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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