WMU Professors Union to Lock Members in for Ten Years?

Right-to-Work goes into effect in late March. After that date, union members who want to leave the union and stop paying dues may do so upon expiration of the contract. The AAUP chapter at Western Michigan University met yesterday to discuss option with members. Here is a memo that describes what happened:

“Colleagues,

As the department’s elected representative to the WMU-AAUP, I wanted to let you know the results of today’s Chapter meeting.

Union representatives today approved a motion to attempt to negotiate a new “Union Security Agreement” with administration at Western.  This USA would effectively continue the existing contractual language with respect to the collection of union dues.

“Right to Work” legislation will go into effect at the end of March (the exact date is being disputed) which will make it illegal to require anyone to pay for union representation, but this will not apply to any existing contracts.  So WMU-AAUP is trying to reach an agreement with Western before this date at the end of March.

The motion approved today was to begin negotiations with Western regarding a new USA that would take effect before the end of March.  If the union leadership is successful in negotiating a new USA with Western, this agreement will need to be ratified by a vote of union memberships, just like any other tentative agreement reached with the administration.

I just wanted to let you know what did today.  You will be hearing more from WMU-AAUP about the proposed USA.”

Rumors are that the union wants to extend the contract an additional nine years in an attempt to effectively lock their members in, preventing them from resigning from the union and no longer being compelled to pay dues. Fortunately, the members will have the opportunity to vote on any contract extension proposals.

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