Lame Duck Attacks on LEO and Working People
As LEO President Ian Robinson laid out in his email to membership this week, Unions are under attack in this Lame Duck session. (And we’ve seen how willing legislators who’ve been voted out ARE to steal as much power as possible as those who’ve been voted IN.)
The Michigan Legislature is attempting to undermine the ability of Michigan public sector employees – including us, as employees of a state university – to maintain unions strong enough to win significant benefits. LEO, which we have worked so hard to build over the last 15 years, is in jeopardy.
We have two chunks of information for you here:
Why would Senate Bill 1260 be disastrous for us?
What quick action can you take to fight it? If you JUST want to see what actions you can take, please scroll down to the bottom.
Why would Senate Bill 1260 passing be SO DISASTROUS for us?
The latest example of the anti-union onslaught, Senate Bill 1260, was introduced and voted out of committee in the Senate on Wednesday on a straight party vote. It will now go to the full Senate, as early as next Tuesday. The bill requires that every public sector union in the state undergo a new certification election every even numbered year. If it passes the House, and Governor Snyder signs it, LEO would have to hold such an election in 2020, 2022, 2024 and so on, ad nauseum.
This despite the fact that no-one in the LEO bargaining unit is forced to be a union member, or to pay dues, AND Lecturers can decertify LEO under current law if a majority wish to do so. And we not only have to pay our own costs, we also have to pay the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (or MERC) for the costs of administering our elections!
To win re-certification under SB 1260, we have to win a majority of everyone in the bargaining unit, not just a majority of those who vote in the election. If the politicians pushing this law were held to the same standard, none of them would be in office.
We think LEO could win such elections, but not without spending a lot of organizer and volunteer time and your money to ensure high member turnout. For unions that can’t get over this high hurdle, the consequences are dire. Even if a collective agreement has years to go before it expires, two key provisions of that agreement are gutted immediately: first, members lose access to the contract’s grievance process; and second, members are not allowed to pay their union dues through automatic payroll deduction. The latter change makes dues collection much more expensive for the union. More member money wasted.
What QUICK actions can we take?
We know that the end of term is a very busy time for all of us, but these Lame Duck assaults on our unions are serious and we need your help. What can you do?
Take two minutes to call Governor Rick Snyder’s office at 517-335-7858. Ask him to publicly oppose and, should it pass both chambers, VETO SB 1260 (and any of the other Lame Duck bills on this list that you think are wrong).
Sign up here to participate in phone banks to union members who live in the districts of potential Republican swing votes, held in the LEO/GEO offices.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join LEO and other union members going to Lansing to protest and bear witness to Lame Duck assaults on our unions, our rights as workers and democracy itself.
Thanks for doing all that you can to help us preserve our union and, in the process, the rights of millions of other Michigan public sector employees, by committing to participate in at least one of these types of activity over the next three weeks.