On or about March 6, 2013, the Armada school district and the union entered into a tentative collective bargaining agreement a little more than three weeks before Michigan’s newly enacted right-to-work law became effective on March 28, 2013. Most terms of the collective bargaining agreement were effective from 2013-2016. However, the ‘union security’ provision requiring the payment of dues (if a member) or a “service fee” (if not a member, like Joshua), was made as “a separate agreement” between the district and the union to last ten years, not expiring until August 31, 2023.
The Armada Board of Education ratified the three-year general agreement on March 19, 2013. When these terms expired three years later, a new five-year collective bargaining agreement was signed by the Armada School District on March 16, 2016.
A Letter of Agreement ratifying the ten-year union security agreement was ratified on August 20, 2013 – well after the effective date of right-to-work.
Yet, the Letter of Agreement containing the ten-year security agreement should be legally void as it was invalid when it was made– coming after the effective date of right-to-work, which statute’s specified: “This subsection applies only to an agreement, contract, understanding, or practice that takes effect or is extended or renewed after March 28, 2013.”
Joshua Khon, fine arts teacher at Armada Middle School and Armada High School
Further, the collective bargaining agreement and Letter of Agreement are similar to the Taylor School District v Rhatigan (2017) and Clarkston Community Schools and CEA v Conwell cases in which illegal unfair labor practices were found to exist. Should those decisive opinions be applied in this case, the Armada ten-year security agreement would be void and unenforceable. Even if not void when made in 2013, the ten-year security agreement became ineffective when the new collective bargaining agreement was executed in March 2016.
Thus, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has filed charges on behalf of Joshua Khon at the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.