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Legislators should invest in schools, not bully educators over right to work

March 22, 2013

Dave Hecker, president of the Michigan chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, opined about the House Republicans' proposed budget that would cut $74.8 million from the budgets of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University "in retaliation for negotiating in good faith with their employees." Legislators also are threatening almost $100 million in cuts to K-12 school districts and preschool students. He wrote: "Intimidating teachers and administrators in an attempt to block a legal and fair contract negotiation, then punishing those parties for the agreements they adopt, is the height of cynical policymaking. Lawmakers should be doing what is best for teachers, students and taxpayers. Instead, they're wasting time and money bullying educators, administrators and board members, and ultimately shortchanging Michigan students." Hecker further calls on the Legislature to "respect the collective bargaining process, and the right of educators and board members to negotiate fair agreements in order to maintain stability in our school districts, colleges and universities.