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News From the Capitol, June 23, 2023
June 23, 2023 by MASB Government Relations
  • House Passes Collective Bargaining Changes, Senate Begins Hearings
  • Paycheck Deduction of Union Dues Passes House  
  • House Passes Bill on Merit Pay for DPSCD
  • House Passes Sexual Assault Information Bill 
  • License Reciprocity Legislation Passes House  


House Passes Collective Bargaining Changes, Senate Begins Hearings

The House passed House Bills 4354 and 4356-4357 on Tuesday by a vote of 56-53. Thank you to all who reached out and talked to your Representatives about your concerns with these bills, unfortunately we were not successful in stopping the bills. The fight now moves the Senate. 

As we’ve previously stated, we agree that some of the items in these bills should be returned to the bargaining table. However, we remain opposed to including teacher placement, layoff and recall, and discipline and discharge. There can be real consequences for students, staff and potential new teachers if these are removed. 

In addition to this package, two other bills passed that affect bargaining and discretion in staffing decisions. House Bill 4044which would repeal Public Act 54 of 2011, was also passed by a party line vote. This act states that upon the expiration of a contract, step increases and health care contribution amounts are frozen until a new contract is in place. It also states that wages shall not be applied retroactively unless required by an arbitration panel or included in a negotiated bargaining agreement.

HB4044 would repeal those provisions and allow steps to go into effect even if a contract expires and would place the increased health care costs on the district. This becomes a bigger concern if HB4354 allows more issues to be put on the table, as it could then take longer to settle contracts, leading to expirations.

The final bill, House Bill 4820, was introduced on June 15th, brought up in committee on Tuesday, approved and sent to the floor, and passed by the full House later that day. It was an unfortunate timeline, as we were able to testify opposed but not able to work on the bill with anyone involved. MASB, along with 13 other education organizations, also turned in written testimony expressing our concerns.

This bill would remove most of the factors to be considered when dealing with layoffs and recalls, it also adds teacher placement to the law. It appears to be aimed at ensuring that seniority is not the sole factor for either layoff or placement, but in making these changes it still fails in its goal, and instead creates additional issues related to layoff and recall.

The Senate Labor Committee held a hearing on Thursday on HBs 4354-4357 and 4044 and is expected to approve the bills on Tuesday and send them to the Senate Floor for a vote before the end of the week.

We urge you to now contact your Senator and share the effect these bills will have on your district, the ability to make sure the right teachers are in front of the right students, maintain your budgets in lean times and collective bargaining as a whole. We have alerts on our website you can use to find talking points and contact your legislator. 

Paycheck Deduction of Union Dues Passes House  

Also on Tuesday, the House passed House Bill 4233 which would allow school districts to automatically deduct union dues from employees' paychecks, at their request.  This reverses a law passed in 2012 that prohibited this for schools but not any other public employer. We opposed this law in 2012 because it was aimed only at school staff and was an unnecessary change.

The Senate Labor Committee quickly brought it up for a hearing on Thursday. While we support the bill it is, unfortunately, moving with the rest of the bill package on collective bargaining (see above article.)

House Passes Bill on Merit Pay for DPSCD

This week, the House quickly passed Senate Bill 359 by a vote of 56-53. This bill would repeal the ban against using length of service or achievement of an advanced degree as a factor in compensation for teachers hired after Sept. 1, 2019, in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Currently compensation for DPSCD teachers may only be based on student achievement. This restriction does not apply to any other district in Michigan. 

The bill will now go to the Governor for her consideration and expected signature.

House Passes Sexual Assault Information Bill 

Senate Bill 66 passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday. This bill would require materials related to sexual assault and harassment to be provided to students in grades 6 through 12 beginning in the 2024-2025 school year. The Michigan Department of Education would have to develop the materials for schools to distribute. Districts are also encouraged to provide all school personnel with training on how to respond to pupils who have experienced sexual assault or harassment at least every 5 years. 

MASB supports the bill, and it will now go to the Governor for her consideration.

House Approves License Reciprocity  

On Thursday, the House unanimously passed a pair of bills aimed at reciprocity for certain licenses between states. Senate Bill 161 would allow for reciprocity of a person’s teaching certificate from another state, country or federally recognized Indian tribe. Senate Bill 162 would do the same for school counselors.  

MASB supports the bills, and they will now go to the Governor for her consideration and expected signature.

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