If there was any doubt the Mackinac Center is leading the charge to inform unionized teachers of their rights, Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook put those doubts to rest in June.
Cook responded to our August Opt-Out campaign, which aims to inform all MEA members of their union’s claim that the only time they can exercise their rights under Michigan’s right-to-work law is during the month of August, with a video sent to his membership.
In the June 10 video, Cook emphatically states “And then there’s the Mackinac Center. They will help you in every way possible to leave MEA…”
In a June 27 video, MEA Vice President Nancy Strachan mentions the Mackinac Center no fewer than 13 times, telling MEA members “One group, the Mackinac Center, has been particularly aggressive at soliciting MEA members and providing information on how to opt out.”
The two videos come on the heels of a series of “breaking” posts from the far left website Eclectablog.com.
Eclectablog “broke” the story of how we sent out tens of thousands of emails and postcards to MEA members around the state, informing them of their rights. Thankfully, in the “reporting” they included the full text of the email and pictures of the postcards.
The result was that media from around the state and nation starting paying attention to the MEA’s so-called “August window” and even more MEA members learned about their union’s byzantine requirement.
Whether MEA members hear about the window from the Mackinac Center, MEA officers, news media or progressive websites, the important point is that these hardworking teachers and school support staff are made aware that the MEA says the only time they are able to exercise their rights is during the month of August.
The Mackinac Center, though our website, AugustOptOut.org, will continue to make sure that the estimated 329 school districts with contracts postdating March 28, 2013, and eligible for right-to-work, employing nearly 50,000 teachers, know their rights and how to exercise them.
Our legal team believes this “August window” violates right-to-work, but until the issue plays out through the courts we are advising MEA members to abide by the union’s guidelines.
AugustOptOut.org features testimonials from current and former MEA members who have or would like to exercise their rights. It also has a form letter that other MEA members can use if they choose to opt-out.