GOP bills aimed at public sector unions moving through Legislature

    Updated at 3:29 p.m.

    Two GOP bills aimed at public sector union employees in Michigan passed out of a House committee hearing this morning.

    Pamela Hornberger

    House Bill 5368, sponsored by Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.), would prevent public school employees from having union work count toward their retirement pensions.

    House Bill 6474, sponsored by Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland), would prevent municipal workers from getting paid for union business. The Senate last month passed its version of the legislation, Senate Bills 795 and 796 both sponsored by Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy). 

    The House bills would have an “intermediate fiscal impact” for local schools and municipalities, according to the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency.

    In this last fiscal year, about $1.6 million was paid out for “release” time for public school officials, according to the agency.

    The Michigan Education Association, the biggest union representing teachers in the state, has mobilized its membership against the bills. And UAW officials are less than happy with the legislation.

    “All this legislation will do is make it harder on UAW members to resolve issues in the workplace and create unnecessary bureaucracy in their workplace every two years,” Ed Mitchell, president of UAW Local 6000, in a statement, per a report in the Lansing State Journal.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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