Michigan Education Association


Victory for MEA members in privatization case

District, private company pay to settle dispute

A Shiawassee County school district and a private company will pay 22 school employees whose jobs were outsourced to the private firm to settle a dispute over the employees’ bargaining rights.


Privatization threatens Northwest bus drivers

JACKSON – Just weeks after settling a three-year contract with the union representing school bus drivers and mechanics, some Northwest school officials are considering outsourcing those jobs to a private company.

At stake for the 29 transportation workers, who have a near-spotless driving record, are wages, health insurance, and a secure retirement. The district appears to be targeting health insurance provided to the employees, whose annual wages of about $12,000 to $13,000 are so low that many are forced to work an extra job – or two – just to make ends meet.


Food service workers dish up savings

Don and Jill WoodStevie Ruppert, left, and Helen Loop are cooks in the Pine River school district.

After privatizing the management of its food service operation resulted in cost overruns, the Pine River Area Schools school board took a bold step.

It allowed the cooks—still district employees— to run the program instead. Within months, the cooks turned things around financially. Ten years later, they’re still dishing up major savings. “I don’t know why everybody doesn’t just do this,” said Helen Loop, head cook at LeRoy Elementary School in Osceola County.

Read more.



Southfield school board fires 350 dedicated employees

MEA will continue to fight efforts to bust unions, privatize support staff

NEW — May 20 Press Release:
Decision to outsource Southfield school jobs hurts local economy

PrivatizationDespite the persistent efforts of MEA members both at and away from the bargaining table, the Southfield Board of Education voted 5-2 on April 22 to fire more than 350 custodial, maintenance and transportation employees—and MEA members—and sell their services to private companies. Read more about what happened that night in Southfield.

In a news release, MEA vowed to closely monitor the school district and the out-of-state companies they contracted with, holding them all accountable to their promise that such a move would save money and improve education. Click here to read the news release.

"The Southfield school board members said this decision was in the best interests of students—and we're going to hold them accountable for this decision," said MEA President Iris K. Salters in this morning's release. "Student test scores better improve, class sizes better get smaller, necessary classroom supplies better be provided. And, most of all, the district better actually save at least $6 million a year. If not, MEA will show the community how the school board lied when it made this decision."

The board's unconscionable action comes after a report released by the Great Lakes Center pointed to evidence that privatization does not necessarily save schools money or offer improvements in support services. Click here to read more.

MEA will continue to fight these blatant attempts to bust unions, harm local communities and economies and threaten the education of public school students.

Report urges caution for schools contracting out support services

MEA ESP Caucus president calls study ‘a quantitative, unbiased resource we can use to fight privatization.’

A new report that examines the outsourcing of transportation, food and custodial services in public schools urges caution before rushing to privatize.

Vermont school administrators Drs. William Mathis and Lorna Jimerson say in their report that privatizing sometimes saves districts money, but many times it does not.

Tom Zaglaniczny receives Brunner Award for fighting off privatization in Grosse Pointe

The man known across his school district and community as “Tommy Z” last year waged a successful campaign against privatizing the jobs of 87 support staff members in Grosse Pointe Public Schools.

For those efforts, Tom Zaglaniczny received MEA’s highest honor for support personnel, the Leon A. Brunner Award, at the MEA ESP Statewide Conference in Traverse City on April 4.

Harvard labor expert encourages ESP members to fight privatization

Privatization’s goal is simple and direct: Break the back of the public sector labor movement.

That analysis came from Elaine Bernard, executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Trade Union Program, in her keynote speech before 350 MEA members at the ESP Statewide Conference in Traverse City on April 5.

Other Privatization News

Fight privatization every day, NEA president tells support personnel at annual ESP Conference

Updated: April 9, 2013 9:48 AM