A bill passed by the Michigan House would freeze educators’ salaries during contract negotiations. It would require employees (and not their employer) to pay for increases in insurance fees during negotiations. The bill would also ban retroactive bargaining. So if an agreement was reached six months down the road, employees would not be reimbursed for the higher rates they paid.
Doug Pratt is with the Michigan Education Association. He says the M-E-A wants the Senate to reject the bill.
“I’d like to see a real conversation in this state about what’s driving our financial crises. It’s not the compensation we provide to dedicated educators. It’s a broken tax structure; it’s a failure on the part of our state leaders to make tough choices to invest in the kind of state we all want to live in.”
Supporters of the bill say school districts cannot afford to pay the rising benefit costs, nor pay for the raises teachers get with time and experience.