Recent data from Michigan’s two largest teacher unions demonstrates the profound impact Michigan’s Right-to-Work law has had. According to two recent articles, since the law was signed in 2012, the right to withdraw and no longer pay dues has heavily impacted Michigan’s largest teachers’ unions, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan. Since 2012, the MEA has lost 23,000 dues-paying members. The smaller American Federation of Teachers has also lost 4,800 Michigan members. Similar losses have been reported in other right-to-work states like Wisconsin.
These membership losses represent substantial financial hits to both unions. As we reported earlier, the MEA worked hard to limit its members from withdrawing by utilizing narrow window periods and restrictive procedures. Those measures, however, were invalidated by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. Given this most recent data, they also appear to have ultimately failed to stem membership losses.