Detroit Evening Report: Proposed bills that would restore teachers unions’ bargaining power head to Michigan House

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Michigan House of Representatives chamber in Lansing.

Michigan House of Representatives chamber in Lansing.

Michigan’s House Labor Committee has adopted bills to restore some bargaining power for teachers unions.

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The four bills would reverse laws signed in 2011 by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder over union objections. The existing laws prevent teachers from being able to negotiate topics such as teacher placement and discipline policies.

Democrats and teachers unions say negotiations should determine what’s in a contract.

But Jennifer Smith with the Michigan Association of School Boards believes some things should not be negotiated.

“If the safety of students is at risk, districts need to be able to act to remove the teacher or staff from the situation to protect students,” says Smith. “The district needs the discretion to act to avoid lengthy delays in the case of egregious situations to protect our students and the morale of rest of the staff.”

Smith also said school boards and administrators agree the law can be improved.

The bills now head to the House floor for voting.

Other headlines for May 26, 2023:

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  • Pensole Lewis College, muralist Sydney James hosting summer youth workshops
  • Detroit hosting Memorial Day in the D Saturday at Spirit Plaza

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.