Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Attacks on Your Union

The legislature in Lansing has 21 days to still do damage to our union.  SB 636 and HB 4588 would bar school districts from payroll deducting union dues.  Our own superintendent has said it is a drop in the bucket as far as expense goes to do payroll deduction of dues.  MEA and local districts have been doing this for years with no complaints form school districts.  This is simply another attempt by narrow minded law makers to try and destroy public unions.  If they can get rid of MEA, they have effectively eliminated a powerful voice for educators, students, and public education in Michigan.  It would also  impact the amount of money the Democratic party receives from MEA and its members to help counter the Republican agenda.  Call Sen. Howard, Rep. foster, and Rep. MacMasters and tell them to vote NO.  it makes no economic sense to stop the practice and it denies local districts the right to bargain and have local control.

Right to Work (For Less!) is Alive and Well

The Senate is working on a bill right now that would effectively abolish public unions in this state.  what does that have to do with you?  Everything! "Right to Work" is a misleading and false title.
Fact:  Right to Work (For Less) states have a lower standard of living than free bargaining states (like Michigan)
Fact:  Right to Work (For Less) States have poorer educational systems (think Mississippi)
Fact:  Right to Work (For Less) brings down wages for everyone, both union workers and non-union.
Fact:  Businesses look for states with an educated work force, land accessibility, low construction costs, not whether it is a Right to work *(For Less) state or not
Fact:  there is no evidence that Right to Work (For Less) laws increases job growth

Need any more convincing that Right to Work (For Less) is wrong for Michigan?  Call Sen. Walker, Rep. Foster, and Rep. MacMaster and tell them to vote NO on any Right to Work (For Less) legislation that comes up. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sen. Wittmer's Anti-Bullying Video Goes Viral

Sen. Gretchen Wittmer blasted her fellow senators for passing an anti-bullying bill that would in effect allow kids to bully other kids by allowing certain exemptions to the bill, namely if you object to someone based on your religious or moral beliefs.  Her speech in the senate has had over 300,000 hits on You Tube.

East Jordan Board Meeting Monday

Stand up for our friends in East Jordan by attending the board meeting Monday night.  There will be a "November Birthday Celebration" at 4:30pm at the middle school.  Plan on wearing your blue t-shirt and join our E.J. friends for pizza and beverage before the board meeting.  The board has proposed onerous conditions and wage cuts on the East Jordan staff. 
  • 10% cut in wages
  • reduction in health benefits
  • 1% cut in wages for every month the union fails to capitulate and sign a contract
  • 20% co-pay of insurance premiums
They are feeling very discouraged.  We need to show our support and stand with them at the board meeting.  even the CFO of E.J. iron Works has written a letter to the board urging the district to stop the games and settle.  Plan on attending Monday 5:30pm. 

Rep Greg MacMaster is at it again

Rep. Greg MacMaster thinks its a good idea if Michigan was allowed to have Right to Work (For Less) Zones.  In fact he likes the idea so much, he co-sponsored the bill.  Tell Macmaster that Right to Work is a disater for Michigan.  Don't know what Right to Work is?  Right to Work would:
  • allow individuals to receive union protections for free, while the rest of use pay dues to protect the freeloaders
  • lower wages for everyone, union or non-union workers
  • NOT create jobs!
  • allow employers to cut your wages and benefits
  • increase the number of people living below the poverty line
  • make Michigan look and act like Mississippi
Tell Rep MacMaster this is a bad idea.  Tell him to start representing all his constituents, not just wealthy conservative Republican.  Tell him to stop doing what the party leadership orders him to do and vote with the 99% in mind.  Tell him to stop drinking the kool-aid and believing the deceptive lies proponents of Right to Work tout as fact based on junk science put out by groups like the Mackinaw Center.

Sen Howard Walker Recall Needs Your Help

Do you have your 5 petition signatures?  No?  What's stopping you?  No time?  Takes 15-30 minutes.  That's a sitcom or one quarter of a football game.  Can't spare time to prevent our Senator from doing more damage to our communities, schools, and working people than he already has?  Did you know he voted to take away your democratic right to elect whomever you wish to local office?  Did you know he thinks Charter schools are doing a great job and wants to allow unlimited expansion (think one on every street corner, kinda like McDonalds).  He probably thinks it's a great idea to turn our state into a Right to Work for Less state with no unions, no minimum wage law, and certainly no rights for workers.  Still don't have time to knock on your neighbor's door and ask them to sign a petition?  What's the worst they could do to you?  Say no?  You won't know until you try.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

E.J. Teachers and Staff Appreciate Your Support

A big, big thanks to everyone who wore a t-shirt or pinned on a button today in support of the struggles of the East Jordan Education Association.  A huge shout out to BCEA members and MEA staff who organized and helped distribute the buttons and t-shirts.  The effect was immediate.  I even heard one presenter refer to the contract negotiations in the presentation.  From what I can gather, several board members seem to have it in for the teaching staff.  They now are demanding a 5.5% pay cut (and it goes up by 1% for every month they don't settle), no life insurance, no disability, and that is on top of a 20% co-pay on insurance premiums, among other things.  Even the chief financial officer of a large (very large) local business has written letter to the board of education basically saying enough of this foolishness.  I have heard comments that some teachers are in jeopardy of losing their homes if these horrific concessions are agreed to.  This has nothing to do with money.  The district has a 9% fund equity, which they refuse to spend.  Please mark your calendar for the next board meeting on Monday November 21 @ 5:30pm.  The support from all area educators was overwhelming today.  Show your support and attend the next board meeting.