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Michigan Law Revokes Your Unions' CBA

Michigan proposes law to overturn public employee contracts in time of fiscal crisis

Kris LaGrange's picture
Sep 21, 2017

In the five years since Michigan became Right to Work, workers in the state have faced constant attacks. As many of the major cities in Michigan dealt with bankrupt city budgets following years of job loss due to failed free trade policies, workers were asked to take on more and more of the burden. As UCOMM previously reported, teachers in Detroit faced schools that were literally falling down around them, while the school district informed them that they might not have enough money to pay them. Public employees also saw their wages and benefits cut by 10% in the years following the Great Recession. For Michigan politicians, these sacrifices were not enough. So, Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) ordered his Civil Service Commission to vote on changes to public employee collective bargaining agreements.

At Wednesday’s Civil Service Commission hearing, the board voted 3-1 to reshape collective bargaining in the state. The proposal allows the state government to override a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) during a financial emergency and would give government managers more control over reassigning workers, laying off workers and allotting overtime. All of these changes could be made solely by the state government without input from the unions that are part of the agreement. The commissioners also used this vote as an opportunity to expand the list of issues in which employee unions cannot negotiate to include overtime and staff assignment procedures, performance pay and more. The changes will affect 30,000 workers who are covered under union contracts.

This means that Michigan workers can face pay cuts and will have no ability to stop them. As State Rep. Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hill said this is collective bargaining rights in name only. “Once again, Governor Snyder is rigging the rules of our state against working men and women like nurses, social workers, and bridge inspectors,” said Ron Bieber Michigan State AFL-CIO President. “These unfair new rules will make state government less efficient and less accountable by giving the governor more power to dictate working conditions, and by filling vital positions with his unskilled political cronies.”

It’s sad to say that Michigan used to be a strong, blue, union state. Now its Right to Work, wages are going down, and shit like this is happening. Get your shit together Michigan, what happened in Wisconsin is contagious.

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