MEA members fight anti-collective, anti-tenure bills

Michigan Capitol
Capitol of Michigan

We need your help, too!

More than 100 MEA members and staff are at the state Capitol right now, holding legislators accountable for pending votes on several bills that will directly affect all public education employees, including you.

We’re expecting a long session day – if you can get to the Capitol any time today, go! The next MEA briefing on pending legislation is at 1 p.m. in Room 428 of the Capitol.

Today’s schedule includes decisions on bills to curb collective bargaining for all public school employees and to dismantle teacher tenure. Lawmakers also plan to vote on bills dealing with public employee health insurance.

Today could be a historic day for MEA members. Join the fight – go to the Capitol to help protect the collective bargaining rights of public education employees!

On the collective bargaining and tenure legislation, House Bills 4625-4628 are pending in the Senate. MEA opposes this entire package.

House Bill 4628 is the anti-collective bargaining bill. Contact your senator NOW to tell him/her to VOTE NO ON HOUSE BILL 4628! House Bill 4626 is also noteworthy because it would replace “reasonable and just cause” with “not arbitrary and capricious,” the lowest standard for teacher tenure discharge. Under this language, schools could fire good teachers for almost any reason.

The Senate plans to amend the bills. On House Bill 4626, for example, the substitute bill allows a school district to place a suspended teacher’s salary in an escrow account until the conclusion of a tenure case.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are working behind closed doors to hammer out differences on competing plans dealing with public employee health care. The House previously passed legislation (House Bill 4572) to cap how much public employers can pay for employees’ health insurance. The Senate passed its own measure (Senate Bill 7) to require employees to pay at least 20 percent of the cost of insurance. MEA opposes both approaches – the issue should be decided locally through collective bargaining.

For those unable to travel to Lansing, contact your elected leaders by phone, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter immediately and throughout the day. Tell them what you think about these bills and remind them that they represent YOU!

To stay up-to-date on the latest news:

  • Sign up for text messages. Text “June 30” to 69866 for today’s updates.
  • Check our website and MEAOnline on Facebook throughout the day as well as your e-mail for updates in Capitol Comments and/or MEA Voice Online newsletters.
  • House and Senate sessions are webcast live. Go to www.senate.michigan.gov and click on “TV Live” or www.house.michigan.gov and click on “House TV” to watch.