Summer is often a time for resting and relaxing. Families pack up a vehicle and head north to find a slower pace, to disengage from the work-a-day world and to put aside responsibilities for a time.
That hasn’t been the case for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. While many were planning summer vacations, we were planning how to inform teachers of their new right-to-work freedoms. We sent messages to teachers’ school email addresses and postcards to their homes. Since the leadership of the Michigan Education Association said that it doesn’t market how to resign, the Mackinac Center is taking that responsibility.
Our efforts are paying off. National television and radio outlets, as well as Michigan media, took notice of the Mackinac Center’s initiative and brought more attention to the important decision teachers will make during the month of August. Last year, few of them knew that the MEA claims the only month members can resign is August. Many more know now.
On the last day of June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of liberty. The 5-4 Harris v. Quinn decision means unions cannot force people who work in their own homes to pay dues or fees simply because they receive government funding to take care of the elderly and disabled (most of them relatives or close family friends). The Mackinac Center wrote two amicus briefs on this topic and witnessed the arguments in person this past January in Washington, D.C. The Mackinac Center put this “dues skim” on the map in Michigan, drawing attention to the unfair and illegal scheme. We banded together with like-minded partners at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to make our voices louder. We know in Michigan that when folks weren’t forced to pay the SEIU, 80 percent dropped off the union’s membership rolls. (Patrick Wright sums up our involvement in our feature article.)
Summer brings in a new class of interns for us. Meet the future of the liberty movement.
Friends of freedom get excited when we win a legal battle, but when our opponents give our clients what they want and pay our attorneys’ fees, we get really excited! That’s exactly what happened in the City of Dearborn. Brave workers stood up to the Teamsters who were discriminating against them by establishing additional fees in violation of Michigan’s right-to-work law. Not only did the Teamsters change the illegal policy, it also cut the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation a check.
We hope you are enjoying your summer and can find enjoyment knowing that liberty never takes a vacation.