Michigan’s Right to Work law went into effect yesterday, but not for some employees thanks to last minute deals like this one.
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]