Update on other imminent action

Health care bill, tenure, pensions on tap

In addition to dealing with the K-12 school aid budget, lawmakers are expected to take up several other important issues that will affect all public education employees, including health care.

Here's an overview:

  • The Senate will likely move on Senate Bill 7 and Senate Joint Resolution C, legislation to require all public employees to pay at least 20 percent of the cost of their health insurance. MEA strongly opposes this legislation -- how much employees pay for health care should be decided locally during collective bargaining. Please contact your state senator immediately to ask him/her to vote NO on Senate Bill 7 and Senate Joint Resolution C.The vote could come as early as Wednesday. According to public testimony on this proposal and the budget, many school employees already pay at least part of their health insurance; in some instances, employees pay 20 percent or more of the cost of their insurance. Many school superintendents have testified that this proposal will not save their districts enough money to make up for cuts to their per pupil foundation allowance.
  • The Senate could vote Wednesday on legislation to freeze wages and benefits when a collective bargaining agreement expires until a new contract takes effect. Please contact your senator and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 4152,which would effectively eliminate step raises between contracts and require employees to pay any increased costs of maintaining health insurance and other benefits. The legislation, already passed by the House, would also prohibit any retroactive increase in wages or benefits after a new contract is signed.
  • The House Education Committee on Wednesday will listen to an overview of teacher tenure. Some lawmakers want to gut tenure law.
  • The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday will listen to presentations about the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System. Scheduled presenters include representatives of the Senate Fiscal Agency, the state Office of Retirement Services, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The Senate could vote Wednesday on legislation to freeze wages and benefits when a collective bargaining agreement expires until a new contract takes effect. Please contact your senator and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 4152,which would effectively eliminate step raises between contracts and require employees to pay any increased costs of maintaining health insurance and other benefits. The legislation, already passed by the House, would also prohibit any retroactive increase in wages or benefits after a new contract is signed.