Wayne-Westland Teacher Strike Illegal
Wayne-Westland teachers have gone on strike disrupting the education of more than 13,000 students and the lives of their parents.
The Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) disagrees with the actions of the Wayne Westland teacher’s union and the Michigan Education Association (MEA). The teacher strike is illegal and the union ignored the collective bargaining process.
Strikes by public school employees violate the Public Employment Relations Act. School districts may respond to illegal strikes by seeking to impose fines on employees who break the law or by requesting a court order to stop the strike. Unfortunately, pursuing these remedies place tremendous financial burdens on the school district.
The teacher’s union, however reserves funds to pay financial penalties that may be imposed on the teachers enabling them to strike if they don’t get what they want.
“Aside from the illegality of teacher strikes, the reality is that when teacher unions use the threat of a strike to force school districts into giving them exactly what they want, the district is forced to make decisions contrary to their financial situation,” said Kathy Hayes, MASB’s interim executive director.
The Wayne-Westland teacher contract has only recently expired, which leads us to believe that the teachers haven’t utilized all the necessary tools to bargain in good faith.
“The collective bargaining process needs to be given adequate time so both parties can negotiate a mutually agreeable contract. An illegal strike doesn’t allow this process to work,” Hayes said.
By walking away from the bargaining table, the union demonstrates a lack of interest in putting students first.
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