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Michigan: Fighting on Many Fronts

Michigan   Elected officials in Michigan are seeking to cut pensions, mandate healthcare cuts and place restrictions on unions' ability to raise political funds. A bill passed by the state legislature that would extend the powers of emergency financial managers to remove locally elected officials, terminate collective bargaining, and force consolidation of schools, townships, cities, and counties—all without seeking authority or approval from any elected body or from the people—is expected to be signed by the governor. In addition, the governor’s budget proposal would make deep cuts in funding for K-12 schools and higher education, privatize many of the services provided by schools and the public sector, and tax retiree pensions while, at the same time, cutting corporate taxes. Michigan unions, joined by senior citizen groups and others, have been aggressively lobbying against the governor’s budget proposal. There's also a concerted push to transform K-12 education in the state, including major changes to teacher evaluations, tenure, seniority, and other basic work conditions. In addition, the state's higher education system is facing renewed threats to academic freedom and consolidation proposals. AFT Michigan is working with the AFL-CIO and its community allies to fight off these attacks.

Online resources

AFT News

Weingarten Pledges Solidarity in Speech to UAW Leaders

Michigan Activists Question Governor's Budget Priorities

Defending Public Services, American Teacher

Media coverage and other links

Michigan Fights Back: Thousands Rally At Lansing Capitol, Daily Kos

More than 1,000 rally at Michigan Capitol against Snyder's tax plan, Lansing State Journal

Michigan’s GOP Gov. Slashes Corporate Tax Rate by 86 Percent, Hikes Taxes for Working Poor, Think Progress

Michigan GOP targets unions, too, labor group charges, Detroit Free Press

Protests at Michigan's Capitol bring in thousands, Detroit Free Press

House gives broad powers over union deals to emergency financial managers, Detroit News