Michigan union is suffering under the same type of pension plan that it pushes on schools

Oct 26, 2013 by

LANSING, Mich. – Many Michigan teachers may not be aware, but they’re currently being charged extra dues to cover their union’s pension liabilities.

According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, the Michigan Education Association – the statewide teachers union – is charging its members an extra $50 per year in dues for three years to help bail the union out of its massive financial problems.

“The MEA’s retirement liabilities for its employees increased by nearly $45 million from $163.8 million in 2011 to $208 million in 2012, according to the LM-2 filed with the U.S. Department of Labor,” the news site reports.

“The MEA has 117,000 active members and if they are all being charged the $50 per year for three years, it would generate a total of about $17.5 million,” according to MCC.

The major reason for the MEA’s financial problem is the defined benefit pension plan it offers employees. Ironically, the union has successfully fought to maintain the same type of pension system for teachers, and it’s causing the same type of financial problems for schools and taxpayers.

“Michigan’s pension system for teachers is $22.4 billion underfunded,” MCC reports.

The news site reports teachers contacted MCC about the dues increase, but would not agree to be identified on the record because of the union’s penchant for retaliating against members who speak out against MEA leadership.

MCC recently reported on union officials in one Michigan district who circulated the names of teachers who opted out of the union under the state’s new right-to-work laws in an attempt to ridicule them for their decision.

“One teacher said some teachers may think the $50 charge is new because recent changes in state laws allow teachers to see a breakdown of their dues,” MCC reports. “Teachers may just be noticing the ‘temporary dues’ charge of $50 now that it is specifically identified. It is unclear if the $50 payment is in its first or second year.”

Taxing teachers to cover the bloated pensions of union fat cats is one thing, but for the MEA to hide the charge from its members is quite underhanded.

But underhanded tactics are nothing new for the MEA, which is known to orchestrate recall elections against school board members who don’t vote the union way, threaten to ruin the credit of members who want to opt out, and launch personal attacks against anyone who opposes the union agenda.

That’s likely why a growing number of teachers in Michigan and elsewhere are disassociating themselves from their local teachers unions, and opting instead to join real professional associations like the Association of American Educators.

Michigan union is suffering under the same type of pension plan that it pushes on schools – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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