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Friday, January 31, 2014

Michigan Supreme Court to hear State Employees Unions challenge on Right-to-Work Law

Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A challenge on Michigan's controversial Right to Work law is scheduled to be heard before the State Supreme Court. The court is set to decide if the measure applies to 34.000 state civil service workers. 

Public employee unions filed an appeal and associated briefs to Michigan's Highest Court after a lower decision in July 2013 upholding the Right to Work the right-to-work law does apply to state civil service workers.

Under the current statute signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder December 2012, state workers represented by bargaining agreements are not required pay union dues or fees to hold a job, yet the union is still obligated to represent the workers in arbitration proceedings.

Union officials claim the Michigan's Right to Work law is in direct conflict with language contained by State Constitutional provision affirming the Michigan Civil Service Commission and not laws passed in the Legislature, define work rules for employees.

The Michigan Supreme Court will also determine vitality of another law signed by Governor Snyder requiring civil service employees contribute 4% of wages to pensions accounts or be subject to a retirement benefit reduction.

Michigan Civil Service Employees and their associated unions upcoming appearance before the State's Supreme Court could be bolstered by a December case out of San Jose, California.

In the ruling Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Lucas blocked core provisions of San Jose's Measure B pension reform provisions making employees pay more for pensions. The Judge determined the measure violated the workers' rights, but affirmed the San Jose can cut salaries to offset mounting pension costs.

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