MEA Teacher Strike Vote Kept Private

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

The Board of Directors of the MEA met Thursday, and there's little doubt the votes from the 1,100 local teachers unions on whether or not they support a state-wide strike were discussed.

But the MEA is staying mum. President Iris Salters said "the results are for internal, strategic purposes and will not be released publicly."

"The MEA owes it to their members to be transparent and tell them what's going on," Kyle Olson, CEO of the Education Action Group, said.

Olson said he's talked with several Michigan teachers who voted "no" but fear a strike will be authorized anyway, and without the vote totals,,, he says no one can know for sure if it really passed.

"They are concerned there is an agenda that's being pushed in Lansing toward an action and they're concerned about it," he said.

The MEA's position is that its members and a majority of voters oppose lawmakers ongoing attacks on public education and will not remain silent about their dissent. But Salters said a strike is only one of many "crisis activities" on the table.

Republican lawmakers are not waiting around for a MEA decision, bills were passed out of committee Wednesday that they hope persuades teachers to stay on the job.

"We have to abide by the law and making strikes illegal is not enough of a deterrent for the MEA," Rep. Paul Scott said.

Rep. Scott's bill would de certify any union that engages in an organized strike. The full house could vote on it soon.

Rep. Bill Rogers is in full support of bills that tighten penalties should the teachers strike.

"There should be some repercussions for something that's totally illegal." Rep. Rogers said.

For now, no one knows what the future holds because the MEA isn't saying. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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