Judge Strikes Down Michigan Teacher Union’s Illegal 'Window Period'

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LANSING — A Michigan Employment Relations Commission judge has struck down the Michigan Education Association union hierarchy’s attempt to prohibit public school teachers and employees from exercising their right to refrain from union membership.

The ruling stems from state charges filed by Mark Norgan, a Standish-Sterling Community Schools janitor, Alphia Snyder, a Battle Creek Public Schools secretary, and Mary Carr, a Grand Blanc Community Schools special education department secretary, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The charges challenged MEA’s policy of requiring workers to resign union membership and refrain from union dues payments only during a “window period” of Aug.1 through Aug. 31.

The MERC administrative law judge agreed with Foundation staff attorneys who argued that Michigan’s Right to Work law protects workers’ unequivocal right to refrain from union membership at any time. Similarly, federal labor law protects workers’ absolute right to refrain from union membership at any time without penalty.

“Across the state, union officials are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This ruling is a huge victory for workers throughout the state whose rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law are being denied by unscrupulous union officials.”

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