2021 Virtual Training Program

MPELRA has scheduled three FREE virtual training sessions on Fridays during the month of March 2021 for members and non-members. Although there is no charge to attend, registration is required.  Session dates, titles, speakers, a brief synopsis of the presentation, and the registration link for each session are listed below.

June 25, 2021, 12 Noon to 1:15 PM
Legislative Update
Chris Hackbarth, Director, State & Federal Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
We are all affected by legislation in many different areas and it can be difficult to keep up – especially now.  This session will provide an update on pending legislation that may impact our communities and our work so we can best anticipate and prepare.
June 25 Registration Link:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/legislative-update-tickets-157858161009

June 18, 2021, 12 Noon to 1:15 PM
COVID 19 by Race: What is Behind the Health Disparities and How to Remove Barriers to Equitable Access to Healthcare
Denise Z. Fair, Chief Public Health Officer, City of Detroit

Denise will discuss how the COVID 19 pandemic brought social and racial inequities to the forefront of public health, the importance of equitable access to health care in Black and Brown communities; the need to remove these barriers; and what the City of Detroit is doing to provide equitable access to health care through COVID 19 treatments, vaccinations and beyond.  Presentation slides:  COVId 19 by Race – Removing Barriers to Healthcare 6 18 21

Presentation Link: Google Drive Link 

Safe Path to Reopening the Workplace
Scott Withington, Environmental Health General Manager, Detroit Health Department

Employers need a plan to bring workers back to the workplace. Scott will discuss the safe path to reopening the workplace through COVID-19 guidelines, vaccinations, and employee testing. Presentation Slides: Safe Pat to Reopening the Workplace 6 18 2021

June 11, 2021, 12 Noon to 1:15 PM
Navigating and Preparing for Matters with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission
Craig S. Schwartz, Shareholder, Butzel Long
This session will provide guidance on how to prepare for the most common cases that Michigan public employers encounter before the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.  Craig will explain what needs to be done before you get to MERC, what to expect when you get there and how to give yourself the best chance of a successful result.
Presentation Slides:  Navigating and Preparing for Matters with MERC 06-11-21


Past Virtual Training Program Resources

March 26, 2021, 12 Noon to 1:15 PM
Medical Update/Health Benefit Review
Dr. B. Keith English, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
Chadd Hodkinson, Area Vice President, Gallagher Benefit Services

Dr. English will describe the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current understanding of the virus and its variants. Mr. Hodkinson will continue the focus on health with a discussion of health care benefits trends emerging in response to the pandemic and more broadly.
Presentation Slides1 Link:  Medical Update
Presentation Slides 2 Link: MPELRA Gallagher Health Trends Presentation_Final
Presentation links – 2 Videos:          Part 1          Part 2

March 19, 2021, 12 Noon to 1:15 PM
Panel Discussion on Remote Work Today and Tomorrow
Brandon Fournier, Attorney, Shifman Fournier
Ursula Taylor-Holland, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Chief of Employee Services, City of Detroit
Moderator: Valerie Colbert-Osamuede, Deputy Director – Labor Relations

This panel discussion will look at emerging issues surrounding remote work during the COVID pandemic and when a “new normal” emerges after the pandemic subsides.  Panelists will identify challenges facing public sector human resources and labor relations professions in Michigan and will suggest methods to address those challenges and offer insight on how to build and sustain employee engagement.
Presentation Link:  https://drive.google.com/drive 
Presentation Slides: Remote Work in the Public Sector3.15notes

March 12, 2021, 12 Noon to 1:15 PM
Mental Health/Substances Abuse Issues Presented by COVID
Dave Pankotai, Chief Executive Officer, Macomb County Community Mental Health
Traci Smith, Chief of Staff, Macomb County Community Mental Health

This session will explore how COVID has impacted employee mental health and affected substance abuse in our communities.  Speakers will share their perspectives and provide the information human resources professionals should know to help address these emerging issues.
Presentation Link:  Mental Health & Substance Abuse Resources Video
Presentation Slides: Mental Health Substances Abuse Presentation


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  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our members, in-person meeting have been canceled until further notice.
  • The 2021 Virtual Training Program is a great way to stay informed on current topics! See the 'meetings' page for more information.