unions http://michiganradio.org en MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses http://michiganradio.org/post/msu-could-lose-500k-offering-labor-courses <p>Michigan State University could risk losing $500,000 if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It’s a reaction to </span>MSU’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I believe in academic freedom, and you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university,” said state Rep. Al </span>Pscholka<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span>R-Stevensville<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, who chairs the panel that directs higher education funding in the House.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“But this is a case where I think we’re almost encouraging labor disputes, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The only Democrat that sits on the Senate panel that approved the penalty says it’s unusual for lawmakers to scrutinize university programs this intensely.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Why just this program?” asked state Sen. Morris Hood III, D-Detroit. “And I would guess to believe that this is a hot topic item and it ruffles a lot of feathers.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An </span>MSU<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> official says the university’s curriculum is balanced. He says it also offers classes that educate businesses on labor issues.</span></p><p>Pscholka<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says lawmakers will probably decide whether to move forward with the $500,000 penalty when they return from a three-week break in April.</span></p><p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:23:13 +0000 Jake Neher 17012 at http://michiganradio.org MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses Unions question Gov. Snyder under oath about Detroit bankruptcy http://michiganradio.org/post/unions-question-gov-snyder-under-oath-about-detroit-bankruptcy <p>Unions representing Detroit city workers and retirees got a chance to question Gov. Rick Snyder under oath Tuesday about the city&rsquo;s historic bankruptcy filing.</p><p>A federal judge is set to begin hearings on whether the governor and Kevyn Orr &mdash; the emergency manager he appointed &mdash; properly filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.</p><p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:32:51 +0000 Jake Neher 14800 at http://michiganradio.org Unions question Gov. Snyder under oath about Detroit bankruptcy Unions, Snyder administration can’t agree on who should attend contract talks http://michiganradio.org/post/unions-snyder-administration-can-t-agree-who-should-attend-contract-talks <p>Governor Rick Snyder’s administration and state employee unions are arguing about who should be in the room during contract bargaining.</p><p></p><p>It’s thrown a wrench into talks on contracts that will begin in 2015 for 35,000 union-represented workers including Department of Human Services caseworkers, environmental scientists, and corrections officers.</p><p></p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 01:33:39 +0000 Rick Pluta 14364 at http://michiganradio.org Unions, Snyder administration can’t agree on who should attend contract talks Declining unions and Michigan's paycheck blues http://michiganradio.org/post/declining-unions-and-michigans-paycheck-blues <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>There’s a bumper sticker&nbsp;I occasionally see that says: Unions: The People Who Brought You the Weekend. For most Americans, that is certainly true. Unions created not only the weekend, but the modern middle class, something we tend to forget these days.</p><p>Yes, unions became complacent and some became corrupt. Some did not do enough for women or minorities. But all in all, they did far more good for America and the American worker than harm.</p><p>Unions are, however, widely unpopular with a sizable section of the public these days, and an even larger percentage of politicians.</p><p>The Republican majority in the Michigan legislature seems to have essentially declared war on unions, especially public sector unions. Unions have been in a long membership decline, something that may accelerate as the effects of becoming a Right-to-Work state kick in.</p><p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:46:23 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 14206 at http://michiganradio.org Declining unions and Michigan's paycheck blues The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service' http://michiganradio.org/post/week-review-detroit-primaries-aclu-racial-mapping-case-fee-service <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week, Rina</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Miller and Jack </span>Lessenberry<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> discuss the certification of Detroit’s mayoral </span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/mike-duggan" style="line-height: 1.5;">primary results</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the Detroit </span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/aclu-loses-appeal-fbi-racial-ethnic-profiling-case" style="line-height: 1.5;">ACLU’s case</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> against the FBI, and a union’s “fee-for-service” for employee grievances.</span></p><p> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Rina Miller & Jack Lessenberry 14117 at http://michiganradio.org The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service' In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-common-core-hearings-limits-public-employee-benefits-heritage-tower <p><strong>Common Core hearings</strong></p><p>A state House panel began a<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/common-core-standards-debate"> series of hearings about the Common Core State Standards </a>yesterday. Republican Representative Tom McMillin says the standards take away local control and were developed and adopted without public input. Committee Chair Tim Kelly says the panel should make its recommendation on Common Core in September, Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Legislation to limit public employee benefits</strong></p><p>There’s legislation in Lansing that would allow local ballot drives to cap public employee benefits. Leon Drolet, head of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, says the ballot campaigns would act as a safeguard against cozy relationships between public employee unions and local elected officials who bargain with them. Unions say the bill is not necessary because local officials are already accountable to voters, Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports.</p><p><strong>Reviving Battle Creek's Heritage Tower</strong></p><p>Battle Creek city commissioners voted last night to create a special tax district in hopes of <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/battle-creek-looks-use-special-tax-district-revitalize-downtown-landmark">reviving an iconic downtown building</a>. The Heritage Tower is an 82-year-old art deco building and the upper floors of the former bank building have been condemned. Ken Tsuchiyama, Battle Creek’s city manager, fears the building may have to be demolished unless the new owner can revitalize it.</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:45:20 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13570 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower Michigan union dispute tied to much bigger national issue http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-union-dispute-tied-much-bigger-national-issue <p>A federal court challenge is blocking a group of west Michigan bakers from forming a union.</p><p></p><p>A federal court is preventing the National Labor Relations Board from certifying local union elections, because three of the board’s five members were appointed by President Obama without congressional approval.</p><p></p><p>In 2012, Panera Bread bakers voted to form a union at 6 locations along I-94 in west Michigan. The NLRB certified the vote.&nbsp; But because of the legal challenge to the president’s appointees, the issue remains in limbo.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 17:01:30 +0000 Steve Carmody 13187 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan union dispute tied to much bigger national issue Commentary: Are Pensions Sacred? http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-are-pensions-sacred <p>We didn’t have an early spring this year, but it looks like an early summer. I say that because while it is still technically spring, the authorities are already engaged in what has been a late summer Michigan ritual, digging up a field to look for Jimmy Hoffa.</p><p>Usually, it strikes me as strange that this case still gets so much attention, but this year we’ve been so overwhelmed with news from Detroit that we probably need a little escape.</p><p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:49:28 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13126 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Are Pensions Sacred? The week in Michigan politics: dredging, immigration and right to work http://michiganradio.org/post/week-michigan-politics-dredging-immigration-and-right-work <p>This week in Michigan politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-ag-says-fund-cannot-be-tapped-great-lakes-dredging">the issue of dredging</a> in Michigan’s harbors, a package of bills that would make Michigan a more immigrant-friendly state, and how lawmakers have<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/effort-punish-schools-and-local-governments-over-right-work-law-dropped"> backed off</a> from punishing colleges and municipalities for negotiating contracts before the right to work law went into effect.</p><p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:43:25 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 12264 at http://michiganradio.org The week in Michigan politics: dredging, immigration and right to work Unions seek contracts ahead of new Michigan law http://michiganradio.org/post/unions-seek-contracts-ahead-new-michigan-law <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some unions in Michigan are working to get new contracts approved before the state's right-to-work law takes effect next month to delay when they'll be affected by changes.<br><br>The Detroit News reports some see it as an effort to keep collecting dues from members until after a new contract expires. Union leaders representing teachers in Utica, Plymouth-Canton, Dearborn and Detroit school districts all are working toward new agreements.<br><br>The Lansing State Journal reports unions at Michigan State University and Lansing Community College are exploring the possibility of extending their labor contracts to delay the law's impact on them.<br><br>The law, passed last year, takes effect March 27. It prohibits requiring workers to pay union dues or fees, but contracts in place before that date are immune from the new rules. Mon, 18 Feb 2013 16:14:32 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11280 at http://michiganradio.org Unions seek contracts ahead of new Michigan law UAW to protest at Snyder's State of State speech http://michiganradio.org/post/uaw-protest-snyders-state-state-speech <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The United Auto Workers and other labor unions are calling on members to protest before and during Gov. Rick Snyder's third State of the State address in Lansing.<br><br>The Republican governor's speech is scheduled for Wednesday evening in the state Capitol.<br><br>The UAW and other unions are planning to be outside to protest GOP policies they say are hurting the middle class. They're especially upset about a new law ending requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.<br> Sun, 13 Jan 2013 12:41:06 +0000 The Associated Press 10742 at http://michiganradio.org UAW to protest at Snyder's State of State speech Commentary: Collective bargaining http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-collective-bargaining <p>There are five proposed constitutional amendments on the state ballot this fall, and at this point, it is impossible to predict whether any of them will pass or fail.</p><p>But I do think I know which will provoke the most spending: Proposal Two, the amendment that would make collective bargaining a state constitutional right. Unions are going to spend millions to try to get it passed. Chambers of commerce and corporate interests are likely to spend even more to try to make sure it fails. This is seen to some extent as a Battle of Stalingrad for the union movement.</p> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 13:19:16 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 9243 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Collective bargaining Fixing Michigan's roads http://michiganradio.org/post/fixing-michigans-roads <p>Time is running out for Congress to pass a new federal transportation funding bill.</p><p>The last funding bill expired in 2009.&nbsp;&nbsp; Congress has passed a series of extensions of the old law since then. &nbsp;</p><p>A coalition of Michigan environmental groups and unions say the ongoing delay is hurting state roads.</p><p>Mark Schauer is the head of the BlueGreen Alliance.&nbsp;&nbsp; The former Michigan congressman says the state&rsquo;s roads are deteriorating, in part, because Congress can&rsquo;t agree on a new six year federal transportation spending plan.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;m not the only one that had to replace a tire as a result of hitting a huge pothole,&quot; says Schauer.<br /><br />Michigan Congressmen Dave Camp and Fred Upton are on the special House-Senate conference committee working on the transportation bill. A spokeswoman for the committee says discussions continue with hopes of reaching an agreement before the deadline at the end of next month.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 21 May 2012 19:36:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 7552 at http://michiganradio.org Fixing Michigan's roads Flint EM lays out public safety plan, city police and fire unions want more http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-em-lays-out-public-safety-plan-city-police-and-fire-unions-want-more <p>Flint Emergency Manager Mike Brown says the city plans to work more with the state police, as well as local and federal prosecutors, to fight the city&rsquo;s crime problem.</p><p>The plan calls for establishing Flint not only as a &lsquo;safe city&rsquo; in reality, but also in people&rsquo;s perception.</p><p>Using outside law enforcement help is a short term part of the plan. &nbsp;&nbsp;Long term, Brown says the city needs to raise millions of dollars in new revenue to hire more police officers and firefighters.</p> Fri, 04 May 2012 18:36:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 7343 at http://michiganradio.org Flint EM lays out public safety plan, city police and fire unions want more As strike continues, Red Cross workers prepare to head back to the bargaining table http://michiganradio.org/post/strike-continues-red-cross-workers-prepare-head-back-bargaining-table <p>Contract talks are set to resume tomorrow between the American Red Cross and its two striking unions.</p><p>The strike that started March 30 has greatly slowed blood donations for large parts of Michigan.</p><p>The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region tries to collect 700 units of blood a day. Since the strike began, they&rsquo;ve only been able to collect about 100 units a day.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>About 200 members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union &nbsp;and the Teamsters went on strike more than a week ago.&nbsp;&nbsp; The union members have been working without a contract for several years.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The unions say the two sides have not been able to resolve safety and collective bargaining issues. The Red Cross contends health care costs are the main sticking point in the unresolved contract.</p><p>The strike has affected blood collection in 65 Michigan counties, from Kalamazoo and Lansing to the northern parts of the state.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Red Cross blood drives in southeast Michigan are unaffected. Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 6982 at http://michiganradio.org As strike continues, Red Cross workers prepare to head back to the bargaining table School unions file federal lawsuit to stop Michigan law blocking payroll deduction of union dues http://michiganradio.org/post/school-unions-file-federal-lawsuit-stop-michigan-law-blocking-payroll-deduction-union-dues <p>Four Michigan unions are asking a federal judge to strike down <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(31hadvjaw5k4g055adt2n0em))/documents/2011-2012/publicact/htm/2012-pa-0053.htm">a new state law </a>barring school districts from collecting union dues through payroll deduction.&nbsp; The unions filed the lawsuit today.</p> Wed, 04 Apr 2012 19:54:12 +0000 Steve Carmody 6908 at http://michiganradio.org School unions file federal lawsuit to stop Michigan law blocking payroll deduction of union dues Lansing mayor highlights furlough days in his budget plan http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-mayor-highlights-furlough-days-his-budget-plan <p>Lansing&rsquo;s mayor says a combination of employee furlough days and union concessions are necessary to shrink a&nbsp;$4.7&nbsp;million&nbsp;budget gap&nbsp;next year. He laid out his budget plan to the city council last night.</p><p>Mayor Virg Bernero blames rising health insurance costs and declining property&nbsp;tax revenues for the budget gap.</p><p>&ldquo;We need&nbsp;to make some&nbsp;serious decisions,&quot; says&nbsp;Brian Jeffries,&nbsp; the president of the Lansing City Council,&nbsp; &quot;(The decisions are)&nbsp;going to be painful. &nbsp;&nbsp;Both in terms of the number of employees&hellip;as well as loss of services&hellip;and what does that actually means for the city.&rdquo;</p><p>The Lansing city council has until mid-May to come up with any changes to the&nbsp;mayor&rsquo;s spending plan. Tue, 27 Mar 2012 02:55:09 +0000 Steve Carmody 6798 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing mayor highlights furlough days in his budget plan Red Cross workers set to go on strike in part of Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/red-cross-workers-set-go-strike-part-michigan <p>Once again American Red Cross workers are poised to strike in Michigan.</p><p>The strike could affect 65 counties in Michigan.</p><p>Ten days ago, two unions gave notice of their intention to strike against the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. It would be the third job action in the last two years.</p><p>The union members&nbsp;have&nbsp;been working without a contract for the past four years. The two sides remain far apart on several issues.</p><p>Monica Stoneking&nbsp;is a Red Cross spokeswoman. She says the Great Lakes Blood Services Region must collect 700 units of blood a day to meet demand.</p><p>&ldquo;If we have less blood drives being held&hellip;then that&rsquo;s going to further impact our blood supply&hellip; and it&rsquo;s already at a low level,&quot; says Stoneking.</p><p>Stoneking says if a strike takes place&nbsp;they will have to import blood from other Red Cross regions to meet the need. Mon, 26 Mar 2012 05:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 6777 at http://michiganradio.org Red Cross workers set to go on strike in part of Michigan Collective bargaining ballot question goes before state election board http://michiganradio.org/post/collective-bargaining-ballot-question-goes-state-election-board <p>A union-led effort to amend the Michigan Constitution to guarantee labor bargaining rights will go before a state elections panel today.</p><p>The Protect Our Jobs campaign will ask the Board of State Canvassers to pre-approve its petition to get on the November ballot.</p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 13:49:52 +0000 Rick Pluta 6684 at http://michiganradio.org Collective bargaining ballot question goes before state election board Snyder signs bill that prohibits U of M graduate research assistant union http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-signs-bill-prohibits-u-m-graduate-research-assistant-union <p>The issue of whether University of Michigan <a href="http://www.hr.umich.edu/acadhr/grads/gsra/what.html">graduate student research assistants (GSRAs)</a> can unionize has been put to rest. Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill today saying U of M research assistants are not employees and therefore do not have the right to unionize.</p><p>The <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/um-regents-hold-emergency-vote-grad-student-union-hearings">bill was introduced</a> to the legislature by Republican Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.</p> Tue, 13 Mar 2012 20:25:42 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 6622 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder signs bill that prohibits U of M graduate research assistant union