Steffke, Rhatigan, Metz

Three Taylor School District teachers who are opposed to a union contract clause that forces them to pay dues or fees for 10 years will have to wait for their day in court because a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge ruled Tuesday she didn't have jurisdiction to rule on the case.

The Taylor School District and Taylor Federation of Teachers-Local 1085 agreed to a four-year union contract last year, but then also agreed to a union security clause that lasts until 2023. The deal was reached to avoid the state's right-to-work law, which gives union members the freedom to decide if they want to pay dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Judge Daphne Means Curtis dismissed the case and said she thinks the case should instead be decided by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed the lawsuit in February on behalf of three teachers in the Taylor School District against the school district, the board of education and the teachers’ union. The teachers, Angela Steffke, Rebecca Metz and Nancy Rhatigan, have taught in Taylor for several years and all objected to the forced dues extension.

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Steffke, a special education teacher, said in a press release that she was disappointed by the judge’s decision.

"It's disappointing, but we know the 10-year dues requirement is wrong and we’ll continue fighting,” she said.

Judge Curtis suggested the case be filed with MERC because it resolves labor disputes that include private and public sector employees. MERC appoints mediators and arbitrators to cases.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation could file an appeal or file the case with MERC or do both, said Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation.

"Today was just the start," Wright said, adding he thinks the case could end up at the Michigan Supreme Court.

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See also:

Attorney: Taylor District Violated Contract Law to Lock In 10-Year Union Agreement

Lawsuit Filed To Protect Teachers' Rights

Teachers' Union Wants Lawsuit Moved Out of Court

Union President Receives 'Outstanding Organizing' Award For Shutting Down School To Protest Right-to-Work Law

Taylor School Board Approves Contract Forcing Teachers To Pay Union

School Districts Closed Because Of Excessive Teacher Absences Over Right-to-Work

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Related Articles:

Taylor School District Refuses to Inform Teachers They Don't Have to Financially Support the Union

Mackinac Center Will Represent Teacher Suing MEA For Keeping Him In Union

Detroit Teachers Under Pay Freeze, But Union President Gets Big Pay Hike

Labor Board Says Teacher Union Committed an Unfair Labor Practice and Acted “arbitrarily, indifferent and reckless”

Michigan Taxpayers Spend Over $3 Million a Year on Union Release Time

Union Official Peddles False Figures in Teacher Pay Complaint

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The State of Michigan claims the tens of millions of dollars it spends each year advertising the tourism industry brings in needed tax dollars, but the industry fails to show the data. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy devised a study and found that for every dollar spent, only two cents comes back to the state, and only to a select segment of the tourism industry.

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