Michigan’s Supreme Court in a 4-3 opinion agreed that Michigan’s right-to-work law does apply to state employees.

This Michigan Supreme Court ruling means approximately 35,000 unionized state workers can opt out of paying union dues or agency fees, if they wish to do so.  To date about 10% of our state employees have opted out of their unions.

Michigan government unions argued that Michigan’s Civil Service Commission had the right to "regulate all conditions of employment.”

So let me try to understand this, are the unions saying that the people we elect have no say over state employees only an unelected--and often biased--group of people do?  I say biased because they are appointed by whomever is governor at the time until their length of service to the commission has run out.

Interesting argument.

In an Mlive.com article, Chief Justice Bob Young was quoted as saying "The authority of the Civil Service Commission is not without limits. Although public collective bargaining is a method by which the commission may choose to exercise its constitutional duties, it may not require collection of agency shop fees to fund its administrative operations in pursuit of those duties."

Common sense actually won in this case.

All four votes were from Republican appointees to the bench, but fellow GOP nominee Mary Beth Kelly, along with Democratic nominees Bridget McCormack and Richard Bernstein, disagreed with the ruling.

Justice Kelly, in her written dissent, was quoted in the article saying employees pay such fees "directly to their exclusive representative for the costs associated with representation during the collective bargaining process and while a collective bargaining agreement is operable.”

Michigan’s Chief Justice Young, in a response to the dissent, said the commission permits collective bargaining in order to fulfill its constitutional obligation to regulate conditions of employment.

By the way, police and fire are exempt from the laws.

The question really comes down to who has the right to negotiate with government unions, elected officials or unelected officials?

Should state employees be treated like the rest of us?

Let’s discuss this today on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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