SEIU Local 517M is an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) representing public school employees in Michigan. Like most other affiliates of the SEIU, it takes left-of-center stances on most economic issues.
Some members have protested the union over top-down reorganizations and poor internal governance.  It has also suffered drops in membership since the mid-2000s, with membership dropping from nearly 10,000 in 2005 to 7,405 in 2019,  lower than the union’s claim of over 8,000 members. 
SEIU Local 517M is the SEIU affiliate representing most public school employees in Michigan. The union claims over 8,000 members in all 83 Michigan counties on its website, though it reported having 7,405 members on its federal annual report for the year ending June 30, 2019. 
SEIU 517M endorses and supports political candidates and advocates on policy issues. It claims to make endorsements on a nonpartisan basis, but most of the candidates the SEIU endorses are Democrats.  The issues that the union fights for are left-wing issues; for example, in 2012, union members held a demonstration in front of a Toys R’ Us store to demand an increase in the minimum wage. 
The union in divided into two divisions. The School and Local Government Division is divided into three regions and represents public school employees who work for local schools and governments. The State Employee Division is a statewide division. Together, the members elect and executive board which governs for two years. 
The current president is Joey Combs. The current secretary/treasurer is Eric Campbell. 
There are six divisional vice presidents, one representing each region. There is also one vice president representing HSS, one representing science and English workers, and one representing techs. The organization has a board of 11 members representing the various regions and the educational specialties. 
Protests against the Union
The union has been the subject of protest by its own members. In 2005, the members of SEIU Local 26M in Taylor, Michigan were forced to merge with SEIU Local 517M. Disputes between the two organizations began almost immediately; in 2016, Taylor school employees voted to decertify Local 517M. 
SEIU Local 517M responded a few weeks later by filing a lawsuit against the Taylor school employees. The lawsuit sought to force the Taylor school employees out of a banquet hall and some bank accounts. But the school employees claim that the money raised to build the banquet hall was raised locally and did not involve state union funds. 
In 2017, the Taylor school employees then traveled to Lansing, Michigan, the state capital, and protested the union. The employees the union just simply took their dues and provided them with no resources. 
According to the union’s 2016 tax returns, it raised $3.3 million in revenue and spent $3.2 million in expenses.