School districts and universities signing last-minute contract extension that circumvent Michigan’s new right-to-work law aren’t breaking any laws, but they are denying workers their freedom, Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told The Macomb Daily.
“These last-minute deals really highlight how the interests of union bosses trump that of the rank-and-file union members in the negotiations,” Van Beek said.
The contract extensions will lock members into financially supporting their unions for up to 10 years. Right-to-work gives employees the freedom to decide whether or not to financially support their union without fear of getting fired.
The Detroit Free Press has a list of school districts and universities that have signed the extensions based on information compiled by the Center.
Three teachers in the Taylor School District filed suit against the school board and the Taylor Federation of Teachers over just such an extension — one that will force them to financially support the union until 2023 while also facing a 10 percent pay cut. The teachers are being represented by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation.
A summary disposition has been scheduled for June 14.
“That seems long, even for a circuit court,” MCLF Senior Attorney Derk Wilcox told the Southgate News-Herald. “It is disappointing. We did not think we would get a judge before March 28 but we thought it would be sooner (than June) and now it will drag into summer.”