Sent on behalf of Steven B. Cook, MEA President:
You may have heard that the Governor, despite heavy criticism from members, school boards and superintendents, signed HB 4929 last Friday afternoon – it is now known as PA 53. HB 4929 prohibits the collection of union dues by school districts, usually through payroll deduction. (Will be implemented when contracts expire.)
MEA and AFT-Michigan will be filing suit in federal court as soon as possible to block implementation of this legislation until a full hearing can be held.
It’s important to note that unlike some of the statements lawmakers used in the debate over this bill, the issue here is not whether dues will necessarily be paid, but how they will be paid. This legislation does not affect agency shop contractual language, but it does remove payroll deduction by school employers as a means of collecting dues.
We continue to develop the forms and processes necessary for alternative methods to collect membership dues.
Passage of the Protect Our Jobs constitutional amendment will help put the issue of payroll deduction back at the bargaining table, where it’s been for decades.
The petition for the amendment was approved as to form by the state board of canvassers this morning and petitions are being sent to the field as quickly as they are being printed. Thank you to the countless members, leaders and staff who are already engaged in developing and implementing plans to get the necessary signatures.
Finally, for your information, we keep reading about Governor Snyder “reaching out” to the petition organizers to get us to withdraw the amendment. But the fact is, he hasn’t spoken to MEA, and the other groups in the coalition have said they haven't heard from him either.