The president of the Michigan Education Association, Steve Cook, says the state’s new right-to-work law has not put a big dent in the teacher union’s membership.
According to Cook, who appeared on Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record,” only 1% opted to stop paying dues during the dropout period. But while Cook says that shows most school employees still support the union, he argues the law made retaining members more expensive.
“Between the efforts of right-to-work and the efforts to collect dues, it’s been very expensive for the association,” Cook said. “It’s taken our focus off other things we would have rather been doing.”
The MEA, along with the American Federation of Teachers, are also defending extended contracts negotiated by some union locals that could delay the effects of right to work for years into the future.