LANSING, Mich (WLNS) - Union membership is down across the state of Michigan and while local unions are faring well, they are concerned about the effects right-to-work may have on their future.
Rep. Tom McMillan has asked several school districts to attend his committee meeting to explain what benefit, if any, they received by extending their teacher contracts in some cases by eight to ten years. Some republcians think this is being done to circumvent the new right-to-work law which takes effect later this month.
Take the case of Wayne State University in Detroit. It just extended its contract, which did allow the union to avoid RTW.
But Rep. Sam Singh says instead of taking money away for doing that, the university actually saved dollars.
"Management is in a great position to bargain and they got more things in their contract that before so we should be congratulating them for saving the taxpayers money. $10 million is a real savings," said Singh.
Some local schools, like one in Taylor, have extended their working agreements, too.
"Well it looks like that. That's the perception that they are hiding. If they have a good story to tell, why not show up. It makes no sense to hide," said McMillan.
Rep. Jeff Irwin from Ann Arbor thinks the GOP wants to cut education.
"We've seen unprecedented cuts to education to universities over the last two years, so if the republicans are looking for another excuse to attack education, maybe that's their excuse this year," said Irwin.
Rep. Bill Rogers says if the new contract does not save money, he would not rule out taking state aid away.
"I would not rule it out. If there is some benefit that is one thing and I would have to consider that also," said Rogers.