A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

In a recent posting on her union’s website, a teachers’ union president used outdated information on right-to-work salaries from 2001 (President Barack Obama was still recovering from a primary defeat back then).

A Message From Suzy Clements – Rockford Education Association President

… I also believe that unions created the middle class. This belief is backed up by numbers. Employees in unionized states earn 7.8% more than their counterparts in right-to-work states. (Economic Policy Institute). Though our Michigan legislature has imposed right-to-work on our state, I still believe that we can maintain our standard of living while keeping education strong in Rockford if we continue to work together.

ForTheRecord says: Old textbooks have outdated information. And so does this union president. The Economic Policy Institute study that Clements cites is 13 years old.

Since then, Michigan has become a right-to-work state. In 2012 before Michigan became a right-to-work state, its per-capita personal income was $38,291. In 2013, the first year Michigan was RTW, that per-capita personal income rose to $39,215. And Indiana saw a similar increase its first year as a RTW state. The Hoosier state saw its per-capita personal income rise from $36,342 as a non-RTW state in 2011 to $38,119 in its first year under RTW in 2012. As a whole, RTW states are growing much faster in jobs and income than forced unionism states.

That data is not 13 years old and is from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy Director of Education Policy Audrey Spalding describes her latest study on right-to-work law violations in public school contracts and suggests why districts and unions are ignoring the law.


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