© 2022 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

Detroit school unions take aim at imposed pay cuts, emergency manager law

detroit_schools_mercedes_mejia.jpg
Mercedes Mejia
/
Michigan Radio
An attorney suing the state over its emergency manager law is welcoming a lawsuit filed this week by Detroit Public Schools unions.
The three unions' lawsuit claims emergency manager Roy Roberts violated the district employees’ constitutional rights by imposing a 10% wage cut. 
The imposed wage cut is the first instance of an emergency manager using the law’s new powers to seriously alter a union contract. 
The lawsuit also challenges the constitutionality of Michigan’s Public Act 4, which empowers financial managers to unilaterally change collective bargaining agreements. 
Bill Goodman is a Detroit attorney who represents 28 citizens suing the state over PA 4. Goodman says he thinks the unions have a good case.  
“In some ways, their case has some strength that our case does not have, that these people whose lives and income and well-being are directly affected by an illegal action.”

Goodman says state law is “fatally flawed” and “invalid for a whole variety of reasons,” including its ability to overrule local voters.

Some other legal experts disagree with Goodman’s analysis.

Wayne State University law professor Robert Stedler tells the Detroit News that constitutional protections for private contracts may not apply in this case.

Related Content