Taylor Public Schools has become the first public organization to approve a contract with a union that prohibits union members from exercising their right to not pay dues or fees to the union as a condition of employment.
That right will be available to union members across the state March 28 if their current contract has expired by then. Michigan became the nation's 24th right-to-work state late last year.
The “union security clause” expires July 1, 2023. It was approved by the Taylor School Board and ratified by the Taylor Federation of Teachers AFT Local 1085 AFL-CIO members.
Numerous other colleges and public school districts are considering similar agreements with their unions. The unions are not extending the entire contracts, just the portion that forces members to have to continue paying dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Taylor School Board President John Reilly said negotiations with unions have to have “some give and take.”
"We don’t have a lot to give. It was one of the things they wanted," he said. "It doesn’t really impact our school district financially. It was something we could give the union they really, really wanted without costing us something."
The Taylor Federation of Teachers didn't tell union members what was in their contracts until after the union leadership approved a tentative deal with the school board. Then, they were given the contract to vote upon.