ON-Lion Letter
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation (MCLF) in Midland, Mich., has appealed Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Daphne Means Curtis' decision that she lacked jurisdiction to decide the legality of a separate 10-year union-security agreement between the Taylor Federation of Teachers-Local 1085 and the Taylor School District that forces teachers to pay union dues through 2023 or risk being fired.  MCLF also filed charges with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, which is the venue Curtis said she thinks should decide the matter.

"The judge didn't rule on the merits of the case, she only said she didn't think circuit court was the proper venue," according to MCFL senior attorney Derk Wilcox.  "We reviewed our options and decided to go both routes."

In February, MCLF filed suit on behalf of Angela Steffke, Rebecca Metz, and Nancy Rhatigan, all of whom have taught in Taylor for several years and who objected to the forced-dues extension.  The separate agreement extends a full six years beyond the four-year contract the district and union signed in February, and it allows the union to have teachers fired for refusing to pay.

"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," Wilcox said.

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