Delegates from across Montana will gather in Helena April 6-7 for the first-ever Annual Conference of their new union: Montana Federation of Public Employees (MFPE).
MFPE is the new union created by the merger of MEA-MFT and the Montana Public Employees Association (MPEA). The merger became official January 20, 2018, when MEA-MFT and MPEA delegates voted to ratify a proposed constitution for the new union.
“This is history in the making and democracy in action,” said Eric Feaver, president of MEA-MFT. “Our first Annual Conference will be an exciting occasion.”
With more than 24,000 members, the new MFPE is the largest union in the Montana State AFL-CIO. Members include K-12 public school teachers and support staff; state, county, and municipal employees; higher education faculty and support staff; Head Start employees, and health care personnel.
“We have members in every community across the state, working for Montana’s people,” said Quinton Nyman, executive director of MPEA. “The tie that binds our members together is a shared dedication to public service, to the Montana citizens we serve, and to making life better for Montana’s public employees.”
“Creating MFPE is our proactive counter to those who want to take away Americans’ freedom to form unions and make life better for their families and communities,” said Feaver. “The U.S. Supreme Court is right now preparing to rule on the Janus case, an attack on public employee unions funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. We aren’t sitting back. With our new, larger union, we are defending, promoting, and growing the Montana labor movement.”
The main business of the 1st Annual Conference April 6-7 will be to elect state officers and board of directors and approve dues and budget for MFPE.
Delegates will also hear from several Montana elected officials, including Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, and candidates for U.S. Congress.
Delegates will kick off their historical first Annual Conference by inducting several Hall of Fame members the evening of April 6. Denise Juneau, Mary Sheehy Moe, and Bernie Olson will join the existing MEA-MFT Hall of Fame, while Tom Schneider will be the first person inducted into the MFPE Hall of Fame.