Right-to-work law for public employees disputed

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A dispute has arisen over whether a new right-to-work law covers the majority of Michigan's civil service employees who are union members.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two bitterly contested bills into law Tuesday that prohibit requiring nonunion workers to pay union fees. One deals with private-sector workers and the other with government workers.

But the state constitution gives the Michigan Civil Service Commission responsibility for overseeing public employees' working conditions. The commission has four members appointed by the governor.

Commission member Robert Swanson said Wednesday the panel has authorized collective bargaining for about 35,000 employees, not including police, firefighters and political appointees. He says only the commission can impose right-to-work policy over them.

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel says she disagrees and the law applies to all public employees.

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