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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Challenge to union contract that goes around 'right-to-work' dismissed

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A judge in Wayne County has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a school union contract designed to skirt the Michigan’s new right-to-work law.

The Taylor School District signed a new ten-year agreement with its teachers union after the law was passed and before it went into effect. Three Taylor teachers and the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy sued to have the contract thrown out.

“The party who is covered by the contract has every right to go before the judge as say, ‘Does this actually bind me?,’ attorney Derek Wilcox said. Wilcox represents the teachers attempting to trash the contract. “‘Can the union actually fire me, get me fired, if I don’t pay them?’”

Mark Cousens, an attorney for the teacher’s union says individual teachers can’t nullify a contract if they don’t like the terms.

“They do not have the right to walk into court, on their own, and say that a judge should toss the contract out because they don’t like it,” Cousens said.

The judge ruled she did not have jurisdiction to decide the case. She said that would fall on the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.

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