Fight Over Right-To-Work And School Contracts Heats Up, Ferris State faculty Files Complaint

Mar 11, 2013

The top Democrat in the state House says Republican lawmakers are trying to bully schools and universities into rejecting new union contracts.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher has more.

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel is asking Republican leaders in Lansing to denounce what he calls “scare tactics.”

Any union contracts signed before the end of this month will not be subject to the state’s new right-to-work law. Some Republican lawmakers say schools that negotiate long-term contracts before that time should not be eligible for state performance grant money.

Greimel says schools should not be punished for doing something that’s completely legal.

“Just like in a number of other areas, until laws come into effect, people don’t have to comply with those laws either,”  he says.

Republicans say long-term contracts would be bad for taxpayers and students.

Professors at Ferris State University have filed a complaint against the school for rejecting a contract it had initially supported. They say the university likely feared losing state funding.