Michigan Education Association Retains 99% Of Members

Oct 7, 2013

Michigan’s new right-to-work law has not put a big dent in membership of the state’s biggest teachers’ union.

As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, the president of the Michigan Education Association says 99 percent of its members have opted to stick with the union.

MEA President Steve Cook appeared over the weekend on the Michigan Public Television show “Off the Record.” He says about 15 hundred member opted out of paying union dues during the recent dropout period.

But Cook says right to work and recently enacted laws that make it harder to collect dues have made retaining members more expensive.

“Between the efforts of right-to-work and the efforts to collect dues, it’s been very expensive for the association,” he says.  “It’s taken our focus off other things we would have rather been doing.” 

The MEA, along with the American Federation of Teachers, are also defending extended contracts negotiated by some union locals that could delay the effects of right to work for years into the future.