Thousands of Michigan public school teachers are employed by districts that, at best, may be confusing them about their rights as employees under Public Act 349, and, at worst, illegally continuing to force them to financially support a union against their will. Thousands more are employed by districts with collective bargaining agreements that will soon expire — and who may soon also face confusing contract extensions or separate agency fee agreements designed to continue mandatory union dues or fees.

Based on the varied and questionable attempts to comply with Public Act 349 identified here, policymakers should provide guidance to school districts and other public employers as they implement changes to union contracts to comply with the new law. Not only will this increase compliance, it will help public school teachers and other public employees determine whether or not they qualify for protections contained in Public Act 349. In order for public employees to exercise these new rights, they first need to know if they are eligible for them.