When it comes to choosing Union representation, fire fighters and EMS workers can regain control of their work environment through Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF).

MAFF provides its members with the service and support they need to focus on their jobs.

Union represented employees should never experience fear of retaliation from their own Union. Verbal and written threats from an organization hired to represent you is simply unacceptable. And Union leaders should not sign contracts without a vote of the membership.

MAFF promises to provide members with the following rights:
• Members will vote on their local stewards and board members.
• Each unit automatically selects a representative to sit on the MAFF Executive Board.
• Only members will be allowed to vote on and ratify their contract.
• Members will not be threatened by Union attorneys with a lawsuit for speaking out at Union meetings.
• They will have bylaws developed by and voted on by the membership.

MAFF also guarantees it will provide members with:
• Attorneys 24/7 at no additional cost, to assist members with Garrity statements.
• Grievance and negotiations training for local stewards.
• Experts who will inform members of their legal rights under FLMA and FLSA.


A program of information and media relations

A complete union communications program has two primary facets:

1. To keep the entire membership as informed as possible about important developments and events; and;
2. To convey to the public and to state and national lawmakers the positions and opinions of the organization on all issues which affect it and its members.

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Internal communications enhance teamwork, help stimulate ideas and provide the vehicles by which ideas are shared and refined. Media relations give members a cumulative voice in speaking to the thousands of persons whose tax money pays public servants. They also augment the efforts of both legislative liaisons and the union leadership in bringing organizational influence to bear.

A top flight staff of attorneys

Expert, specialized legal representation is an essential service element for any public safety professional union in the modern era. A complex body of laws and regulations governs the relationship between workers and their employers. Many of these are established to protect the rights of the employees. Importantly, the protection afforded by law and regulation is only as effective as a union's legal talent makes it.

istockphoto 1967493 researchingThe following firms perform MAFF's labor legal work:

Farrell & Associates P.C. M. Catherine Farrell is the principal in Farrell & Associates P.C., a law firm specializing in Labor and Employment Law.

Ms. Farrell was managing partner of Hoekenga & Farrell P.C., and was a senior partner and former managing partner of the law firm of Levin, Levin, Garvett & Dill P.C. which specialized in labor and employment law and transactional matters.

Ms. Farrell is also an active arbitrator. She serves as a member of both the commercial arbitration panel and employment law arbitration panel for the American Arbitration Association in the Detroit Region. Ms. Farrell holds a B.A. from American University, a M.S. from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a J.D. from St. Louis University.

The unique relationship between the Michigan Association of Fire Fighters and these highly skilled legal professionals is as important to the union's members as the firm's talent base. Over the years, the attorneys have teamed with MAFF's labor relations' specialists in literally hundreds of cases of all kinds providing representation that is unsurpassed by any other union.

What a Fire Fighters' Union Must Provide Members in Today's World

The facts are clear: today's world is characterized by insecure employment. Fire Fighters need the highest possible level of job protection. Their union must provide total representation. It must be armed with complete service capacity and a dedicated staff of highly qualified professionals who deliver these services to the membership in a timely and coordinated manner:

All members must be assured:

  • Maximum appropriate pay for the work they perform.
  • The best possible employment benefits, including pension and medical insurance.
  • Protection of all employees' rights, including the highest standards for working conditions, as established by law.
  • Top-quality labor legal expertise.
  • Direct availability of professional assistance in matters of financial, insurance and retirement planning.
  • Political clout: the strongest possible collective voice in communicating needs, opinions and positions to lawmakers.
  • A communications program which keeps everyone in the organization fully informed, which serves as an interconnection between the membership and the organizational leadership and which informs the public about the organization's position on major issues.
  • A leadership structure which represents the membership's interest and goals in the creation and implementation of the organization's operating policies.

Total representation means delivering full service:

  • The Michigan Association of Fire Fighters is, in every sense of the term, a full service public safety union.


The Labor Relations Staff


Unequaled experience, expertise, achievement


MAFF's team of labor relations' professionals is acknowledged as number one in experience and proven expertise in the State of Michigan.  It has earned this recognition by achieving an unequaled record of success in all phases of union representation.

The staff's wealth of experience in public safety labor relations has been built through many years of performing highly specialized work.  Its expertise is a product of total familiarity with every phase of a complex field of knowledge.  The esteem in which it is held by other professionals reflects unsurpassed respect throughout Michigan's labor relation's community.

Most of all, the excellence of MAFF’s labor relations staff has been established by its unparalleled record of achievement.  This is what ultimately pays superior dividends to members.