Mich. Chamber, MEA Battle Over Legislative Recalls

LANSING (WWJ) – The state’s teachers union is under fire over reports that it’s behind several high profile recall attempts.

For the past six months, organized labor and business have been at each other’s throats over some of the Snyder administration policies and now it is getting personal. The head of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Rich Studley taking on the Michigan Education Association for supposedly getting involved in the legislative recall. “It’s a sad day for Michigan government and politics when a once proud, professional association of teachers gets down in the mud and becomes involved in that kind of partisan politics,” says Studley. He adds, “I think it will push people apart and make the environment here in Lansing increasingly partisan and more difficult to go forward together.”

But WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports the MEA as saying the pushing apart has already begun as legislators are pushing against unionized teachers. To that, Studley replied that it’s “sour grapes from sore losers.”

However, MEA lobbyist Don Noble counters, saying, “I don’t think it’s sour grapes. I think it’s pure defense and if you’re being attacked you have to defend.” And, Noble adds, “There was a declaration that nobody cares about public sector unions, MEA, or for that matter public education.”

A spokesperson for State House Speaker Jase Bolger calls it a “clandestine war” being waged by the state’s teachers union against several top lawmakers. The union says it’s just trying to hold politicians accountable.

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