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House passes school budget; Senate expected to follow suit

House Republicans put the “School bus” budget—the omnibus bill consisting of K-12, higher education, and community colleges—on the road last week with a 58-51 party-line vote. But unfortunately, the supposed increase still doesn’t put enough gas in the bus to make it go very far down the road. The Senate is expected to pass the budget this week.

Pontiac teachers ratify contract

Pontiac teachers overwhelmingly ratified a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, last Thursday evening.  Teachers accepted a two year contract containing wage reductions, increased out of pocket costs for health care, one and a half unpaid work days and a loss of step increases and longevity pay.

Whitmer blasts Republican Senators for SB 1040 vote

No Democratic amendments made it into SB 1040 as passed by the Senate yesterday--not even Minority Leader Sen. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to prefund the retirement system.

New CSR study says MPSERS problems fixable

The Coalition for Secure Retirement (CSR) released a study today examining the current state of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) and analyzing the reasons why the system is experiencing financial problems. MEA is a partner in the coalition.

Senate committee considers ending full-time release practice

HB 4059 hasn’t seen much action since it was first introduced by Rep. Knollenberg (R-Troy) in January 2011 and passed by the House in April, but the bill to prohibit public employers from paying for full-time release union officials will again see the light of day at tomorrow’s Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee meeting.

Amid questions, cyber school bill moves to Gov. for signing

SB 619 is on its way to Gov. Snyder for his signature after the Senate concurred with the House on the expansion of cyber schools. The vote was 23-14. Just as in the House, the bill did not receive immediate effect so SB 619 won’t go into effect until April 2013.

Emergency Manager repeal likely headed to court

In a split 2-2 decision, the Board of State Canvassers failed to approve the Public Act 4 referendum that would have put the repeal of the controversial Emergency Manager law on the November ballot.  That tie likely means the proponents of the repeal –which MEA supports –will be taking their case to court for a final ruling.

Muskegon Heights schools gets emergency manager

Governor Snyder has appointed Donald Weatherspoon as Muskegon Heights School District emergency manager effective April 23.

MEA joins in federal suit challenging PA 53

MEA has joined with three other unions representing Michigan school employees in a federal suit challenging the constitutionality of PA 53 that bans the payroll deduction of dues only for public school employees.

Analysis of SB 1040

SB 1040 Talking Points

Senate Republicans Kahn, Jansen, Pavlov and Walker introduced Senate Bill 1040.  This bill makes massive changes to the Michigan School Employee Pension System (MPSERS) and is designed to shift significant costs for pensions and retirement health care benefits onto school employees and retirees. 

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