ON-Lion Letter
In late February, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation (MCLF) filed suit in Wayne County, Mich., against the Taylor Federation of Teachers-Local 1085, the Taylor School District Board of Education, and the Taylor School District on behalf of three teachers who object to a union-security clause that would force them to financially support the union for the next decade.

"This is really a union insecurity clause because rather than proving its worth to members, the union is forcing all teachers to continue paying dues or agency fees through 2023," according to Mackinac senior attorney Derk Wilcox.  "This is a desperate attempt by the union to circumvent Michigan's right-to-work law and preserve its own power at the expense of teachers."

MCLF is representing Taylor teachers Angela Steffke, Rebecca Metz, and Nancy Rhatigan.  The district and union had been without a contract since 2010, and the district was forced to file a deficit-elimination plan with the state in light of a self-created $14 million overspending crisis.  A new four-year contract was ratified in early February, along with a separate 10-year dues clause.  Such clauses are generally part of an overall collective-bargaining agreement, rather than a stand-alone agreement.

Steffke, a special-education teacher, said she thinks the union and the district "colluded and conspired to circumvent" Michigan's freedom-to-work law.

MCLF is a project of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports the Mackinac Center.
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