MAPE, as it is currently constituted, was established in 2009. Rank and file union leaders, led by Maya Gladstern, decided they wanted their own union that would focus on Marin County workers, rather than being part of a very large union that did not pay much attention to the people it represented who worked for Marin County. Along with Ms. Gladstern, MAPE’s founding leaders included Phillip Thomas (MAPE’s first president), Cathy Hall, Steve Fleak, George Pegelow, Christine O’Hanlon and Dave Codiroli. In 2010, Marin County employees in the six bargaining units voted overwhelmingly to replace SEIU Local 1021 with MAPE.
The MAPE that was created in 2009 is sometimes referred to as New MAPE. MAPE traces its roots back to the 1940s, when the Marin Association of Public Employees was first created. That was long before public employees in California could collectively bargain. MAPE was instrumental in creating the retirement system for County employees, the Marin County Employees Retirement Association (MCERA).
MAPE’s first strike in Marin County was in 1978. The strike came on the heels of big cuts the County implemented after passage of Proposition 13 in 1983. MAPE was able to secure improvements in the pension system for County workers including a “cost of living increase” for retirees.
MAPE affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in 1983 and became SEIU Local 949. 1998 was the year of its second, and most recent strike. Among other things, MAPE was able to improve retiree medical benefits and to include these benefits in our union contracts.
Events in 2007 led to New MAPE, as that was the year when SEIU compelled a merger of many local unions in California, including Local 949 (MAPE) and Local 535, into a mega-union, Local 1021. Local 535 represented the Health and Human Services Workers in Unit 10. Before the merger, MAPE (SEIU Local 949) had an office in Marin with an Executive Director, 3 union representatives and an administrative assistant (Local 949 represented workers in several cities and special districts in Marin County). SEIU 1021 closed the Marin Office, assigned one representative to Marin County plus one eighth of a political organizer and gave the members an 800 number in Pasadena to call if they needed help. Local 1021 also stopped all involvement in Marin politics and moved the more than $100,000 in the local strike fund into its own accounts, that were not specifically designated for County of Marin workers who had made the payments into the local strike fund.
MAPE, returning to its roots, has an office in San Rafael, close to the worksites of most of its members. In addition to its Board of Directors, which is comprised of union members elected by their fellow members each year, MAPE has stewards, who are members selected by their co-workers, an Executive Director, two union representatives/organizers and an administrative staff person.
MAPE and Marin County have negotiated three collective bargaining agreements since 2010. The current contracts expire in 2018.