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Whitmer Objects To Civil Service Union Rule Switch

Lansing skyline
WKAR File Photo

The Michigan Civil Service Commission has approved a rule change that says state employees will have to decide every year whether to continue paying union dues.


The change would also put an end to “agency fees” paid by workers who opt out of the union, but are covered by union-bargained contracts. The commission adopted the rule change on a 3-1 vote.


Transportation technician Roderick Jackson is with the Service Employees International Union. He told the commission the new rule seems designed to diminish the power of state employee unions. 

“This body should be making decisions to help the employees and their employers improve their working relationship instead of putting us in a fight to keep our ability to be represented and to negotiate fairly in contracts,” Jackson said. 

A lawsuit is possible because state employee unions say the rule violates existing collective bargaining agreements.

Commission member Jase Bolger voted for the rule change. 

“I do not agree with claims that it impacts rights to collective bargaining. Instead, unions will remain free to make their case,” Bolger said. “But I do believe that it protects individual workers rights. Workers will remain free to make their choice.” 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is also among those opposed to the rule change. The members of the commission were all appointed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder while he was in office.

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