Today, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation that would keep public schools from automatically deducting union dues from an employee's paycheck. The vote passed 55-53 and goes onto the Republican-led Senate.
From the Associated Press:
Supporters of the bill say it will put more money in teachers' paychecks, at least up front. Teachers could write checks to unions later to cover their dues.
Opponents say the proposal is another attempt to weaken teachers' unions and inconvenience teachers in the state.
A separate proposal that could soon come up in the Michigan Legislature would make Michigan a so-called "right to teach" state.
Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger released a statement about the bill, saying that the legislation "empowers school employees.":
We are hearing from teachers, in particular, who are not happy with how union leaders are using their dues. Because that has led to disagreement, we need to make sure our public schools stay out of the middle of collecting union dues.
The Michigan Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, says the legislation does nothing to improve education or put money back in members pockets:
"This kind of legislation is a blatant example of political payback for our involvement in recall elections."