The NMU-AAUP is now functioning in the Right to Work era, and more anti-union legislation is being moved forward in Lansing. The Senate passed a bill in May that would repeal prevailing wage laws in Michigan for state funded construction projects. Although Governor Snyder has consistently voiced his opposition to efforts to repeal prevailing wage, it should also be pointed out that he initially opposed Right to Work, but he eventually signed it into law.
House Bill 4052 (AKA The Death Star Bill) has passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting a decision from the governor. This bill would allow the state to override any municipal labor ordinances that require employers to provide workers with any benefit or protection that exceeds state or federal law. This could impact things like paid sick leave or benefits for partners that have been agreed to during collective bargaining sessions.
Other legislation would require a certification vote every two years for labor unions. Under HB- 4428, at least 50% of a union’s members would need to vote in favor of recertification. If less than 50% of members voted in favor of recertification, the union could then be disbanded. This is not a simple majority vote of those who choose to participate. The language requires 50% of the entire membership to turn out and support recertification.
SB-280 would prohibit public employers, like universities, from compensating union members for conducting union business. This could mean no release time for union leaders if passed. The bill is currently in committee.
For more information on these and other labor related bills, you can visit the Michigan Nurses Association website. It offers a comprehensive look at these and other bills designed to weaken unions.