Skubick: Teacher unions call for $550M payback from state

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The state’s two teacher unions are demanding that the governor and state attorney general give back half a billion dollars to some 200,000 educators across the state.

The message from the unions to Gov. Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette is clear: Give us our money back.

Back in 2010 the legislature ordered school employees to kick in three percent of their paychecks for health care.

The governor at the time argued he was trying to help the employees.

But the MEA president agrees that may be true but adds “that ostensibly was what he said however what was also being said at the time is this doesn’t guarantee you anything.” Steve Cook adds that the three percent could have been a way to hurt the teachers.

Union members contend the courts have consistently said the legislation was unconstitutional. “The lower court rules that the money belongs to our educators,” said AFT president Dr. David Hecker. “The Court of Appeals ruled twice; once when the Supreme Court said look at it again and said the money belongs to educators.”

The unions delivered some 33,000 online signatures urging no appeal as employees are hoping to get a share of the $550 million now sitting in escrow.

Lansing teacher Deborah McMillan would collect just over $4000 dollars. “I have spent up to $4000 in a year just buying supplies for students. So this would be giving my students more opportunities.”

No word on what these two will do regarding the possible appeal.

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