New statewide secretary wants to help lead MAPE into new year, new strategic plan

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MAPE’s new statewide Secretary Michael Crider says what interested him most about the statewide Secretary position was the opportunity to help take the union to the next level. “What are the next steps for MAPE? Where do we want to go? The complexities of 2022 put us in the position to evaluate and evolve,” Crider said.

Crider is a financial aid specialist with Minnesota State at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) and Inver Hills Community College. At DCTC he also coordinates the student employment project (work study) and certifies veterans benefits for veterans. Crider is a DCTC alumnus, and it was through work study that led him to a position at the college. Crider served in the U.S. Marines and is a veteran himself.

“I go to high schools and do ‘financial aid 101.’ It’s about putting kids on the path to find success. The cost of going to school is steep. Minnesota State’s cost per credit is pretty low: $12,000 for a two-year degree. I’m trying to save the world one student at a time,” Crider said. “When you look to the future, when we’re old, these kids are going to be making decisions for us. Giving kids a future gives us all a future.”

Before becoming MAPE’s statewide secretary, Crider was a member of the Negotiations Committee and co-chair of the President's Committee. In addition to serving as Local 1202 president, he served as the local’s vice president, treasurer and steward.

Prior to joining state service, Crider worked in the hotel-restaurant management sector and often sat across the table from union representatives. “I learned that there is a lot more to unions than what I experienced just being on the other side – my interaction had been just when there was a problem. I have learned from that experience to know that if management tried to better understand the work the union does for members, you’d have better relationships. We all win!” Crider said.

Crider says investment in people is critical, and as a Negotiations Committee member, he didn’t see Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) representatives grasping this concept. “What kind of employee are you getting if you say you don’t want to invest, just take away?  What kind of employee do you get? What will that do for not only current members but future ones as well? We need them to come to the table recognizing that as the economy changes, members need change to match that. We need change in work areas as our members have the right to a welcoming work environment, in turn, this will also make the State a more enticing place to work,” he said. “Many times, where things fail or go wrong is when one fails to listen.”   

Crider also looks forward to working with MAPE’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group. “I am a Black male. I grew up where I didn’t know my birth parents and floated through foster homes. I grew up in a white society. I come from a small town where the only Black kids were the ones in my adopted family. My lens sees many different sides – I don’t see just Black culture or white culture. We need to bring those voices together and we need to get into those difficult conversations. I feel I can bring that to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors,” Crider said. 

“My true passion is helping to put every kid on a path. Everyone’s path is different. Every member has a path, doing this work helps with that as well."