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‘Right-To-Teach’ Bill Debuts In Michigan Senate

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Republicans who control the Michigan Senate have introduced a version of so-called “right-to-teach” legislation.

The bill says public schools would not be allowed to require employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. But it appears the bill would affect only the state’s largest teachers union, the Michigan Education Association.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Doug Pratt, the director of public affairs for the MEA.

“So-called right-to-work efforts, whether they apply only to school employees or to all workers in the state, are the wrong approach to helping Michigan’s economy,” Pratt said.

“This is an incredibly divisive issue, and the research shows that it’s not going to create jobs,” he said.

Pratt said right-to-work laws result in reduced wages for all workers, whether or not they’re union members.

“We know this is not gonna put more teachers in our classrooms, keep support staff on the job working with the students. This really is just a really partisan, divisive issue,” he said.

Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders and the MEA have clashed over many issues this year. Republicans also are upset the MEA is funding a recall effort targeting GOP Representative Paul Scott of Grand Blanc.

A spokeswoman for Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, said the governor is unlikely to back the proposal if it gets to his desk.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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