Michigan’s teachers union is doing everything it can to keep its claws latched onto the state’s education system. Now, teachers are suing the Michigan Education Association because the union won’t allow them to quit and is forcing them to pay dues.
from Washington Examiner:
Michigan teachers are discovering that their union is determined to make it as hard as possible for them to take advantage of the state’s new right-to-work law, which prohibits workers from being forced to pay dues to a union.
Nine teachers sued the Michigan Education Association in the last week alleging unfair labor practices.
Eight teachers sued the MEA on Monday. They are being represented by the conservative Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. Their complaint alleges the union is violating the intent of the right-to-work law by only giving them a very brief period — the month of August — to drop their membership.
One of the eight, Coopersville teacher Miriam Chanski, told MEA in a May letter she was leaving the union. MEA denied her request because it was sent in too early.
She claims the union did not tell her this at the time. She only learned of the August opt-out window in September. That was when MEA informed her she would now have to pay another year’s dues.
"It surprised me that there would be more to the process — I had not heard anything else," she told the local ABC affiliate.
It got worse for her when MEA said that if she didn’t continue to pay, they would report her to a collection agency, which would negatively affect her credit rating.
"My credit is very personal to me and it’s something I take pride in," Chanski said.
Last week, Linda Evon, a Pickney special needs classroom assistant, also filed an unfair labor practice complaint against MEA. She said she tried to quit the union Sept. 4, only to be told the deadline had passed on Aug. 31.
Evon is getting legal assistance from the National Right To Work Foundation.
“Across the state, union bosses are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan’s right-to-work law,” said Mark Mix, president of the foundation.
Both groups said they will argue in court that the one-month window violates the right-to-work law’s language.
The teachers unions realize that forced membership is the only tool they have to keep their organizations’ power from eroding. That is why they’re now fighting tooth and nail to make it as difficult as possible for any teacher to quit.