents a continuing need by the local school districts for specialized classrooms and services.

Growth hasn’t come without some pains and concerns. As populations of the various centers changed, so did voting patterns. At one time, the Service Center petitioned for a referendum to secede, as they felt the schools were dictating the Federation. By then there were sufficient numbers in the schools to defeat the issue. The voting block numbers have changed many times since then.

In the early days, the MISD Paraprofessionals organized a sub-chapter under 2144, with their own constitution, officers, and finances. Because of the IRS financial reporting obligations, the units were separated in 2001.

In 1974, the Crestwood Public Schools fired all of its teachers for striking. Little known to most, Lake Michigan College fired its staff for the same reason. Both units were EA, and the courts upheld the firings. This forever changed the scope of bargaining in Michigan Schools, especially for smaller units. Our local, small at the time, collected over $1,000, to help the teachers of Crestwood. We have never had a strike.

The true history books of the MIFT are the many contracts, the Agreements between MIFT and MISD. Dates, issues, legislation, and meeting current needs have forever been the governing force of negotiations. The early contracts were but a mere 15 – 20, pages in length. Today’s is over 100 pages long. Sections of the contract have come and gone as the times have changed. Articles I & II, with some minor changes, have stood the test of time, both Articles I & II, a calendar, and salary schedule can be found in the very first agreement. Mark Cousins is the current legal council for the Federation, Bernie Fieger, was early council, and in the past, Geoffrey Fieger has done some work for our Local. Leonard Field, our current field representative was preceded by June Fieger, as our representative, Geoffrey’s mother.

MIFT, Local 2144’s Constitution has been amended on many occasions. It was re-written, several years ago, along with the By-Law revisions, to include amendments and to bring other sections in concurrence with both AFT, and AFT-Michigan documents. Membership adopted the most recent document and always votes on amendments. Article IV, is unique to our organization, in that it allows voting in each building, and absentee voting. Our voter turnouts are higher in percentage than almost all other organizations, and much higher than local, state, and national elections.

Local 2144’s dues structure continues to be one of the lowest in the state. The financial records have been audited yearly since the mid 1980’s. All AFT units must file an IRS Non-Profit, Corporate, Tax Return each year. Since the Ronald Reagan years, unions have not been allowed to use members’ dues for political campaigning. MIFT, Local 2144, returns close to 90% of dues collected, back to members in the form of affiliations, insurance, continuing education, professional growth , and supporting those in need in the MISD school community.

As population, legislation, state officials, Federal leaders, and geography change, so will the Macomb Intermediate Federation of Teachers, Local 2144.

About AFT Teachers

Throughout this century, the AFT has been a major force for preserving and strengthening America's democratic commitment to public education and public service. Desegregating public schools, passing the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act, establishing collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees, and addressing the needs of disadvantaged children are just a few of the causes the AFT has championed.

History of the AFT

Learn the history of the AFT, including the union's founding in Chicago in 1916, its affiliation with the AFL-CIO, its battles for workers and human rights and its continued work to uphold the proud traditions on which the union was created.

AFT Mission Statement

The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.

About the AFT

Learn more about the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which was founded in 1916 to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers and is an affiliated international union of the AFL-CIO.