After the Mackinac Center's unprecedented effort to educate Michigan Education Association members of the union’s so-called “August window” resignation period, no one knew that a monumental decision regarding the window was just days away.
In June, the Center began an informational effort to let MEA members know that they had a right to resign from the union, but that the MEA restricts that right to the month of August.
The idea of informing education employees about their rights upset those who believe in forced unionism and the ability of the union to get an employee fired for simply refusing to financially support it.
AugustOptOut.org was born. Thousands used the website to gain information on union membership and right-to-work; read testimonials from teachers who decided to leave the MEA; got answers to frequently asked questions and help with their decision of whether to opt out of the MEA.
When August was over, another significant event happened. An administrative law judge agreed with the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation that the “August window” is illegal. Three days after the largest informational effort regarding the “August window” ended, a judge struck down the right-to-work restriction.
A policy is only as good as the enforcement behind it. That’s why Education Policy Director Audrey Spalding uncovers school districts that ignore and/or flat-out defy the law when it comes to right-to-work.
Spalding’s research shows around 25 percent of right-to-work eligible school districts kept language in their contracts that violate Michigan law. Find out how schools are doing.
Our news service, Michigan Capitol Confidential, keeps the issue of underfunded pensions front and center. A recent series of stories shows how the average system among the top 100 cities in Michigan is funded by just 65 percent. Imagine having to pay a bill and setting aside just 65 cents for every dollar owed. That’s what it going on right now. The Mackinac Center has recommended solutions to the problem of politicians underfunding pensions. Legislation has been introduced to address it that you’ll find here.
National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson told a packed venue in Lansing that “The End is Near and It’s Going to be Awesome.” That’s the title of his book that details how big government policies will eventually fail and how free-market policies make a way to a better life. If you missed the event, check out a summary.
Immigrants from England seeking a better life arrived in the United States around 1900 and settled in Bay City. Through hard work and principle, the family succeeded in business and provides employment opportunities for scores of families. The family also supports the Mackinac Center in its mission to make Michigan a better place. Discover the story of the Rowley family.
These are just a few of the highlights you’ll read in this edition of IMPACT magazine. Thank you for your interest in public policy issues and seeing how the Mackinac Center advances liberty and opportunity for all people.