There’s more than one way to starve the beast

Right-to-work advocate Rep. Joe Haveman, R-Holland, is introducing a bill that would prohibit school districts from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

It’s the kind of union-shrinking legislation that will just have to suffice until or unless legislators in Lansing can pass a bill to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

Over the summer, Haveman said at a Tea Party meeting in Zeeland, after being informed by a colleague that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder would not sign right-to-work into law, that he would challenge the governor on that issue.

House Bill 4929 would prohibit union dues from being deducted by a district’s human resources workers on school-owned computers. It would prohibit: “a public school employer’s use of public school resources to assist a labor organization in collecting dues or service fees from wages of public school employees … However public school employer’s collection of dues or service fees pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement that is in effect on the effective date … is not prohibited until the agreement expires.”

If the bill gains support, it’s not likely the MEA would have much luck fighting it, at least not in Michigan Courts.

Earlier this year the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that public school districts cannot administer payroll deductions to the Michigan Education Association political action committee even if the MEA was paying the district to do so.

The Court ruled 4-3 that the deduction is tantamount to a “contribution” to political activity, and that public resources cannot be spent on political activities.

Educators file class action suit

Five members of the Michigan Education Association have filed a class-action suit, which “seeks to overturn a provision that requires school employees who don’t retire this summer to start paying an extra 3 percent of their compensation into a fund for retiree health care …” according to the Associated Press.

However, according to the story, the “suit doesn’t challenge a provision that gives slightly higher pension benefits to school employees who retire this summer.”