EAG is getting lots of mileage by exploiting a bad situation in Michigan. About a year ago a teacher was convicted of sexual misconduct against a student in the Rose City schools. The teacher is now serving time in prison.
That’s usually plenty for Kyle to order up an outraged column, but in this case, a number of fellow teachers sat with the teacher’s family during the trial, which EAG reads as a sign that they can’t be trusted with children. Later, it was discovered the teacher had a contract right to a severance payment, which the school board refused to pay. A grievance was filed and is now scheduled for arbitration.
This is when EAG and the Mackinac Center released the hounds. How could the MEA defend a child molester? Manufactured outrage is EAG’s bread and butter. As is a real talent for avoiding inconvenient facts.
MEA did not represent the teacher in the criminal proceedings. And the union cannot choose who gets to have the contract enforced and who doesn’t. It has a legal, fiduciary duty to enforce the whole document, even when it comes to people no one likes.
As the MEA said:
MEA is legally obligated to enforce a contract uniformly for all employees who are governed by it. We can’t enforce a contract for one and ignore it for another, even if the actions of an individual are appalling. The crime committed here is heinous, but that doesn’t change our obligation to consistently implement a contract
Having worked for unions most of my professional life, I can tell you one thing: no union president is involved in any grievance filed anywhere in their union. EAG and Fox certainly don’t care about how the real world works, but for the rest of us, let’s recognize that these deciscions, including the nutty ones, are made by the local units. I can’t imagine what they were thinking in this case, but this was without a doubt their call, not the people who run the parent union.