On the Portage Education Association website, the local teachers union uses various forms of the word “freeloader” eight times while describing school employees who want to opt out of financially supporting the union, which they can do under Michigan's right-to-work law.

Yet in 2014, Nancy Strachan, vice president of the statewide Michigan Education Association, told Lansing's WILX-TV that the union avoids using the term "freeloader.” Apparently, the local Portage affiliate didn’t get that memo.

ForTheRecord says: In a right-to-work environment, it appears the response from the MEA and its local affiliates to no longer being able to collect mandatory employee dues is to insult and demean school employees who don't want to pay. The MEA has lost 18 percent of its members since 2012, the year right-to-work was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Meanwhile, in Roscommon, the local teachers union left the MEA in 2012, when employees there started their own Roscommon Teachers Association.

This independent union exists in a right-to-work environment without sending bill-collection agencies after school employees who don't want to pay money to a union, potentially damaging their credit ratings. The result? The Roscommon Teachers Association was deemed worth voluntarily paying by 64 of its 65 eligible teachers as of 2014-15.

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