Friday, March 4, 2011


The EMERGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGER BILL MAY BE VOTED ON IN Michigan’s Senate as soon as TUESDAY!! We must take action!
The bill numbers are Senate Bills 153-158 and House Bills 4214-4218 and 4246.
(Sample letter or script can be found at the bottom of the page!)

This is extremely dangerous legislation because, if a school district goes broke, it allows an “Emergency Financial Manager” to be appointed to run the district. This person will have the power to void your contract -- including your salary, health insurance benefits, class sizes, seniority rights, and any other provisions. There is also discussion that the EFM would abe given the power to make academic and curriculum changes to a school district, regardless of their knowledge or qualifications in that area.

MEA strongly opposes the bills. However, they would support some safe guards being added to the bills:
• Prior to the termination of all or parts of a contract, there must be a "good faith" negotiation period lasting 60 days, during which time the bargaining agent for the employees and the employer or emergency financial manager must try to settle any issues.
• If a contract, or parts of a contract, is/are terminated, there must be a court appeals process to determine if there was due process for the termination.
• Do NOT give the emergency financial manager the power to consolidate local units of government or school districts, including the power to put such a question on the ballot.
• An emergency financial manager for school districts must have both financial and academic qualifications. Without such qualifications, an emergency financial manager should not be granted the broad academic powers the bill currently provides.
• Remove the section from the bill amending the Public Employment Relations Act. As the legislation is currently written, future labor contracts would have to include a clause that provides automatic termination of the contract if an emergency financial manager is appointed at any time.

Please, DO NOT BE COMPLACENT!!! With Governor Snyder’s proposed budget cuts, many schools districts are on the verge of having deficit spending! This could easily happen to all schools in Michigan within the next two years!

This law will also affect State employees who are represented by unions. The State of Michigan is already projected to be billions of dollars in the red. If this law passes, the state employee unions will be the first to suffer, but not the last.

In my own personal opinion, our State and union employees are in the VERY SAME DANGER that Wisconsin unionized workers are in. The difference? It appears Michigan will pass the same anti-union laws piece-by-piece rather than propose it in one giant proposal as Wisconsin’s governor has.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, thousands of union employees, including some WLEA members, were in Lansing protesting this legislation as it was being discussed in the House. IT WAS STILL PASSED BY THE HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY.

We CAN NOT SIT BACK and wait! Everyone must call or write! Some of our members have already called today and have been told that their legislator will not vote in favor of the bill. However, we need more REPUBLICANS to commit to a NO vote for this legislation to be stopped!

Here are the Senators to target!
Please use your cell or home phones and your home email accounts!
7 Patrick Colbeck R-Canton Twp. 517-373-7350

10 Tory Rocca R-Sterling Heights 517-373-7315

15 Mike Kowall R-White Lake Twp. 517-373-1758

22 Joe Hune R-Hamburg Twp. 517-373-2420

SAMPLE LETTER or Script: The Emergency Financial Manager bill is a violation of a person's democratic rights. It wipes out elected school boards and city councils, voiding all contracts including collective bargaining agreements. Elected officials should not vote to approve legislation that allows the will of the people to be overturned. The legislature should also provide adequate funding to cities, townships and schools so they are not viewed as causing the take over of the public's voted representatives at the local level.