News Story

Michigan teachers unions continue to shed members

Latest filings show that MEA has lost 1,000 members since last year

The latest report from the state’s largest education union shows that the Michigan Education Association shed 1,000 members since the previous year, continuing a trend. The number comes from the LM-2, a financial report the MEA and other labor unions must file with the U.S. government. According to the report, MEA’s revenue decreased to $84.2 million, and its membership stands at its lowest in at least 22 years.

Michigan has a right-to-work law, which prevents unions from getting a worker fired for not paying union dues or fees. When the law was enacted in 2012, the MEA had 117,265 members. The number has dropped consistently in the last ten years, reaching to 79,839, a 31.9% decline.

On a national basis, education unions have suffered significant losses since the landmark case Janus v. AFSCME of in 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of right-to-work protections for all public employees in the country, including teachers in public schools. The MEA’s parent organization, the National Education Association, has lost 203,263 dues and fee payers, a 7.6% loss, since the Janus ruling.

The American Federation of Teachers, another major national union, lost 141,131 members and fee payers, or 10.3%, since 2018. AFT-Michigan went from 25,068 in 2012 to 18,021, a 28.1% decrease.

AFSCME, which represents a variety of employees in government jobs, has lost 126,097 members nationally, a 10% decrease, since the JANUS decision. AFSCME in Michigan declined from 48,625 members in 2012 to 24,728 in 2022, a 49.1% drop.

The MEA, AFSCME and AFT did not respond to a request for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.