Public unions lose test vote on when members can quit

Associated Press

Lansing — A Michigan labor panel appears ready to rule that public employee unions can’t restrict the time when members can quit.

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission directed staff to draft a decision that would be considered at a future meeting. The preliminary vote Tuesday was 3-0.

Spokesman Jason Moon says there’s still room for the board to alter its position when it meets again. The case involves four Saginaw teachers and a Michigan law that makes financial support of unions voluntary.

The teachers tried to get out of the Saginaw Education Association in September 2013 but were told they could quit only in August.

A message seeking comment was left with the Michigan Education Association.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, a conservative group, says the MEA has “gone to extreme lengths” to keep people in the union.