Act now: Help fight health care cost shift, privatization

Big votes expected Today -- we need your help!

Lawmakers are expected to vote today on separate proposals that strip local school districts of big decisions related to health care costs and privatization.

MEA staff and leaders are at the Capitol today to lobby against these bills -- and your legislative contacts are vital to our efforts to derail or modify these bills.

Here's what you need to know about the proposals:

Senate Bill 7 would require employees to pay at least 20 percent of the cost of their health plan. This bill strips local school boards of the authority to decide how best to manage health care costs, something that should be decided locally through collective bargaining. This bill is before the full Senate.

Act now: Contact your state senator immediately to ask him/her to vote NO on Senate Bill 7.

Remind your senator that Senate Bill 7 will not solve Michigan’s budget crisis. Many school superintendents have previously testified that their employees pay for health insurance and this bill will not offset state funding cuts.

House Bill 4306 would require school districts to solicit private companies for bids for certain services. Under this legislation, the state would require competitive bidding for food, custodial, and transportation services even if the local district did not want to outsource jobs to private companies. This bill is before the full House.

The nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency reported that House Bill 4306 would have “no fiscal impact on the state” and that requiring competitive bidding may actually increase administrative costs for schools.

Act now: Contact your state representative immediately to ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 4306.

Tell your representative to allow locally elected school board members to decide whether outsourcing jobs to private companies is a good idea for their own district.