Under two proposals just introduced or possibly coming soon in the
Senate Bill 618, introduced by
Among other things, this would free schools to offer all sorts of creative compensation packages, instead of imposing a one-size-fits-all single salary schedule. This could potentially pay big dividends to school districts, students and teachers. For example, under a standard union collective bargaining agreement, a school seeking to improve its science department by hiring specially trained science teachers is forced to offer candidates the same compensation as regular grade school instructors, gym teachers and guidance counselors. By sidestepping the union contract, a district could attract the scarce science teachers it needs with higher starting salaries or other incentives.
Under one interpretation of SB 618, it would also allow a teacher to contract with the school district on his or her own behalf, rather than being covered by a union collective agreement. This would represent a form of “right-to-work” for teachers. Even if that interpretation proves not to be correct, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said in a TV interview this week that he now essentially supports right-to-work for public school teachers, suggesting that under this bill or another to be introduced later, the reform could soon be taken up by the Michigan Legislature.
Specifically, here’s what Richardville said on public TV’s “Off the Record” program: “They (unions) could still offer their membership; it wouldn’t be a forced membership. They (unions) would have to recruit and do their work off campus.”
Under current law,