New website educates teachers on how to opt out of union members - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New website educates teachers on how to opt out of union membership

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LANSING (WJRT) - (06/10/14) - The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a non partisan research and educational institute, unveiled a new website on Monday.

Organizers say it's aimed at educating teachers on how to opt out of union membership with the Michigan Education Association.

"Union members around Michigan have the ability to say 'yes I want to stay in a union' or 'no I want to opt out'," said Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Vernuccio says the website, augustoptout.org, explains the process for teachers wanting out of the Michigan Education Association.

The MEA's website says it represents about 150,000 teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees throughout the state.

"Some of the things they are saying are incorrect and that their bylaws do not trump state law. We are advising MEA members that this is what the bylaws say and if you do want to get out of the MEA, you do want to exercise your freedom to work rights, you have to do so, according to the MEA, in August, and that's what the site is all about," Vernuccio said. "Right to work or freedom to work only affects contracts that went into effect after March 28, 2013. So, for a lot of MEA members, those new contracts are just coming up now, so they didn't have the opportunity last summer. We are going to have a database that is going to tell, unfortunately only teachers, if right to work applies to them."

ABC12 was unable to reach the MEA for comment.
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