No surprise--Public Acts 54, 152 changed the bargaining climate

Labor law experts at a Mackinac Center luncheon called PA 152 (formerly SB 7) “a huge wave change” because it forced unions to get to the bargaining table faster. That law mandates either a hard cap or a 20 percent insurance premium share for employees.  The effects of PA 54 (formerly HB 4152) were also discussed – that law banned salary step increases and health premium increases once a contract expires, if no new agreement is in place, and also banned retroactive bargaining.

Barb Ruga with the Clark Hill law firm said, “The legislation redefined the relationship. It’s trying to destroy the industrial model of labor relations. We’ll hopefully have a more professional model for labor relations where we’re talking not about adding minutes to the day and how much that will cost us but about how we can best serve kids. ”

Some Republican legislators still claim that PAs 54 and 152 didn’t impact our members’ bargaining rights—it just leveled the playing field. But it’s hard to “play” when one team has been stripped of its protective equipment.