The Michigan Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers in Michigan are developing a formal partnership. Union officials say this is not a merger, but rather a collaboration between the two organizations.
The MEA and AFT-Michigan represent about 185,000 education employees in the state combined.
AFT-Michigan President David Hecker says the partnership will allow the unions to strategize together on their common goals.
"There's a commitment that when we're working on various issues, we confer with each other and we sit down with each other," he said. "We come up with a common strategy and combine our resources and work together for the benefit of public education."
Hecker says both unions are concerned with funding cuts to public education.
"Both unions will be more effective. We fight for more funding for public education, we fight for smaller class sizes and we fight for a strong infrastructure for our schools."
Hecker says he thinks the partnership will help both unions advocate for their members and for public education across the state.
-Sarah Kerson, Michigan Radio Newsroom