Teachers in the Roscommon Education Association voted Monday to decertify from the Michigan Education Association by a 42-22 vote.

The vote allows teachers in Roscommon Area Public Schools to form their own independent union.

"I am excited that my colleagues have shown the courage to stand up to MEA/NEA and its bureaucratic machine," said Jim Perialas, interim president of the new Roscommon Teacher's Association in a release. "We are not anti-union, we are anti-MEA. There were many services that were provided by the MEA that we could do ourselves, at half the cost."

Michael Van Beek, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said this vote could encourage other teacher unions to question their affiliation with the MEA.

"This is a big success story for the teachers in Roscommon," Van Beek said. "The dues they pay to be part of a union will be significantly reduced and they'll receive better representation. Their money will stay in the district instead of going to Lansing to pay the salaries of MEA officials."

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Doug Pratt, MEA spokesman, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Come back to Michigan Capitol Confidential throughout the day for further details and comments about the decertification vote.

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Workers who chose to leave unions want to fend for themselves but current law requires unions in union shops to negotiate their pay and work conditions. "Worker's Choice" gives employees the freedom to choose representation.

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