Follow NWPE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

Right-to-Work Bill Passed in Michigan
posted by: Cindy Omlin | December 12, 2012, 01:02 AM   

Today, lawmakers in Michigan approved Right-to-Work legislation by a 58-51 vote. The controversial saga over freedom of choice for workers is drawing not just national attention, but also thousands of union-led protesters to the Capitol grounds today. Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign the measure this week. 

While met with controversy from union leaders, Right-to-Work laws do not reform collective bargaining agreements or affect a union's ability to exist in a state. Specifically, Right-to-work laws forbid private companies and government agencies from negotiating a contract with a union that requires members to join the union or pay an agency fee to the union as a condition of employment—known as an agency shop. The agency fee rate is determined by the union and is often 80-90% of union member dues, but the member forfeits the right to vote on the negotiated agreement that forced them to pay the fee, among other benefits.

For teachers in Michigan, the new law will give educators ultimate freedom of choice over their hard-earned paychecks. No longer required to pay union dues as a condition of employment, teachers will be given the right to select an organization of their choosing.

According to proponents, its passage reflects a new climate for unions across the country. Indiana became the first state in the industrial Midwest to approve the legislation in February. As Patrick Semmens, a spokesman for the Virginia-based National Right to Work Committee said earlier this year, "We're hopeful that showing that this can be done in a state like Indiana is going to bring other states around."

The fact is forced unionism and forced dues are serious business for the unions. In examining the numbers, the issue couldn't be clearer for teachers across the country. In 2011 alone, teachers unions collected more than $2 billion in union dues; $1.3 billion of those dues came from states with compulsory unionism.

Further, union dues are highest in states where there is compulsory unionism – sometimes twice as much as compared to states where teachers have the option not to join the union. In Michigan, union dues top $1,000 in certain districts. Obviously in fighting against teacher freedoms, the unions are trying to preserve their pipeline of cash.

Overall, this debate will prove to be a victory for teacher freedoms in Michigan. AAE believes that teachers, as college-educated professionals, should be able to decide whether union membership matches his or her budget and beliefs. The practice of forcing professionals to join a union simply for the privilege of having a job is both archaic and wrong.

Click here to learn more about teacher rights.

What do you think about right-to-work laws?
Comment below.



Originally posted by Alix at AAE.

Comments (0)Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.