police and fire http://michiganradio.org en Schuette says right-to-work will survive court challenge http://michiganradio.org/post/schuette-says-right-work-will-survive-court-challenge <p>State Attorney General Bill Schuette says he expects Michigan’s new right-to-work law will be challenged in court, and he expects it will survive those lawsuits.</p><p>One possible challenge would focus on different treatment for different types of unions.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The law will allow workers for unionized employers to opt out of paying dues or fees. But the law won’t apply to police and firefighter unions.</p><p>Schuette said that could create too much disharmony in public safety units that require order and discipline.</p><p>“Firefighters, first-responders, law enforcement – they’re on the front lines of public safety. They have a very important, unique responsibility, making sure our streets and our neighborhoods are safe and secure, so this is a very appropriate carve-out. It was a correct carve-out,” he said.</p><p>Schuette said the law does apply to the state’s 35,000 civil service employees.</p><p>Some interpretations of the state constitution say the law can’t touch civil service workers. That’s because they are governed by the Michigan Civil Service Commission. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 21:43:49 +0000 Rick Pluta 10366 at http://michiganradio.org Schuette says right-to-work will survive court challenge Lansing's mayor defends budget plan http://michiganradio.org/post/lansings-mayor-defends-budget-plan <p>City residents are questioning how Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero plans to spend money from a recent property tax hike.</p><p>The tax hike was approved last year. Many voters expected the money would be spent to hire back dozens of police officers and firefighters laid off in recent years. But Mayor Bernero&#39;s plan calls for bringing back just seven public safety officers.</p><p>Bernero says he&rsquo;d like to hire more cops, but the city can&rsquo;t afford it.</p><p>&quot;I&rsquo;m not going to hire people that I&rsquo;ve got to turn around and fire tomorrow. I&rsquo;m not going to do it,&quot; says Bernero.</p><p>Some Lansing city council members complain the mayor wants to spend money on rehabbing a building for the police department. That&#39;s money they say could be spent hiring police officers.</p><p>Brian Jeffries is the Lansing City Council president. He wants more money spent on rehiring laid off police officers and firefighters.</p><p>&quot;We thought we&rsquo;d get more police out there.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s what we thought.&nbsp;&nbsp; We thought we&rsquo;d get more fire personnel out there,&quot; says Jeffries, &quot;Basically all we&rsquo;re being told is this is just going to back stop any future losses.&rdquo;</p><p>The city council has until the middle of May to approve or change the mayor&rsquo;s budget proposal. The council will hold its own public hearing tonight. Wed, 25 Apr 2012 02:23:30 +0000 Steve Carmody 7185 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing's mayor defends budget plan