The Role of the Local Unions

In 1995, several important amendments to PERA were passed. These amendments specifically preclude a bargaining representative or an education association from vetoing a collective bargaining agreement to which a school board and the members of the local union have agreed.[155] Moreover, the law states that an education association shall not:

"in any other way prohibit or prevent the bargaining unit from entering into, ratifying, or executing a collective bargaining agreement. The power to decide whether or not to enter into, ratify, or execute a collective bargaining agreement rests solely with the members of the bargaining unit who are employees of the public school employer, and shall not be delegated to a bargaining representative or an education association or conditioned on approval by a bargaining representative, or an education association."[156]

If a violation of this section occurs, Michigan law provides that the school board, or even its individual members, may bring a legal action to stop an education association from continuing its interference.[157]

Richard Putvin: The local union’s role is: "getting the best benefit, wage and working conditions for their fellow members. The only thing that I would like to see is that they do it in a professional manner. I have heard of the statewide union attempting to tell them or teach them how to attack superintendents, how to attack board members, split them up, go after each individual member, find something to drive a wedge, create havoc. In my opinion, the best thing you can do in negotiating is to do the win-win type, to do constant negotiating, and don’t go into it negative and trying to destroy."