July 9, 2020
LANSING – Attorney General Dana Nessel in a letter expressed her disagreement with the Michigan Civil Service Commission’s (MCSC) proposed rule change that would make it more burdensome for state employees to support unions by requiring annual authorizations to deduct wages from their paychecks.
The current MCSC rules allow an employee to voluntarily agree to and rescind the provision of dues or fees to a union. It also outlines the state personnel director’s role in establishing the process for employees to authorize or deauthorize deduction of dues or fees, but the proposed rule singles out authorizations only, providing that “an authorization will expire if not authorized or reauthorized during the previous year.”
In her letter sent today to the MCSC, Nessel notes that the “proposed rule change creates a significantly more burdensome process for an employee to exercise his or her rights to associate with a union and financially support it, while treating disassociation from a union as the preferred status quo. In reality, many employees are likely to be surprised that their affirmative and voluntary decision to authorize union fee deductions, either presently or years in the past, will automatically lapse because the proposed rule presumes that employees wish to disassociate from their union.”
For those reasons, Nessel called on the MCSC to reconsider its course of action and abandon the proposed rule change stating, “In light of the current public health crisis, the benefits and importance of unions – which tirelessly advocate for the health, safety and financial well-being of their members – cannot be overstated. State employees are no less deserving of these benefits than their private sector counterparts.”