News Story

American Federation of Teachers-Michigan Union Membership In Decline

Union has had a 22 percent decline in membership since right-to-work

The American Federation of Teachers-Michigan is continuing to lose members five years after the state’s right-to-work law took effect.

That’s according to annual disclosures (LM-2 reports) that unions are required to submit to the federal government.

AFT-Michigan’s membership was 23,388 in 2012, the year before right-to-work took effect here. It dropped to 18,252 as of June 30, 2018, which translates to a 22 percent decline. The union lost 173 members since 2017. AFT-Michigan hasn't lost members every year since right-to-work became effective in 2013. The union did gain three members in 2017, increasing to 18,426. But in 2018, the union was back to losing members.

Michigan’s right-to-work law prohibits employers from compelling employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

AFT-Michigan’s largest union local the Detroit Federation of Teachers, which is the union in the Detroit Public School Community School District. That district district had 3,438 full-time teachers in 2017-18.

The state’s largest teachers union is the Michigan Education Association, which has seen its active membership drop from 117,265 in 2012 to 87,628 in 2017. That’s a decline of 29,637 members, or 25 percent. The MEA usually releases its LM-2 report at the end of November.