In response to Michigan becoming a right to work state, Michigan teachers unions are negotiating side deals with school districts forcing teachers to pay union dues for up to ten years, even if they leave the union. The issue has recently been coming to a head in Michigan and a group of teachers are now suing their school district and their own union.
It all started when Michigan adopted a right to work law, allowing people to keep their job even if they choose to not join a union. The teachers union, apparently afraid of having to actually demonstrate value to its members, got the districts to agree to side contracts. The side contracts state that even if teachers leave the union, they will be forced to pay union dues, collected from their pay by the school, for 3 years. Other unions just had the school districts agree to 10 years contracts instead of the usual 3, with union dues payment embedded in the contract.
The union is defending these deals by saying they need to secure these sources of income in order to continue to represent teachers. What did the school districts get in return for cutting these side deals? Would you believe up to a 10% cut in teacher pay? Seriously, the union offered cuts in teacher pay in exchange for dedicated revenue streams to union bosses and their coffers. Can you say kickback?
That this is even possible is beyond ludicrous. This amounts to a tax, levied upon teacher pay, by the unions, through the school district. I am also shocked the union actually thinks they are entitled to take money from teachers, even if teachers choose to leave the union. How does that even make sense? The unions claim the recent ‘right to work’ changes have nothing to do with the push for these new deals. If that were true, why are they in such a hurry to get new deals signed before the law goes into effect in a few weeks?