AS REPORTED BY the MICHIGAN INDEPENDENT RESEARCH SERVICE on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 1PM
Four Michigan school employee unions today filed a lawsuit today in federal court challenging a
recently signed law that bans the automatic deduction of union dues from public school employees' paychecks, HB 4929. The suit, filed in Michigan's Eastern District federal court,
asserts that the law violates the First Amendment and 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by "discriminating against school employees as retribution for political speech and treating school employees differently than other classifications of workers without reason."
The Michigan Education Association (MEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Michigan, AFSCME Council 25 and SEIU Local 517M are plaintiffs in the suit, which seeks injunctive and declaratory relief. The three commissioners on the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) are named as defendants in the case, since they are the public officials responsible for enforcing PA 53.
AFT Michigan President David HECKER said in a letter to Gov. Rick SNYDER the day he signed the bill that there were constitutional problems with it. Hecker has said, "By signing this bill, he clearly ignored the fact that there is no rational reason for this to be law, the House Fiscal Agency says this won't save money -- in fact, it may cost some districts money to enact the change. It's just another attack on collective bargaining rights for one group of Michigan workers."
ALSO REPORTED IN THE LAST 24 hours:
The bill is also under fire as part of a House Democrats lawsuit against the House Republicans, alleging they used the "fast gavel" on HB 4929 and two other bills to give them Immediate
Effect (See "House Dems Win Restraining Order On IE Squabble," 4/2/12). A court injunction has been imposed that means that this bill can NOT take immediate effect! In fact, if the court injunction is upheld in future challenges, this practice can not legally begin until March of 2013.