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State House Education committee passes bill to 'decertify' teachers' unions that authorize strikes

The state House Education committee has approved a bill that would decertify a teachers’ union if the teachers vote to go on strike.  Individual teachers could also be fined or fired under the legislation.  It’s illegal for teachers to strike in Michigan. 

Doug Pratt is with the Michigan Education Association.    He says state lawmakers want to silence teachers.

“It’s meant to scare public school employees into not standing up against the attacks that the lawmakers in Lansing are leveling against public education and the middle class.”

State Representative Paul Scott denies his bill is trying to intimidate teachers.   Scott says his bill is intended to hold the Michigan Education Association accountable to the law.  

“Whether the MEA likes it or not, they are held accountable for their actions. We live in a civilized society. They need to follow the law. If they can’t do that, they’ll be decertified.”

The Michigan Education Association has been asking its members if they would be willing to take part in a work stoppage.    Pratt says that’s just one of many options on the table for teachers upset at various Republican education policies.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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