ACT NOW to stop attacks on dues deduction!

Urge the Governor to veto HB 4929, HB 4246

It didn't take long for Republican legislators to respond to yesterday's launch of the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

Just one day later, both the House and Senate passed HB 4929 restricting payroll deduction of union dues for school employees and then voted on an unconstitutional maneuver to avoid an immediate effect vote on banning graduate student research assistants from unionizing.

It's been said that an ineffective administration is the best organizing tool--it also applies to legislators whose only goal is to break unions and destroy the middle class instead of creating jobs. Legislative activity today is a prime example of why all MEA members need to be involved in the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

It was a busy day of union busting in Lansing. Just this morning the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee reported out an amended version of HB 4929. By this afternoon, the full Senate had taken up the bill, throwing out one of the amendments that would have allowed school employees to continue with automatic payroll deduction if their union paid school districts for the cost of doing so. Amendments did pass that require public posting of audits of union representation costs and provide $100,000 to cover the cost of data collection (that appropriation prevents the bill from being eligible for a voter referendum).

Then, they turned their attention to SB 971, which would ban the unionization of graduate student research assistants. Senate Republicans wanted to end-run Democratic efforts to block immediate effect on that bill -- without immediate effect, bills passed now would not go into effect until early next year. Using another bill that had to do with emergency managers (HB 4246) which had already passed the House with immediate effect, the Senate substituted SB 971's language into the bill and sent it back to the House. These legislative maneuvers unconstitutionally avoided a planned House vote on immediate effect for SB 971.

The House concurred on both measures. In both chambers, there were few Republican lawmakers who voted against the bills.

We must act now on two fronts:

First, CONTACT THE GOVERNOR!Urge him to veto HB 4929, which is another attack on school employees, their collective bargaining rights and their unions. It does nothing to create jobs or save school districts money. Urge him also to veto HB 4246, the new vehicle bill that bans graduate research assistants from collectively bargaining.

You can read a press release from MEA President Steven Cook about the passage of HB 4929.

Second, go to www.ProtectOurJobs.com to learn more about the campaign to protect your collective bargaining rights and strengthen the middle class. Now more than ever, we need all MEA members to stand together in protection of their rights. Details about MEA's role in the campaign will be forthcoming through your local UniServ office.