By a 2 to 1 majority, the Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) decision that occupational therapists and physical therapists are not subject to the privatization provisions of PA 112, which makes bargaining over the privatization of non-instructional employees a prohibited subject. Court of Appeals Judges William Murphy and Donald Owens offered the majority opinion with Judge Kathleen Jansen offering the dissenting opinion.
Look for the Labor Freedom Act to surface in January if the Michigan Freedom to Work (MIFTW) group has any say. Their goal is to turn Michigan into a right-to-work state and they are encouraging Republicans to take up the legislation.
As of right now, public school employees will not be getting a refund of their 3 percent retirement contribution that state employees are getting. We are still awaiting a decision on our issue from the Michigan Court of Appeals who heard oral arguments on Oct. 19.
As part of testimony before the House Education Committee, a charter school principal read a letter signed by more than 150 charter school principals, superintendents, and teachers who wanted to set the record straight regarding SB 618, legislation to lift the cap on charter schools.
The Legislature has only nine work days left in 2011 after it returns from break Nov. 29 to get key issues to the Governor for signature.
When it comes to education, the list of issues left to tackle include the collection of school employee union dues, so-called "education reform," and bullying.
While denying it is payback for the recall of Paul Scott, the Republican-led Legislature has SB 636 and HB 4588 on their agenda. Both bills prohibit public employers from collecting union dues via payroll deduction. MEA opposes the legislation. Contact your legislators and let them know that there must be an end to such partisan politics--especially when it doesn’t help kids or education and doesn’t create any new jobs.