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With only hours to spare before workers under two city contracts were about to be given the freedom to choose to stay in the union or not; city commissioners and union official locked these covered city workers into new compulsory-dues contracts.
ROYAL OAK — Two city unions have new contracts after elected officials approved the pacts at a special meeting held hours before Michigan’s Right to Work Law took effect today.
The contracts call for a wage freeze the first year, … and employees will pick up more of their health costs and the city will give back six holidays.
The contracts were finalized less than six hours before a state law was enacted giving Michigan workers the choice not to financially support the unions that bargain on their behalf. Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state, or as detractors call it “right to freeload.”
The SEIU members repair, salt and plow roads; maintain water and sewer lines, and do electrical work from street lights to city buildings.
The members of the American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2396 also got a contract but their union officials couldn’t be reached for comment.
Under the new deals, the two unions’ members will pay 20 percent of their health insurance premium – up from 10 percent.
“It’s going to be hard for a lot of people to pay more and who knows what will happen two years from now if Obamacare kicks in.” [Steve Sprankle, president of Royal Oak’s Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 517]
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