Bill Prohibits Schools from Deducting Union Dues

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Michigan could be close to banning school districts from deducting dues from employees' paychecks. The bill has been passed by the legislature and is on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder.

Jim Allen, a theatre teacher at Everett High School has $90 taken out of his paycheck every month for union dues and says he's happy to spend that money.

"They work hard to try to keep a fair balance for us," Allen said.

If the bill gets signed into law, the burden of collecting dues will then fall on unions. Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, says he sees no real purpose in the bill and calls it a retaliation from lawmakers.

"This bill has sat in the legislature for months, but then 24 hours after we announced in coalition with other unions and community groups the formation of the constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining, within 24 hours this bill was suddenly resurrected from the dead and passed," Cook said.

Lawmakers who supported the bill deny this claim, arguing it's simply to relieve the stress on school administration and make sure money is better spent.

"Why waste money on collecting dues. The school employees can simply write a check or transfer through their credit union or bank," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

If that becomes the new way of paying dues, Allen says he will stay supportive to the union and continue paying. However, he's worried what could happen if not all teachers feel the same way.

"This bill does nothing to make education better. It's just designed to destroy unions and demoralize teachers," Allen said.

Supporters of the bill maintain it's not an attack on any group and is simply there to make school administrators more efficient.


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  • by ChrIs on Mar 10, 2012 at 05:10 AM
    The union is worried because they won't have a forced and weekly cash flow. Union dues weren't always collected by an employer. I will pay for good representation. I don't want a my dues going for a PAC for someone I support or not support. Wake up and see that automatic dues take a voice from you within your UNION.
    • reply
      by Doug on Mar 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM in reply to ChrIs
      Laws already on the books that don't allow union dues to go for PAC. So that is not a reason for this!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM
    Now if they can do the same with the taxes. Have the people write the checks after getting paid. Then they will realize how much is being taken from them.
  • by Bob smith Location: Lansing on Mar 9, 2012 at 08:52 AM
    Deducted by computer and held in school district accounts collecting interest. Now that goes away so let's raise taxes.
  • by Bob smith Location: Lansing on Mar 9, 2012 at 08:50 AM
    Deducted by computer and held in school district accounts collecting interest. Now that goes away so let's raise taxes.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 08:28 AM
    How many times have the liberal's claimed "if it helps one person, then it must be done". If it helps one employee gain their freedom, then it is the price we all must pay! It's the liberal thing to do:)
  • by Trina Location: East Lansing on Mar 9, 2012 at 06:03 AM
    If it's not retaliatory, as some legislators insist, then why did they not apply the same principle to ALL unions, or at least all public employee unions? Perhaps they're worried that these people will all show up in November to vote them out.
  • by Thomas Location: Lansing on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:09 AM
    I'm sure the cost to collect union dues is minimal. Schools collect many deductions from employee checks such as health care and 401k's. If this passes a better alternative would to charge the unions a small administrative fee to collect the dues.
    • reply
      by David on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM in reply to Thomas
      What a great idea Tom if the unions want their dues let them pay the Ad. to collect them you should call your rep. and tell them that
      • reply
        by Doug on Mar 9, 2012 at 02:07 PM in reply to David
        They had that in the bill as an amendment(for unions to pay for the cost to the district to take it out of paychecks) but they took it out just before they passed it. Which really makes it look like they did this in retaliation.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:22 AM
    "It's just designed to destroy unions and demoralize teachers," If writing the check will destroy your union, it was not much of a union! How dare we demand the same level of responsibility of our teachers and students, turn your work/dues in or else?!?!?!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 08:02 AM in reply to
      Really...your equating students turning stuff in to teacher pay roll deduction? I'm a little lost. Its more like the teacher is trying to turn something in ahead of time and now they can't. Ridiculous. As the other person said...such a waste of time. Get to work on real legislation.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2012 at 02:04 PM in reply to Anonymous
        Poor thing,you got lost on such a little thing as responsiblity. I will try again, a student is responsible for turning in their work and now teachers are responsible for turning in their union dues. Yes, I was a good student, I always turned in my home work ahead of time!?!?!?
  • by Lance Location: Mid-Michigan on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:13 AM
    Why are our idiot politicans wasting their time on such a pointless issue? This is so obviously political. Don't we elect and pay them to work on real legislation...on issues that really matter? Rick Jones...go to work...if a teacher wants to have their dues automatically deducted so be it. I know it doesn't cost DeWitt schools a dime to deduct the money from its teachers checks. Isn't there something else you could find to do? How about the price of gas? Jobs? Don't engage in dirty politics. This is politically embarassing.
    • reply
      by a teacher on Mar 9, 2012 at 07:06 AM in reply to Lance
      how is a teacher demoralized by changing the way they are paying for dues...seems like this is being politicised by the unions as much as anyone
      • reply
        by David on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM in reply to a teacher
        Your right how does this hurt anyone let the unions get their money from the members.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM in reply to a teacher
        Do you know you don't have to give dues as a teacher? I didn't see the unions calling for an end nor standing in the way of someone not wanting to pay. In fact I know several teachers who don't pay dues.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM in reply to a teacher
        Just takes away time for local officers doing local union business to ask for and collect members dues.
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