• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Michigan Schools to Close as Teachers Leave to Protest Right-to-Work

    Two Michigan school districts will close Tuesday after hosts of teachers called out sick, apparently to join protests against efforts to pass right-to-work legislation in the state.

    The school district superintendent in Taylor, MI, a Detroit suburb, said the district would not have enough teachers to fill the district’s classrooms, according to local news reports. The Taylor Federation of Teachers is reportedly helping to organize the protests.

    A Taylor school official apparently told the district’s superintendent that teachers were calling in “sick” to head to Lansing for the protests.

    Superintendent Diane Allen told Local 4 there isn’t enough teachers to cover classrooms, so the all schools will be closed for the day. She said she had heard from a principal about where the teachers were going.

    She didn’t immediately give an exact number of staff who had called off work.

    The state House and Senate approved bills last week that would prohibit requiring non-union employees to financially support unions at their workplace.

    Lansing authorities are bracing for an onslaught of protesters Tuesday. They have increased police presence and plan road closings and parking restrictions around the Capitol.

    Schools in Warren, MI, will also close due to insufficient teacher attendance.

    In Warren, officials announced Monday that classes were canceled at Warren Consolidated Schools due to teachers taking the day off to travel to Lansing to protest the state’s impending right-to-work legislation.

    Heritage labor policy expert James Sherk examined the Michigan right-to-work effort in a Thursday post at National Review Online:

    Unionsfuriouslyoppose the proposal. Polling shows that almost a quarter of union members would stop paying dues if they could. That would cost Michigan unions $100 million a year (they represent 700,000 Michiganders, and their dues average $600 to $900 a year). Union bosses would much rather workers had no choice.

    But many workers feel differently. The most vocal calls for right to work have come from workers upset with their unions. Terry Bowman, a member of UAW Local 898 who works at Ford’s Rawsonville plant, arguedforright to work long before Republicans considered taking it up; Bowman believes the government should not force workers like him to support a union they oppose.

    This post has been updated.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Michigan Schools to Close as Teachers Leave to Protest Right-to-Work

    1. Mike says:

      Good. The children are obviously better off with no education compared to the mentality of its current alumni. You don't need to pay a union boss to tell you when you should look for another job.

      • Mike Kennedy says:

        Not all teachers are going. Northern Michigan teachers are not going.

      • guest says:

        That is true, Mike. We teachers are basically babysitters. Maybe people like you would be better off e
        ducating your own kids. That would save Michigan millions upon millions. Hell, my neighbor makes more than me at Lowes anyway…..

      • steve says:

        the teachers are making a symbolic statement.that this legislation is fundamentally unfair and they know it. I think my state of michigan taxes are too high so I'll just pay what I think is fair. If everyone does that how will michigan operate? this is just an attempt at union busting. Same philosophy here. When 51%of the people in your group vote for something the other 49% have to fall in and place a better argument for something different before the group. Remember all unions can decertify with just 33% of the people voting for it. I agree, some unions are still too militant and have archaic ideas but for the most part they support & protect the workers from the greed!

      • undunder says:

        Agreed!

      • becky2eyes says:

        teachers don't need a union anyway. teach for 3 years and, unless you do something heinous, you have a job for LIFE! even if you sleep in the classroom!

    2. JBug Rich says:

      So fire them all! You can get better teachers than those that skip school to protest. Most of these people aren't even teachers in the first place. Get rid of them all and the unions too. We don't need unions in public schools. Why do you think our kids are coming in last. Unions and teachers that support unions don't care about the kids it's all about me me me

    3. Chris Walker says:

      its a shame they can't protest on thier on time. ya no that three months of paid vacation.

    4. Gary Mallast says:

      Would you want to send you kids to schools where the teachers take off work to protest against freedom?

    5. Sam says:

      All the teachers that call in "sick" and attend this event should be fired or lying.

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      If nothing else, this should show just how and what the children are being taught by union teachers. It not about anything other than unions loosing their ability to collect dues that in turn buy politicians. Without dues money, the beast will not be fed.

    7. Gary says:

      Right to work does not keep unions from forming or operating as they wish – it just keeps them from forcing themselves upon people who do not wish to belong to a union. If unions are a good thing and represent their members well, they will be successful. If they do not represent their workers well, they will and should fade into oblivion. We cannot force people to attend an assembly at school (where they are considered "captive") where the word "God" is spoken, so we sure as heck should not be able to force them to join a union!

    8. frankbrunson says:

      A lot of teachers cringe at this. It is too bad, but unions have hijacked the public image of teachers and tarnished their reputation. It is not about the kids, or teaching. Unions and power are more important to them than anything else.

      Instead of lies about being sick, setting a bad example, and harming the kids – a fair discussion of issues in the classroom would be more appropriate. But I don't think "fair" enters into the debate.

    9. What kind of example is that to set for our children? Lying about being sick, not wanting to work, thinking they are owed more, and to not share jobs with others. While listening to Obama who is supported by the unions as he presses "Forward" for them, much to the disgust of us who know what's going on…He's herding the "low information," people into a stampede. Hold your ground, America.
      '

    10. Al Connellyl says:

      The unions have succeeded in destruction of productivity in England, Argentina, etc. Unions today are in business to make money and enhance their power through the labor of others. They no longer represent the memberships interest, concerns, or needs. My experience with unions has demonstrated their disdain for productivity, utilizing the loss in individual productivity to increase hiring and thereby enrich their enrollment goals, generating more dues. If the Obama administration continues to turn iour work force over to unionized thugs our country will become less and less productive in the global market place and jobs will continue to flow to those countries where people want to work and are free to be as productive as their individual capabilities allow.

    11. jim Toccalino says:

      Teachers closing schools so they can protest!!!!!!!! It about the kids, right?????? B.S. They better remember they don't work for the union, they work those of us who pay their salaries. Can we deduct this from our tax bill?

    12. @DrJDennis says:

      Are these teachers smart enough to realize the law isn't going to affect them? Their position in the sacred union is still totally secure if they want it to be, and it will still have the power to make our lives miserable with strikes and negotiations. It's just that other people will have the right to opt out now. So it's just freedom for others that these teachers are against? I'm so glad they have that mentality as teachers in this country, where we used to value freedom.

    13. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Before Virginia became a Right to Work state, we were a Union family and we were beginning to see pressure to vote one way or another. In early days when the Union was formed, it prevented bus Drivers from being forced to drive too many hours or reporting back to work without sufficient rest. Times have changed and federal laws now protect on most issues, minumim wage, work over 40hrs, rest periods etc., Dues money is taking from the workers to give to politicians whether you agree with them or not..

    14. John Porter says:

      Too bad these 'sick' teachers don't show the same enthusiasm for doing the job they were hired to do. How does this benefit our children?

    15. Mark F. says:

      The unions ONLY purpose now is to weild as much power as possible, through union dues, to elect more and more Democrats who will, in turn, continue to do all they can to allow unions to force themselves onto more and more workers. Unions served their purpose, at one time, but are now NO LONGER NEEDED!

    16. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Are some union members afraid to leave the union and go it alone for fear of failure…to get that raise, to get better benefits, to improve working conditions, etc.?

      The promise of security sometimes outweighs the promise of freedom.

    17. roystoll2 says:

      Unions are basically mob rule and it is just plain wrong. If the laws against extortion and blackmail were enforced unions would not exist. Unions create an adversarial relationship with their employers and there is a constant friction which is why you are getting this anti-business backlash everywhere now. They are trying to take over the world now by force to impose their will on us. When they call in sick, what message does that convey to their students. Now they have learned might makes right. Unions were great years ago but like anything else the power went to their heads. They are still the workers but now they want to run the company without the risk involved.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×