Tag Archives | MEA

Administrative law judge rules that MEA must allow teachers to leave union at any time

After losing in court countless times, the corporatist front group Mackinac Center has finally won a round. This week, an administrative law judge ruled that the Michigan Education Association (MEA) teachers union must end its decades-old policy of having an “opt-out month” and allow its members to leave at any time. The judge’s ruling is essentially a recommendation to the the Michigan Employment Relations Council (MERC) which has the final say on the matter.

Members of the Michigan Education Association should be able to resign from the union at any time, and not just during the month of August, an administrative law judge ruled this week.…
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Corporate front groups pushing laughable “National Employee Freedom Week” and other anti-union efforts

Despite the success of groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the State Policy Network (SPN) and their affiliates, and other related anti-union corporate front groups in making states like Michigan so-called “Right to Work” states, these same groups are having far less success in actually getting people to leave their unions. In Michigan, for example, only around 1% of their members quit the Michigan Education Association teachers union after Michigan became a right to work state. The fact is that union membership as a percentage of the work force in our state has remained largely flat since right to work was passed and the number of people who belong to a union increased by 4,000 last year.…

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Mackinac Center continues its efforts to encourage freeloading & destroy teachers union with mass mailing

Last week I wrote about how the corporatist front group Mackinac Center had sent a mass email to teachers in over 50 school districts in Michigan encouraging them to leave the Michigan Education Association, one of the two largest teachers unions in the state.

Their effort didn’t stop there. This week, teachers across the state received postcards in the mail urging them to freeload off the work their union does on their behalf to secure reasonable wages and benefits by leaving the union. This shameless effort to destroy the MEA is transparent in its intent: starve the MEA of the funds it needs to operate to help teachers work with the dignity they deserve and to be adequately compensated for the essential service they provide to society.…

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AUDIO: Mackinac Center staffer claims emails urging teachers to leave union aren’t “political” (UPDATED)

po·lit·i·cal – /pəˈlitikəl/ – adjective: of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country

Updated with video of Rachael Siemen asking her question.

Yesterday at a forum at the Michigan House Office Building, the Mackinac Center brought in a representative from another notorious corporatist front group, The Heritage Foundation, to spew propaganda regarding the raising of the minimum wage. During the question and answer period following the presentation, UAW Local 6000 member Rachael Siemen asked Mackinac Center staffer Vincent Vernuccio a simple question regarding a recent email sent spammed out to thousands of public school teachers in Michigan urging them to leave the Michigan Education Association teachers union.…

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BREAKING: Mackinac Center using public school email system to encourage teachers to leave their union (UPDATED)

NOTE: Updated to clarify the restriction on unions using official school emails to conduct business.

NOTE 2: This post has been updated HERE.

The anti-union corporatist group the Mackinac Center is using public school email systems to encourage teachers to leave the Michigan Education Association, one of two major teachers unions in the state. I have confirmed that at least five teachers in the Livonia school district received the following email in their school email accounts:

From: Peter Boyd
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Subject: August Opt-Out
To: [NAME REDACTED]@livoniapublicschools.org

Dear Colleague:

My name is Peter Boyd, and I’m a high school science teacher in the Martin school district.

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Michigan GOP forms special committee to continue attacks on teachers

Michigan Republicans are starting look desperate and obsessed and controlled by the Mackinac Center

It’s no secret that Michigan Republicans are hellbent on destroying unions. Teachers unions seem to be their prime targets, likely because teachers are particularly vulnerable because they are focused on educating our kids, not on political action and activism.

When Republicans rammed right to work (for less) legislation through the legislature and into law without hearings or public input in 2012, only the most anti-union types claimed it was anything less than an effort to kneecap unions and reduce their power. Using the euphemism “Freedom to Work” did nothing to mask their true intent.…

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BREAKING: Michigan Education Association gives early endorsement to Mark Schauer for Michigan governor

Standing proud for kids, teachers, and public education

The Michigan Education Association (MEA), Michigan’s largest teachers union, threw their support behind Mark Schauer for governor today, giving him their official endorsement.

Schauer is the son of a high school teacher and a product of Michigan’s public school system. As governor, he’ll be a fierce advocate for public education, our educators, and, most importantly, our state’s students. From his website:

Mark understands that education is the single most important investment we can make as a state. To give our kids a better future, rebuild the middle class, and compete for 21st Century jobs, we need to keep our constitutional promise of a quality public education for every child.…
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UPDATED: Education supporters plan huge grassroots rally at Mich Capitol June 19th, teacher unions & media confused

Grassroots power in action!

NOTE: This post has been updated. See below.

A little under two weeks ago, my pals that run the Facebook page Save Michigan’s Public Schools announced a rally to support education and teachers in Michigan. Their page is the premier online resource for all things education in our state. It was started by Ann Arbor educator Rochelle Noel and former state House candidate from Traverse City Betsy Coffia. Being grassroots organizers in the most basic definition of the word “grassroots”, Rochelle and Betsy and their passionate team of volunteers chose to pull off their June 19th rally on their own without reaching out to the two biggest unions in Michigan, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).…

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AG Schuette is denied, lawsuit challenging Michigan’s Right to Work law goes forward

Michigan citizens: 1, Attorney General Bill Schuette: 0

Back in January, I wrote about a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the MEA, the AFL-CIO and others that challenged Michigan's Right to Work law since it was passed in violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act. Because Republicans locked citizens (and Democratic lawmakers) out of the building during the vote, the plaintiffs say the law should be invalidated. This could be a HUGE deal because Republicans passed the legislation by a margin that was larger than than the margin they hold in the House after last November's election. They would be forced to bring more of their GOP caucus over to vote yes on this legislation which may be difficult do, politically speaking. Yesterday, Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette overruled a request by Attorney General Bill Schuette to throw the case out of court. Details after the jump.
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Michigan Gov Rick Snyder to make another fake concession, this time on school funding

Rick Snyder is the master of the “fake concession”. He takes money away from something, gives a little back and then paints it as a “concession”. It’s not.

He did it on the Earned Income Tax credit in late April:

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget eliminates the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which helps the working poor, especially those with kids.

In a dramatic concession, he’s agreed to give qualifying families $25 per child . This represents 5.8% of the EITC the average family would have received.

He will now tell everyone he made a concession. But, if his budget passes in May as it most likely will, he will have actually slashed an important bit of assistance for many poor Michiganders with families by 94.2%.

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