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

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Lawsuit Filed Against MEA Over Dues Policies, 'Fair Representation'

Novi teacher joins others from across the state suing the MEA to try to get out of the union

… behalf. Bank is suing the MEA because the union has … annual dues to the MEA, Wright said. "The … teachers suing the MEA, the union presented … which outlines how the MEA will use a collection … more

Absent MEA Action, State Could Step In

MEA ducks question about having state inform members about right-to-work law

… inform union members, an MEA spokesman started to … allegations that the MEA is not fully complying … getting out of the MEA has proven to be a tricky … state. According to the MEA, its members can only … more

Union Touts Liability Insurance As Perk; Costs $4.35 A Year Per Member

Teachers don't have to rely on MEA for coverage

… they pay in dues. MEA members pay about $635 … members. The MEA recently highlighted … that benefit. The MEA revealed the cost … been promoted on the MEA's website and further … more

District Disputes MEA President's Claim About School Funding Cuts

Steve Cook said Wayne-Westland lost $40 million under Gov. Snyder; administration official says district received more revenue

… for The Detroit News, MEA President Steve Cook … the past. The MEA didn't respond to requests … Pontiac MEA President Repeats 'Disingenuous' … more
MCC2011-01

MEA Concedes Large Percentage of ‘Conservative’ Teachers, Endorses 97% Democrats

… as conservative. The MEA represents more than 157,000 teachers, … same magazine, the MEA released its recommendations … partisan issue. MEA President Iris Salters … R-Rochester Hills, who the MEA has not endorsed, said … more

Teachers Victorious In Their Quest To Get Out Of The MEA

Union drops its fight against Miriam Chanski and Ray Arthur, but others still locked in

… the union. The MEA is no longer contesting … Commission, and the MEA recently gave up its … November, Doug Pratt, the MEA's spokesman at the time, … the MERC hearing, the MEA presented a dues collection … more

Another Way to Deal With Illegal Strikes

Abuse the privilege, lose the privilege

… response to reports that MEA is preparing to wage … sound stiff, but for MEA, with its $130 million … definitely smart, the MEA s power base it s … more

Commentary: MEA Shock! Mackinac Center and FDR Agree Ban Government Collective Bargaining

… employee union, the MEA teachers union, is expressing … in practical terms means no more MEA. It s a good … collective bargaining ban means no more MEA was … more

Teacher Speaks Out on Union Bullying

MEA will go after 8,000 teachers not paying dues

… very thankful that the MEA has finally recognized … now free from the MEA, told The Press. "This … practice complaints against the MEA on behalf of Chanski, … another teacher, the MEA admitted that about … more

MEA Lawsuit May Be Against Policy That They Already Endorsed

… months ago. The MEA supported the pension … 1227. On April 23, the MEA released a statement … percent contribution, the MEA wrote: "The bill would … under attack." However, five MEA members objected to … more

MEA Charging Members Extra To Cover Retirement Liabilities For Union's Employees

While MEA fights changing state pension system, union has trouble with its own underfunding

… the fees. The MEA is in the red for $159.3 … employees. The MEA didn't immediately respond … for comment. The MEA has 117,000 active members … $17.5 million. The MEA's retirement liabilities … more

Law Judge To Hear Unfair Labor Practice Complaints Against MEA

Union limits information and dates available to teachers who want to leave

… teachers challenged the MEA's policies and filed … Julia C. Stern the MEA is expected to defend … right-to-work law. MEA officials have insisted … ask about it. MEA Executive Director Gretchen … more

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

Union officials complain about members who opt out, but still want to represent them; 'sanctity of contracts' claim questioned during Senate testimony

… leave the union, an MEA official said during … information on the MEA's website, said Doug … a spokesman for the MEA. Pratt, who … secret." Pratt said MEA members who specifically … more

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

Union member: 'I hope the MEA wants to win back the loyalty of its former members'

… right-to-work law to leave the MEA. Now Fairfield … a group of teachers MEA President Steve Cook … "freeloaders." Although he left the MEA, Fairfield said he gave … he invested heavily in the MEA, but felt the union … more

MEA Aggressive With Dues Collection Information; Silent On How To Opt Out

Union executive questioned at MERC hearing about unfair labor practice complaints

… union. According to MEA officials, its members … August. "Does MEA have the capacity of … Donahue, representing the MEA and the Saginaw Education … she said. The MEA's August window for … more

10 Stories Showing Why Mandatory Government Collective Bargaining Is Counterproductive

… in practical terms means no more MEA. Despite wariness … union leader George Meany, the statement kicked … job. In Troy, this means that seven gym teachers … more

Former MEA Local Prez: Union May Lose 40% of Members – Including Him – if Teacher Right to Work Passes

… would bolt from the MEA. The reason? He … noted news reports of MEA officials getting hefty … money to East Lansing (MEA headquarters) and not … union would replace the MEA, which he said was a … more

Mackinac Center on Sean Hannity Show

Attorney, teacher discuss MEA bullying

… rights. The MEA's insistence that its … more

House GOP on Verge of Surrendering to MEA

… Engler signed a similar measure for state workers … back in 1996. That measure has helped taxpayers … transition costs, which means accounting rules that … more now would also means paying less later.) A … more

Does the MEA Believe in 'Sanctity of Contracts?'

Not when it comes to illegal teacher strikes

… investigating the claims. The MEA has repeatedly claimed … utmost importance to the MEA and that to be 'fair' … Detroit News: "The MEA, at our core, believes … public schools, the MEA has done the same when … more

Average Teacher Salary in Michigan Rises Again

According to new data just released by the Michigan Department of Education for the 2009-2010 school year, the average teacher salary in Michigan has risen for the 13th consecutive year. This most recent data puts the figure at $63,024.

 more

Like A Broken Record, MEA Complains About 'Insufficient Funds'

Since 1990s, education spending has been a priority; has increased under Gov. Snyder

… records show that the MEA and allied groups have … Bureau. Nonetheless, the MEA and its allies maintain … funding. "The MEA has been pushing the … refreshing to see the MEA put forward an innovative … more

MEA Spends More On Salaries, Benefits Than Member Representation

Union deficit, spending issues hit as Michigan becomes right-to-work state

… could come into play as MEA members soon will have … union. The reports the MEA filed with the IRS … percent decline. The MEA's costs for its own … question, 'Does the MEA exist to benefit its … more

Illegal Teacher Strike Rumored After Union’s Job Action Letter

… members to give the MEA the authority to initiate … that on March 11, the MEA board of directors voted … several actions the MEA would be taking to ratchet … clear on what this vote means. It authorizes MEA … more

MEA Misleads on Oklahoma Right-to-Work Numbers

In the past decade, Oklahoma jobs are up 3.8 percent while Michigan is down 13.8 percent

… given the choice. This means that our state s … challenged. On its website, the MEA has a page titled How … Statistics. The MEA hasn't responded to … more

Union Tries to Shame Ex-Members

MEA affiliate lists the names of school employees who chose to leave the union

… question whether the MEA is trying to create … environment. The MEA 17-B/C union newsletter … decertify from the MEA last year, said this … teachers, Day said. MEA President Steve Cook … more

Teachers Sue MEA To Escape Union

Union demanded bank account information and threatened teacher's credit

… local unions and the MEA, challenging the one-month … to opting out of the MEA until this past spring … separate letter to the MEA. Chanski said she was … period we presume you meant to stay with us and … more

Public-Sector Unions Fight to Keep Bloated Benefits

… private sector. The MEA s argument is that, … in public schools means that teachers employed … compensation. Simply put, the MEA and its cohorts are … past decade; that means Michigan taxpayers … more

School District Denies Teacher's Claim of Bias in Evaluations

MEA member says district using evaluations for 'punitive' reasons

… criticized in an MEA article how teachers … law." Neither Murray nor MEA Spokesman Doug Pratt … more

Union Will Use 'Any Legal Means' to Combat Members Who Want to Leave

Two former MEA local presidents question August-only resignation window

… will use any legal means at our disposal … letter he sent to MEA local presidents, board … members and staff. MEA Spokesman Doug Pratt … for comment. The MEA said if members want … more
FDR Portrait

Why the MEA Attacks the Center — and FDR

… Significantly, however, the MEA is mounting the attack at … people, who speak by means of laws enacted by … Teacher Pay Freeze Really Means : But … credits. Essentially, this means that teachers would … more

Union Graphic Leaves Out Billions of Public Dollars To Claim Education 'Cuts'

MEA's Facebook page has multiple inaccuracies

… image nearby), the MEA cited an open letter … past several months, MEA President Steve Cook … in 2011. The MEA is citing data lifted … inflation. The MEA s chart also cites … more

MEA Should Support Teacher Evaluations

… effectiveness and tenure means schools have to try to measure educators' performance … more

GOP Fumbles: On Verge of Giving MEA Huge Pension Win

… with the much more meaningful reform. The vote … that, OK?" By "that" he meant a Senate vote to … Not surprisingly, the MEA circled the wagons and … legislators feared the MEA's political power. Nevertheless, … more

Michigan Education Association Misleading Voters

'Kids Not CEOs' website rife with misinformation

… "Kids Not CEOs," the MEA alleges that millions … based on fact. The MEA's website ignores billions … schools. Unfortunately, the MEA is manipulating the … other things. The MEA's latest effort to peddle … more

Teachers To Lawmakers: 'MEA Wouldn't Tell Us How To Leave Union'

Educators testified about not being allowed out of the union

… allegations that the MEA is not fully complying … "August window." The MEA insists that its members … window were valid, some MEA officials failed to … teachers about it. MEA officials have said the … more

Breaking Away from the MEA

… Breaking away from the MEA took time and effort. … action: Be prepared : The MEA does not go away easily. … resources similar to the MEA?" Approach younger … realities. Wait until staunch MEA teachers retire : … more

MEA President Goes After Local Teachers' Union President

'I'm angry that he has painted me inaccurately. I'm more angry that he continues to deceive good teachers who deserve good leadership'

… email recently to MEA members that said Perialas … step increases. That meant some teachers took … were members of the MEA, the union seldom provided … assistance from the MEA would just send generic … more

MEA Testimony: Lower K-12 Spending State Does Better Than Michigan

Comparison contradicts union’s talking points

… area. Year after year, the MEA lobbies for more money … complaint list and the MEA says that is a problem … elementary teacher and MEA member, contradicted … day in support of the MEA. In her testimony, Matafferi … more

MEA Says 1 Percent of Teachers Have Left Union, But Claim is Questionable

Union's estimate is missing some important context

… about 30 percent of the MEA members wouldn't have … the only month the MEA allows its members to … local unions and the MEA challenging the August … and a member of the MEA who is not involved … more

Detroit Teachers Union Gives Members Freedom MEA Doesn’t

DFT allows union employees to resign whenever they want

… the year. The MEA, by contrast, restricts … counterparts in the MEA. "They (the … similar to what the MEA does when the DFT contract … insurance. Seven MEA teachers from around … more

MEA Demands Immediate Health Insurance Payment From School District In Serious Debt

Judge ruled Pontiac School District has 10 years to pay off $7.8 million

… an affiliate of the MEA, is demanding full … was created by the MEA and serves numerous … information on the MEA's website. On June 25, the MEA posted an article … more

MEA Agency Fees Far Exceed Cost of Contract Negotiations

Union spokesman: 'Everything is about money'

… "freeloaders." But has the MEA been the freeloader … 2012, members of the MEA who opted out had only … contract." The MEA calculates the cost … and information from MEA documents, the union's … more

Commentary: Leaving Michigan Education Association To Form Local Union A Good Choice

Roscommon teachers leave MEA, saves tens of thousands of dollars, cuts dues in half and starts scholarship fund

… decertify from the MEA and recertify as a local … union, away from the MEA/NEA, allowed Roscommon … advice) functions of the MEA. Our union negotiates … do this? Because the MEA is a bureaucratic behemoth … more

Bipartisan Senate Panel To Investigate Possible MEA Right-to-Work Violations

Teacher: '[Since dropping union] I have been subjected to intimidation, bullying and even threats to ruin my credit rating'

… right-to-work law. Allegations against the MEA, Michigan s largest … allegations against the MEA. Sen. Meekhof will chair … initial hearing on the MEA's actions is scheduled … local unions and the MEA. Before the passage … more

MEA Ignores Socioeconomic Status In Claiming Public Charter School is 'Failing'

Cesar Chavez Academy is a highly-rated school based on comparable students

… discrepancy? The study the MEA trumpets was done by … Assessment Program (MEAP) scores as the reason … reading on the 2012 MEAP. Chavez students, 92% … ranking system that measure a school's test … more
MEA rally in Lansing

Private Contractors Pilloried at School Union Rally

… Board Member: " MEA Will Eat Their Young" Michigan … Liability to Satisfy MEA School … more

Senate Leader Supports Right to Work For Teachers

… about taking on the MEA. I don t think … Johnson said. MEA spokesman Doug Pratt … more

Video Report: Teachers Hope Their Win Against Union Emboldens Others

… practice complaints against the MEA when the union failed … local unions and the MEA. Another teacher, Susan … Court against the MEA. The executive director of the MEA admitted under oath … more

In Pontiac, MEA Local Raises $12K For School Supplies While Union Health Insurance Arm Sues District for $7.8 Million

Union affiliated MESSA got $7.8M judgment against Pontiac School District

… was created by the MEA and serves numerous … direct ties to the MEA. While the MEA blames education funding … was founded by the MEA. According to MESSA s … more

Initial 'Right-to-Teach' Bill Has Problems

Singling out the MEA may even let the union escape

… focuses too much on the MEA. A broad right-to-work … state). That would mean the Michigan Education … else. The impulse to single out the MEA is understandable; the … the bill leaves the MEA with an out: shed just … more

MEA Memo Outlines Regrets and Possible Ways To Fight Right-to-Work Law

Union President: '[Recalls] are the least appealing of all the options'

… likely be part of the MEA's future plans. "We … attacks," Cook wrote. MEA Spokesman Doug Pratt … perspective about the MEA s views on recall efforts … recalling Scott. The MEA donated $25,000 to support … more

Teacher Got Plenty of Info About Paying Union Dues, Nothing About Opting Out of the MEA

Saginaw teacher: 'It's a matter of principle and doing what's right'

… local unions and the MEA. The Mackinac Center … case," he said. The MEA's strategy of keeping … also: Teachers Sue MEA To Escape Union Union … more

MEA Says 8,000 Haven't Paid Dues; Some Teachers Say Union Intentionally Misled Members

… Relations Commission, MEA Executive Director Gretchen … multiple notices from the MEA about its E-Dues policy … complaints against the MEA asking that they be … to leave. The MEA dropped its fight … more

Union President Blames State, School Officials for Problems at Buena Vista, Pontiac Schools

MEA President Cook turns a blind eye to union's role in districts problems

… was created by the MEA, sued and won a judgment … health insurance. As the MEA president, Cook sits … said. Cook and MEA Spokesman Doug Pratt … Contract In Pontiac, MEA Local Raises $12K For … more

With Far Fewer Members, MEA Executives Among the Highest Paid In the Nation

… $269,788 in 2011. Former MEA President Iris Salters … the 153,938 member MEA. Doug Pratt, MEA spokesman, didn t return … Steven Cook took over as MEA president. Cook made … more

August Is ‘Get Out of the Union Month’ For Teachers

MEA says it's dedicated to enforcing the one-month only window for teachers to exercise their rights

… months . In January, MEA President Steve Cook … would use "any legal means at our disposal" to … he sent an email to MEA members claiming, among … decertified from the MEA significantly increased … more
Capitol Confidential Vol. 1, No. 1

Competitive Contracting at Public Schools

MEA Committed to Defeating Privatization

MEA committed to defeating … Spring 2007 issue of MEA Voice. It may be viewed … entirety at www.mea.org/voice/spring2007/Sp07-complete.pdf . "…We’ve … classroom teachers. "MEA is committed to helping … more

Are Teachers With Master's Degrees Forced To Take Food Stamps?

MEA fact check

… card . Steve Cook, the MEA s president, said that … not the first time an MEA representative has cried … salaries. Ric Hogerheide, an MEA UniServe director, claimed … more

MEA Republicans

… base. This means it's all but certain … back in the mid-1990s the MEA also began inserting … successful with the tactic. "MEA Republicans" prevented … primary voters in MEA-targeted districts of … more

Union Website Warns About Bullying, But Members Who Opted Out Report Being Bullied

… for years. The MEA says all the right things. … earlier this year, MEA Spokesman Doug Pratt … committee that the MEA doesn't divulge information … considerations." Yet, the MEA has remained silent … more

Unions are the Freeloaders

Forced dues spent on politics, benefits for union staff

… here's the biggest: The MEA, like many unions, spends … members. According to the MEA's most recent LM-2 … union's finances, the MEA spends only 11 percent … only $4.8 million of MEA spending went directly … more

Analysis: Senate GOP Fumbles, May Approve $25.9 Billion Taxpayer Liability to Satisfy MEA

… enforceable obligations. The MEA is demanding the law … been recipients of MEA campaign cash and endorsements … unfortunate, because the measure cannot become law … also approved by the MEA-friendly Democrats who … more

Michigan Public School Employees Pay For One of the Country's Richest Unions

Education reforms trump deep pockets of the MEA

… Association umbrella and the MEA s employee payroll … previous year, the MEA still brought in $77.4 … more money. The MEA brought in $623.90 per … member. Total compensation for MEA employees, $68.5 million, … more

School Union Brags of Ballot Box Revenge Against Outsourcing

… candidates. The MEA's press release read: … more

Teachers' Union Manual Shows How to Organize Illegal Strikes, Use Children During Bargaining

Analyst: '[MEA] has decided it is above the law'

… manual states that the "MEA ... supports and defends … Pratt, spokesman for the MEA, didn t respond to … polarize it. The MEA manual states: Pick … and the future, the MEA manual states. There … more

Reality Check: Who Is to Blame For School Deficits?

MEA blames Legislature, facts say otherwise

… not be possible to measure the impact of budget … with the narrative the MEA would like to push on … Editor Paul Keep and the MEA s Doug Pratt didn t … money? MEA Executive Salaries 'Not … more

MEA's Hyperbole About Cyber Charter Schools

… students in Michigan. The MEA ignores the fact that … interesting that the MEA is so concerned about … stand-off between the MEA and its public school … Michigan families. The MEA and the rest would like … more

Right-to-Work: What Now for Schools?

… again, because it could mean they ll lose dues … more

School Funding at All-Time High

See which districts spend the most and least per pupil.

 more

Union Fighting For $10K Severance For Teacher Who Pleaded Guilty to Molesting a Student

… the first time the MEA has defended teachers … one extreme case, the MEA took up the case of … himself to them. The MEA challenged his firing. In … more

Do Teachers Really Need More 'Protection?'

… astonishing that the MEA thinks that more … the district and its MEA affiliate states : ...standardized … agreement with its MEA affiliate. Its collective … more

University Staff Breaks Away From Michigan Education Association

Grand Valley State University vote means union loses another bargaining unit

… voted to stay with the MEA, while 7 chose "neither." "We … a long way with the MEA," said Alliance spokesperson … themselves." The MEA represented one of three … their unit has paid the MEA more than $1 million. Bedford … more

Court Rules School Districts Cannot Use Public Resources to Withhold Union Dues

School unions now responsible for collecting dues from their own members

… teachers left the MEA to start a local union. "They … which decertified from the MEA last year. "Most … nation late last year, MEA President Steve Cook … would use "any legal means at our disposal to … more

Teachers Union Pushes Districts To Boycott Some University Students Over Politics

EMU education student: 'It is outrageous'

… all chapters of the MEA. "No matter how … Education Association, an MEA affiliate, is truly … the first time the MEA has tried to bully … teachers. In 1994, the MEA threatened to stop accepting … more

Legislator, Union Want Tenured Teachers From Dissolved Districts Hired First In Other Schools

… press release, the MEA condemned not guaranteeing … not. It's a shame that the MEA seems to be more focused … more

MEA Executive Salaries 'Not Based on Merit'

But critics say the union is not being consistent

… differently. If the MEA is attempting to attract … the union, says that MEA executives are paid … Each year at MEA s Spring Representative … democratically-elected MEA members vote to approve … more

School District Saves By Dumping Expensive Union Insurance Plan

Dansville district saved $250,000 after getting rid of MEA-affiliated MESSA plan

… costs. ~~~~~ See also: MEA Ignores Reality In Complaints … Plan MEA President Repeats 'Disingenuous' … Teacher Pay MEA's Underpaid Teacher … more

'They Are A Bureaucratic Machine That Got Out of Control'

Roscommon teachers bolt from the Michigan Education Association

… teachers' union. The MEA s executive salaries , … basic services that the MEA provided and for less … dues increase from the MEA this year that would … frustrations with the MEA. "They got too greedy. … more

Teacher Upset She Can't Retire at 47

MEA member says reform bill calling for teachers to contribute minimally to retirement is unfair

… retirement plan. The MEA reported on its website: … Sector MEA's Underpaid Teacher … more

Michigan Still Worse Economically Than RTW Oklahoma

… wrote a blog post ( MEA Misleads on Oklahoma … was published, the MEA changed its website … citation. The MEA now says , 10 years … state. Mishel, the economist the MEA cites, is the president … more

Warren Board Member: "MEA Will Eat Their Young"

… received $500 from the MEA in his first campaign … the board. The MEA turned against him in … indicate that his MEA-supported opponent raised … schools," Wagner said. "The MEA will eat their young. … more

Dexter Bus Drivers Dump International Union

School employees form local bargaining unit

… charge to leave the MEA and form the local … more

Union Threatens Hall of Fame Coach With Legal Action For Not Paying Dues

In 34 years, teacher says he was never notified of 'August window'

… by his union or the MEA. He said the MEA sends its members dozens … Lieberman, director of the MEA Uniserv office that … referred all questions to MEA headquarters. MEA Spokespeople … more

More Is Never Enough

… in any significant, measurable way. Those … $11,337 in 2007, as measured in 2007 dollars. … school graduation. Measuring how funds are … more

The V-Word

Public school establishment making false voucher claims in school funding debate

… school... This means that the state would … more

Rose Beats Tarkenton to the Post

NFL and NBA pros battle teaching cons.
 more

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