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.