Teacher Union Bosses Pressuring School Boards into Renegotiating Contracts in Rush Effort to Deny Teachers the Freedom to Work
LANSING, MI, January 11, 2012 –The Foundation for Michigan Freedom today issued a a memo to school board members (it references a Thrun Law Firm memo) across the state encouraging them to stand strong in the face of special interest pressure and rushed attempts to deny local teachers the freedom to work. Foundation for Michigan Freedom President Greg McNeilly says:
“Teacher union bosses are already pressuring school boards into extending employee contracts, even those not near expiration, to deny school employees the Freedom to Work and further tie the hands of current and future school boards in their work to improve local schools and to be good stewards of taxpayer resources. There is no doubt these special interest leaders aim to put their paychecks and their political coffers ahead of their own members and, more importantly, our school children.”
According to its recent filings with the IRS, the Michigan Education Association in 2012 spent only 11% of dues collected from teachers on member representation (over 8 percent less than it spent in 2011) while 61% of dues were spent on union staff benefits and overhead, a nearly 12 percent increase over the previous year.
Freedom-to-work reforms enacted in Lansing last month are expected to go into effect on March 28th and give Michigan teachers more choices and control over their own lives by restoring workplace fairness and equality. Because contracts negotiated before March 28 can deny local teachers the freedom to choose whether or not to support a labor union and its political activities, teacher union bosses have begun pressuring local districts into renegotiating contracts, denying their teachers workplace freedom and taking advantage of taxpayers in order to pad their political coffers.
“Every Michigan teacher should be able to choose for her or himself if they want to join and pay wages to a union organization. What’s more, school boards will have better leverage in their respective negotiations with local bargaining units by supporting taxpayers and their great local teachers and waiting to renew or extend contracts after March 27.”
The Foundation for Michigan Freedom is a statewide non-partisan educational organization providing informational programs, research and analysis concerning fiscal policy, economic freedom, and the elimination of coercive and compulsory policies.