Time for The MEA To Recognize Right-To-Work

Media covers new Mackinac Center lawsuit

Four years after Michigan passed right-to-work, it’s time for the Michigan Education Association to allow teachers to exercise their freedom.

That is one of the reasons the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is representing an Ann Arbor science teacher in his suit against the Michigan Education Association and its local the Ann Arbor Education Association, which is illegally preventing him from exercising his right not to belong to the union. MLive wrote about the case this week, explaining plaintiff Ronald Robinson is being billed for fees to a union he does not wish to be part of.

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Robinson's charge centers on Michigan's right-to-work law and when the Ann Arbor Education Association entered into its most recent master agreement with Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Michigan's right-to-work law went into effect in March 2013, saying contracts between employers and bargaining units cannot require employees to be union members or pay agency fees. Existing contracts did not have to immediately comply with the new law, but any new contracts negotiated since the law went into effect need to allow employees the option to opt out of union membership and agency fees.

Mackinac Center Senior Attorney Derk Wilcox explained that revisions to the collective bargaining agreement made in 2014 and 2015 triggered right-to-work and the MEA and Ann Arbor Education Association are forcing Robinson and other teachers to pay fees.

“A union cannot change almost everything in a contract and claim the agreement is not a new one that is exempt from right-to-work,” Wilcox said in a news release.

Robinson told Local 4 News in Detroit that he notified the union of his desire to leave because he didn’t feel it represents him well.

“I would like to see them do well, I really would,” Robinson said. “But at the same time, I would like them to be accountable for all of the voices, not just a chosen few.”

Read the full article by MLive here.

Watch Local 4’s coverage here.


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Mackinac Research Cited by Wall Street Journal