churches floor speech

LANSING, Mich., June 21, 2023 — The Michigan House of Representatives passed two bills yesterday that would restore teachers’ rights. House Bill 4044, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), would repeal collective bargaining gap provisions. The current law freezes wage and benefit levels during negotiations, prohibits any retroactive increases, and passes any increased costs of health care benefits onto employees. This law applies to all public employees under the Public Employee Relations Act. It was previously amended in 2014, exempting police and firefighters.

“This bill will restore balance to the negotiating table and encourage labor and management to truly work together and customize contracts that fit the needs of their employees and the communities they serve,” Koleszar said. “Under current law, public employers have no incentive to truly negotiate or collaborate with their employees to solve the many problems facing the employees in the workplace and their communities. This loss of control and a true voice at the bargaining table has hurt public sector employment and led to a mass exodus of public workers in our schools and communities.”

House Bill 4233, sponsored by state Rep. Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte), would allow public school employers to collect union dues.

“Our legislature has the confidence to allow police officers and firefighters to opt-in to automatic union dues withdrawals. HB 4233 restores that same confidence to our educators,” Churches said. “By allowing public school employers to collect union dues, we are reaffirming our commitment to fostering an environment that values and respects our educators.”

After being voted out of the House, both bills will now head to the Senate.