Court Rules in Favor of Mackinac Center Clients

Ruling says union and district violated right-to-work law

Four years after Michigan’s right-to-work law passed, teachers in the Taylor School District are finally free to choose whether or not they wish to be part of a union.

In Mid-December, the State of Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of teachers Angela Steffke, Rebecca Metz and Nancy Rhatigan, who were represented by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. The trio sued the Taylor Federation of Teachers Local 1085, the Taylor School District Board of Education and the Taylor School District over a 10-year-long union security agreement that would have forced them to remain in the union into 2023.

“The 10-year union security clause prevented us from holding our union accountable,” Steffke, a special education teacher, was quoted as saying in DBusiness. “We’re grateful the court affirmed our rights as sovereign individuals within a union and we’re grateful to the Mackinac Center for helping us ensure our right to work.”

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As explained by the Associated Press, “The side contract between the Taylor district and the union was signed just weeks before the right-to-work law took effect in 2013. The law says workers can't be forced to financially support a union to keep their job.”

Senior Attorney Derk Wilcox, who spoke with WJR’s Frank Beckmann after the ruling, said the court agreed with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission’s 2015 ruling that the union security agreement was an “excessive and unreasonable” attempt to circumvent Michigan’s right-to-work law.

Read more on the ruling.

Read the full article in DBusiness.

Read the full article by the Associated Press.

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