Skip to comments.School District Reaches Five-Year Contract Preventing Teachers From Leaving the Union
Posted on 02/05/2013 1:01:40 PM PST by MichCapCon
The Taylor School District reached a five-year tentative agreement with the Taylor Federation of Teachers that would prevent its union employees from having the option of leaving the teachers union, the superintendent confirmed.
The contract is expected to be approved by the school board at a special school board meeting tonight. The contract will prohibit union members from exercising their right to not pay dues or fees to the union as a condition of employment thanks to Michigan becoming the nation's 24th right-to-work state late last year. Schools boards have to agree to contracts with these types of restrictive provisions by March 27 or the law takes effect and disallows such agreements.
While union officials routinely claim that workers are free to leave the union, they still require workers to support the union in the absence of a right-to-work law.
Union members in the Taylor School District have been kept in the dark about the details of the agreement, according to a memo released by Union President Linda Scott Moore. Michigan Capitol Confidential confirmed the contents of the memo with a union member.
"In an effort to preserve the tentative agreement the TFT negotiation team and executive board has chosen to withhold the tentative agreement until after the board of education ratifies," Moore wrote in the memo. "While frustrating, the TFT feels that this is in the best interest of our membership. We all have much to lose if we are prevented from moving forward with a ratification vote."
Instead, union members will see the contract for the first time Friday and then will vote on it Feb. 5, said Superintendent Diane Allen, who in an email confirmed the memo's statements.
"I think this tentative agreement will be instrumental in addressing and resolving the significant financial problems faced by the district and wish to thank the Taylor Federation of Teachers for their significant and substantial contributions to the fiscal health of the District," Allen said in a press release.
She did not explain how the school district's financial troubles would be eased. The Taylor School District reportedly is more than $20 million in debt.
Union President Moore and Union Officer Thomas Fulton didn't respond to requests for comment.
The Taylor School District is the first public entity known to act on forcing union members to pay dues or fees by way of a contract extension, although similar 9-year contracts have been drafted by union representatives at Western Michigan University and Berkley Public Schools.
"Anyone trying to artificially extend a contract is clearly trying to circumvent a law the legislature passed and the governor signed," said Ari Adler, press secretary for Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, R-Marshall. "We would hope that governing bodies would do everything they can to follow the language and the intent of state laws to be good stewards of the tax dollars they are spending and protect worker freedom."
As of 2011, the Taylor School District paid two union stewards to spend more than half their time working exclusively on union business. The district paid Jeffrey Woodford $96,419 in total compensation and allowed him to spend 75 percent of his time on union business. The other 25 percent of the time he taught at Truman High School. Moore, who is the current union president, is a middle school science teacher in Taylor with $88,016 in total compensation and was allowed to spend 50 percent of her time on union business.
Last month, the Taylor School District was forced to close because teachers called in sick and took vacation days to attend a protest in Lansing against right-to-work legislation.
***Preventing Teachers From Leaving the Union***
When I first saw this I thought the teachers were forming their own Confederacy!
This is not for the Children...
Perhaps NHA ( National Heritage Academies ) can open a couple of Charter Schools their...
If the duly elected school board passes this then they get exactly what they deserve. Elect people that have more than two active brain cells and this CR@P will stop.
Too often the elected school board members are union teachers who work in a neighboring district (you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours)
Here in Rural Va we don't play that game.
We just passed some legislation that should help prevent those conflicts of interests of teaching in one district while sitting on the board in the next. Apparently it even extends to husband/wife tag teams.
I wonder if that’s legal. Seems like it shouldn’t be - contracts are not allowed to contravene law, right?
I believe the Attorney General already has a suit pending on the legality of these kinds of maneuvers.
Thanks for the info, cripplecreek. It sure doesn’t seem kosher to me to use a contract to do an end-run around the law.
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