MEA Changes Opt-out Address, Keeps Members in the Dark

Michigan Education Association’s Latest Trick to Lock Workers in a Dues Cage

Union Plays “Simon Says” with Members

Aug. 20, 2015

Dan Armstrong

(989) 698-1917

MIDLAND — The MEA says August is the only month members may resign membership. Earlier this month, when MEA members who were for the first time eligible to send opt-out letters, they received disappointing news. They were told they did not follow a new resignation process.

These members sent their opt-out letters to MEA headquarters in August and received a letter from MEA headquarters saying the resignation request was received. However, the MEA letter stated resignation letters must go to P.O. Box 51, East Lansing, MI 48826. On the MEA’s “members only” page, at the very bottom, it says:

“Effective June 3, 2015 -- For any resignations during August 2015 and any subsequent resignation timeframes, all resignations of MEA membership must be submitted in writing, signed and dated by the member, and mailed to MEA at P.O. Box 51, East Lansing, MI 48826.”

In the MEA’s August edition of MEA Voice magazine, which is dedicated to encouraging members to stay, P.O. Box 51 is never mentioned.

“This is a desperate ploy from the MEA to continue its agenda of money over members, power over principle and cash over colleagues,” says Mackinac Center Vice President of Legal Affairs Patrick Wright. “Rather than trying to win over members by selling itself, the MEA is essentially playing ‘Simon Says’ with those who want to leave. It’s ludicrous for the MEA to try to trick people who want to leave by switching a post office box number.”

MEA President Steve Cook, who is using his privately negotiated salary of more than $200,000 to inflate a public pension of $100,000 or more per year, says the union “…will use any legal means at our disposal to collect dues. …” However, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission has declared that the union’s restrictive “August window” is illegal.

“We recommend employees that want to opt out of the MEA to go to, fill out the form, and send to P.O. Box 51, East Lansing, MI 48826 in the month of August. Even those who have already sent resignation letters to the general address earlier this month, we recommend sending an additional letter to P.O. Box 51 just to be safe,” said Wright.