Another issue concerning the implementation of Public Act 349 in school districts was the use of different effective dates for different portions of a collective bargaining agreement. Some districts made the section of language that Public Act 349 makes illegal take effect prior to March 28, 2013, but elected to make the remainder of the contract take effect at a later date. (There may be other districts that made just some portions of their contracts effective after March 28, 2013 — those are not discussed here).

Delaying the majority of a district’s contract shows how districts and their unions identified a way to avoid Public Act 349 immediately, while delaying the remainder of their new contract. The districts with split effective dates employ about 2,200 teachers and enroll 33,800 students.[94]

The collective bargaining agreement approved by the Warren Consolidated School District provides a clear example. The bulk of Warren’s teachers union contract took effect on Aug. 24, 2013. An appendix to the agreement, however, states that “Each teacher shall, as a condition of employment ... join the Association or pay a service fee to the Association equivalent to the amount of dues uniformly required of members of the Association.”[*] This language, according to the appendix, took immediate effect when the district ratified the contract in March 2013. The contract does not expire until Aug. 29, 2021.[95]

Lansing, another large district on this list, employs 900 teachers and enrolls close to 12,000 students.[96] Lansing’s main contract took effect on July 1, 2013, but the article of the contract requiring mandatory union dues and fees took immediate effect when the district ratified the agreement in March 2013.[97]

Berrien Springs is included on this list, but is a slightly different case. The district’s contract states that it becomes effective upon ratification, which occurred in March 2013.[98] However, a district attorney noted in an email to a union official that “the contract will be ratified and become effective prior to March 28th (2013), however the contract language changes we have agreed to will be effective July 1 [emphasis added].”[99] Berrien Springs’ contract states that “each bargaining unit member ... shall, as a condition of employment, join the Association or pay a Service Fee to the Association.”[100]

In Graphic 6 below, “Full contract effective date” indicates the main effective date of the contract.

Graphic 6: Agreements With Split Effective Dates

District

Full contract effective date

Language

Berrien Springs

7/1/2013

“[E]ach bargaining unit member ... shall, as a condition of employment, join the Association or pay a Service Fee to the Association.[101]

Lansing

7/1/2013

“In the event [a teacher does not pay union dues or fees] ... the Board shall ... deduct the Representation Benefit Fee from the teacher’s wages.”[102]

Olivet

7/1/2013

“[E]ach bargaining unit member ... shall, as a condition of employment, join the Association or pay a Service Fee to the Association.”[103]

Warren

8/24/2013

“Each teacher shall, as a condition of employment ... join the Association or pay a service fee to the Association.”[104]

Waverly

7/1/2013

“[I]t shall be a condition of employment that all ... teachers ... either ... cause to be paid ... the membership fee ... or cause to be paid ... a Service Fee.”[105]


[*] Full agreement effective on Aug. 24, 2013, agency fee portion effective in March 2013. “Agreement Between the Warren Consolidated Schools Board of Education and the Warren Education Association” (Warren Consolidated Schools, March 6, 2013), 51, 104, http://goo.gl/gNStqH (accessed July 31, 2014).