Michigan’s Two Teachers Unions Down Tens of Thousands of Members

MEA and AFT have lost almost 28,000 members in the past three years

By Tom Gannett – CAPCON

The Michigan Education Association lost 20 percent of its active members, going from 117,626 members in 2012 to 94,559 in 2015. The American Federation of Teachers-Michigan lost 21 percent, dropping from 23,388 members in 2012 to 18,585 in 2015.

Michigan’s new right-to-work law is only one of the likely explanations for the drop in union membership. Schools are also privatizing more non instructional services to devote resources to their core mission. That means fewer unionized government jobs and more nonunionized private industry jobs.

And under the right-to-work law enacted three years ago, over time more teachers have gained the ability to stop supporting the union financially without losing their jobs. However, this applies only to teachers under union collective bargaining agreements signed after the law went into effect on March 28, 2013.

It was reported that the school union there, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), saw its membership drop from 98,000 in 2011 to 40,000 in 2015.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 10 that limited government collective bargaining to pay only, required government unions be recertified each year by 50 percent of the employees in a local unit, read more……