Under pressure because of the state's right-to-work law, the Michigan Education Association is working to better inform its members of some of the things they get for the money they pay in dues.

MEA members pay about $635 a year for the state portion of their dues and an additional amount for local and national dues, which amounts to an average of about $900 to $1,000 a year for most members.

The MEA recently highlighted one benefitthe $1 million in liability insurance it provides its teachers. The union pays $4.35 a year per member to offer that benefit. The MEA revealed the cost last week during an unfair labor practice hearing before the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.

The $1 million in liability coverage has been promoted on the MEA's website and further highlighted in numerous local MEA affiliate newsletters.

"That is one of the 'top shelf' benefits that they tout for being a member," said James Perialas, president of the Roscommon Teachers Association, an independent teachers union that was created in 2012 when teachers voted to decertify from the MEA and form a local union.

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Perialas said the MEA doesn't come out and say it is the sole provider of liability insurance for teachers, but implies that it is.

"That is not only false, but is inherently misleading to teachers in the union. A teacher's primary line of defense is his/her school district. They all purchase a liability policy that covers employees," Perialas said. "Furthermore, many Roscommon teachers have purchased professional liability insurance through their homeowner's policy, for approximately $25 a year if they want additional coverage. If they are still not satisfied, the teacher-specific liability insurance can be had with membership in organizations like the Christian Educator's Association, or the Association of American Educators. I am a member of the AAE, and it also provides litigation insurance if I need a lawyer for a wrongful discharge. Michigan teachers need to do the math. What are these dues going to? I don't think the MEA would be in the predicament that they are in right now, if they were truthful and fair to their membership."



See also:

Unions Aren't the Only Option If Teachers Want Protection

Who's the Freeloader? MEA Spends More On Benefits Than Bargaining

Lawsuit Filed Against MEA Over Dues Policies

MEA Says Union Members Should Have Known About Limited Window To Leave


Related Articles:

Teachers Find Union Alternatives

Pension Costs Are Crowding Out Public Safety

Charter Schools Cost Unions Millions in Dues

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

'Got Your Back' or Stab It: Union Sics Bill Collectors on Right-to-Work Exercisers

MEA Upset at Having to Follow State Law

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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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