Votes by local Michigan Education Association affiliates on whether or not to conduct illegal teacher strikes is “posturing,” Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

Van Beek said teachers who strike face penalties from the state, while those who don’t face possible repercussions from the union.

“Ironically, the people who will suffer the most will be the students and the teachers themselves,” Van Beek said.

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Van Beek said teachers need to pay more toward the cost of their own health insurance premiums and their retirement system needs to be reformed away from a defined-benefit plan.