WGVU donate banner

Friday, September 19, 2014

FacebookFlickrTwitterYouTubeLinkedIn
 
Public Media Catagories
PBS Link Create Link WorldView Link NPR Link Real Oldies Link wgvu
All Things Considered
WGVU Top Story

Unions, employers bargain over RTW workaround


February 28, 2013 | MPRN  

State laws cannot simply override existing contracts. That’s in the U-S Constitution. It’s called the “contracts clause.”
 
So any labor agreements in place when the right-to-work law takes effect on March 27th are valid until the contract ends.
 
That has unions scrambling to extend contracts provisions that require employees to pay dues or agency fees. Right-to-work laws allow employees to refuse to pay those fees, and that’s expected to cost unions a lot of money.

“I think the law itself is fundamentally flawed.”

Union leaders like Steve Cook of the Michigan Education Association say that’s not fair, since by law they have to represent every worker in an organized shop whether they pay dues or not. 

“So we’re using every legal means possible to protect ourselves, the association – and not only the state association, but the local associations, as well.”

M-E-A locals -- along with a lot of other public employee unions – are going to their employers and asking them to open or re-open contract talks. They want agreements that will allow them to continue to collect dues and fees for as long as ten years into the future. 
 
Steve Cook says that’s legal and fair.

“It’s a little like trying to find as many tax deductions as you possibly can. Nobody complains about that.”

“They care more about power and the servile practice of forced unionization than they do about giving their members a choice.”

Greg McNeilly is with the Michigan Freedom Fund. It’s a not-for-profit group that was a key player in getting the right-to-work law passed. It’s closely associated with Amway billionaires Dick and Betsy DeVos. McNeilly says his group will do whatever it takes to defend the law and thwart efforts to work around it.

“That includes lawsuits against the unions, the public bodies including the board members that adopt them. That includes legislation that could provide a financial incentive or disincentives, and it could include recall of local school board members and university governing boards.”

The Troy school district and the Wayne State University Board of Governors are among the public employers that have agreed to contract extensions. Others have said “no” to their unions. 
 
Some Republican state lawmakers say they are looking at sanctions for public employers that make extended agreements to delay the effects of the right-to-work law. 
 
State Representative Bill Rogers chairs the House education budget subcommittee. 

“We pass a law and now somebody’s trying to circumvent it. I think that’s unconscionable.”

But, Rogers and other Republicans say they might look at the whole thing a little differently if schools and universities use the negotiations to save taxpayers money. 
 
Don Wotruba of the Michigan Association of School Boards says his members are not simply giving in to union requests.  

“It’s just a little added leverage that if the unions are looking for something with an extension, that the districts are looking to see how they can parlay that into something that frees up money or gives them more flexibility.”

Wotrub says the discussions range from wage concessions that can help districts retire deficits to year-round school calendars. 
 
And that may not be such a bad deal, say some right-to-work supporters, even if that’s not why they passed the law.
 
For the Michigan Public Radio Network, I’m Rick Pluta at the state Capitol



More Mid-Day Features
Today
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio Releases New CD
  September 19, 2014  |  WGVU  Drummer Gerry Gibbs is back with his Thrasher Dream Trio featuring masters Ron Carter on bass and Kenny Barron at the piano. The album "We're Back" is a collection of 1970's popular songs given a jazz treatment.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
The Maze Runner plus three other new movies open today
  September 19, 2014  |  WGVU  Four new movies opening in theaters today, including the science fiction flick The Maze Runner, an ensemble comedy This Is Where I Leave You, a new Liam Neeson thriller A Walk Among Tombstones and the horror comedy Tusk. Ron Van Timmeran from Celebration Cinema sits down with WGVU for our weekly movie talk.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
West Michigan U.S. Representatives vote no on arming Syrian rebels
  September 19, 2014  |  WGVU  Congress is clearing the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels in their war against Islamic State militants. The Senate voted 78-22 ratifying a new strategy. The House approved the bill on Wednesday.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Wednesday
MiBiz with Mark Sanchez
  September 17, 2014  |  WGVU  Muskegon County is on the "Way to Wellville" creating greater access to health care with a little help from Hartford, Conn.-based Health Initiative Coordinating Council.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Monday
2014 World Liesure College asks what makes Grand Rapids a livable city?
  September 15, 2014  |  WGVU  The 2014 World Leisure Congress is being held for the first time in the United States. It’s mission is enhancing the human condition. Steve Heacock, senior vice president of public affairs at Spectrum Health, was invited to Mobile, Alabama where he spoke about building a livable city.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Andy Bey sings standards and Sammy Figueroa visits pan Latin sounds
  September 15, 2014  |  WGVU  The prolific High Note and Savant record labels have released two new vocal CDs...pianist and singer Andy Bey has an album of standards and Latin percussionist Sammy Figueroa presents a variety of pan-Latin sounds.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Friday
Study: Religious affiliation a plus for stores
Grand Rapids MI  September 12, 2014  |  WGVU  A just released study authored by a Grand Valley State University Marketing Professor finds a thought provoking connection between shopping and religion.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Movie Talk
  September 12, 2014  |  WGVU  We preview four new movies opening this weekend including "Dolphin Tale 2", "The Drop", "No Good Deed" and "Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt".   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Thursday
New clinic offers dental services for low-income residents
  September 11, 2014  |  WGVU  The new Kent County South Clinic repurposes the site of a former library into a dual medical and dental care center for thousands of local, low-income residents. Today on WGVU Midday West Michigan, WGVU talks with Pearline Bailey of the Michigan Community Dental Clinics about how the non-profit fits into the picture.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

radio
Listen Live to WGVU-AM
Listen Live to WGVU-FM
Follow us on Twitter
WGVU News Page Sponsored by:
Amtrak
 
 
Home    Privacy Policies    Contact WGVU    GVSU.edu    PBS.org    NPR.org
Copyright 1997-2014 | WGVU is a service of Grand Valley State University | GVSU is an EO/AA institution