LANSING (AP) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a measure Friday banning public schools from automatically deducting union dues from the paychecks of teachers and other employees, a move that unions consider another attack on collective bargaining rights.

Supporters said the new law will put more money in teachers’ paychecks, and they could then pay their union dues if they wish.

The law also requires public employee unions to file an independent audit of money spent on collective bargaining, administering contracts and dealing with grievances with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, which must make the audits available on its website.

“This legislation furthers the goal of good government by promoting greater transparency and ensuring that public resources are used solely for their intended purposes,” the Republican governor said in a news release. Schools collecting union dues or service fees may continue to do so until the current contract expires.

Opponents called the measure “a clear case of political retaliation” against union members who recently began gathering signatures to place a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution. They said it’s an attempt to weaken the membership and finances of teachers’ unions, making it more difficult to collect dues from members.

“While Gov. Snyder continually has said divisive issues are not on his agenda and that his top priority is jobs, his willingness to sign off on such blatant attacks on collective bargaining rights tells a different story,” said David Hecker, president of the American Federation of Teachers’ Michigan chapter. He added that the union looks forward to working to place an initiative on the ballot in November that would “once and for all protect the rights of workers to collectively bargain.”

Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift called the law “the worst kind of extremist politics, taking away an effective voice on the job for over 200,000 Michiganders.”

“This legislation does nothing to educate a single child. It won’t improve education or do anything to help get our economy on track,” she said in a statement. “In Michigan, as in Ohio, Wisconsin and other states, voters are fed up with these extreme partisan politics.”

The Michigan Education Association’s lawyers are looking into whether it’s legal to single out teachers’ unions from other public employee unions. There’s no law banning the state or local governments from automatically deducting employees’ union dues.

The measure narrowly squeaked through the Legislature last week. Some Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in opposing the measure, which passed 20-18 in the Senate and 56-54 in the House.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments (14)
  1. Bob says:

    I used to be pro union, brought up in a blue collar union home. I’ve been fired 2 times since i started working in the 80’s, and the union did nothing in either instance. I had chicken pox in my twenties, and got wrote up for missing work. I never call off, I work hard and am proud of my achievements on the job, but I refuse to suck up to companies, and unions alike. I simply do what my job requires, and then go above and beyond for my own satisfaction of a job well done. But in EVERY instance where I’m at a union shop and have needed the union to protect me for reasons beyond my control, I’m left standing alone to fend for myself. Like our government, union officials ride high on the backs of those they are elected to protect, and power and greed rule the day leaving them out of touch with those that put them in their position. It is ironic Gov. Snyder attacks unions on the grounds of their ineffectiveness when unions are modeled after the ineffective government monstrosity he presides over in our state legislature that acts, for all intents and purposes, as union officials do. I hope one day the people, of society and in the workplace, unify and hold these ELECTED officials to their duty to SERVE and PROTECT, and accountable if they do not.

    1. Akouch says:

      1)Learning and improved ntuorppoity and less unemployment.2)Unemployment has lower in December by 1.3 millionHe will collaborate the thoughts among the democrats and republicans to generate new laws.3)Ite2€™s good that he is trying to bond both parties and reach familiar view inside the legal structure.

  2. Geo says:

    Unions serve one purpose, to enrich their leadership. It ain’t like it uxssed to be.

  3. jon says:

    another reversal of our rights that have be stollen by corrupt unions and their bribe politicians

  4. jon says:

    meant bribed

    1. Sergio says:

      The credit union is the best. no gderey bankers! my credit union is great, if i have a question about money or credit or budgeting there is someone to help me. they also have things where they teach u how to use credit and buy a home or car. there r also no heavy fees!! infact i have days before they charge fees if u overdraw ur acct.

  5. Matt says:

    Republicans are opposed to unions because they stand up for civil rights of blacks and Hispanics.

    1. Sirgizimo says:

      I think your chances are still good but you might ciseodnr going onto online auto loans. they are must easier to get and usually very very fast. Usually within 24 hours. It also saves you the embarrasment of being at a car dealership and being turned down on the spot in front of everyone. Good Luck!

  6. D from D says:

    I wonder why it is just school employees and not all state employees too. Also, I don’t see how this bill was important to our politicians when it creates no jobs, it does not help big business or any Michigan residents.
    I hope they get back on track and quick with this kind of nonsense.

  7. Bob says:

    @ D from D
    It’s called a legislative precursor, setting up a law to build on as a basis or example for more intrusive laws to be passed later.

  8. johnboy6528 says:

    This is already one act on his part to make this a right to work state!!! He is a stinking liar and thief !! lets get rid of this idiot now!!! RECALL NOW!!! BEAT IT GOV. SNYDER WE DON’T WANT YOU!!

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