Meekhof pushes bill requiring regular union certification

    A bill targeting Michigan’s public sector unions could come up for a vote this week during the frantic year-end Lame Duck session of the Legislature.

    Arlan Meekhof

    Sponsored by long-time union foe Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive), Senate Bill 1260 would require union members to vote every two years, beginning in 2022, on whether to re-certify or disband their union.

    Critics of the legislation view it as an unnecessary hurdle for labor and compare it to Right to Work legislation, which the GOP passed in the 2012 Lame Duck session. But a Meekhof spokesperson told Michigan Radio that the bill would give employees more of a voice in deciding if the union is working in their best interest.

    Other pieces of GOP legislation introduced last week also take aim at unions. A bill that limits what public sector union members can get paid for while on official union business and another that bars public school employees from having union work count toward their retirement pensions are also on tap in Lame Duck. They’re now on the House floor after moving out of committee last week.

    Education unions are slated to hold a vigil at the Capitol tonight.

    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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