FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from AFT Michigan
February 13, 2015
AFT Michigan Statement on MERC Ruling Against Taylor Federation of Teachers / Taylor Board of Education Contract
TAYLOR, Mich. — The Taylor Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers Michigan are speaking out against a ruling today by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.
In a decision reflecting the politicized nature of the agency, two (of three) members of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder, sided with three members against the Taylor Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 500 Taylor teachers, and the Taylor Board of Education.
In an action wholly supported by the anti-union Mackinac Center For Public Policy the three members fought to upset a collective bargaining agreement approved by an overwhelming number of their fellow members and by a unanimous vote of the Taylor Board of Education.
The Commission ignored its own precedent and rejected the recommendation of its own Administrative Law Judge and found that the Taylor contract of 10 year duration containing a “fair share” provision could not be enforced; that the Union and the Board of Education could not have agreed to it. In reaching this decision, the Commission manufactured a new rule, which is not supported by existing law or, indeed, common sense. The ruling was strongly criticized by the dissenting Commissioner who found its entire reasoning invalid.
“Taylor teachers approved this contract because they understand that asking employees to pay their fair share is reasonable,” said Linda Moore, president of the Taylor Federation of Teachers.
“We are confident that this blatantly political decision will be overturned by the Court of Appeals,” said David Hecker, president of the 35,000-member AFT Michigan, the Michigan affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
An appeal is expected to be filed by the end of February.