Saturday, April 16, 2011


From the Kent-Ionia Labor Council On April 19, 1911, despite different languages, ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs, more than 6,000 furniture workers came together and walked off the job, protesting working conditions and pay. They became ONE for a common cause. On April 19, 2011, advocates for civil and human rights will be walking as ONE for the rights of all workers to stand as one for our middle class way of life, a voice in the political process and the respect that all working men and women deserve. WE ARE ONE WALK APRIL 19, 2011 4:30 P.M SPIRIT OF SOLIDARITY MONUMENT (303 Pearl St., N.W.) PLEASE BRING SIGNS WITH YOUR OWN MESSAGE GUEST SPEAKERS: John J. Egan, President, Labor Heritage Society of West Michigan, Inc. *Brandon Dillon, State Representative, 75th House District *Roy Schmidt, State Representative, 76th House District After a short program we will walk from the Spirit of Solidarity Monument to 420 Alabama, the J.S. Hyatt building in SOLIDARITY AS ONE! This building, rich in history was known in 1911 as the Fritz Manufacturing Company and was one of the many furniture factories targeted by the Striking Workers in 1911. We are walking as ONE in protest of the current anti-worker agenda and as a celebration of respect to the 1911 Furniture Workers. There is a city ramp on Scribner near the half way point with ample parking. PLEASE JOIN US (RAIN OR SHINE) ON THE 19TH! *If Representative Dillon or Schmidt cannot attend they will send a Legislative Aide

Capitol Comments April 14, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Banning Payroll of Union Stewards

House Bill 4059 (Ban putting union stewards on public payroll )Introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R) on January 13, 2011. Passed 59 to 47 in the House on April 14, 2011, to ban government employee union contracts that pay employees who are union officials for time they spend on the job conducting union business. Among other government employers, many public school districts give local union officials full teacher salary and benefits but do not require them to teach or perform any other educational function. See [Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"] at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Michigan Parents for Schools

An email from a fellow MEA member:

Colleagues, Michigan Parents for Schools is a parent-sponsored website fighting for public education and educators. I'm forwarding this to you in the hope you'll forward it to your fellow MEA members and to your sympathetic parents. It's action links below (blue) send you to a page where you can build your own email by clicking pre-written talking points and/or writing your own. Your single email then goes to Snyder and your two MI legislators... press send, three emails sent. This is an amazingly easy and quick way to keep pressure on Lansing via emails. I plan on using this site like I take vitamins... every day... it's that easy. MIPFS also sends out periodic in-depth updates on edu-legislation, very detailed background info. They are among the best info sources I've found for late breaking Lansing wonkisms... factual, analytical, insightful. I recommend MIPFS to you for your info arsenal, or at the very least for periodic reminders that intelligent caring parents are out there fighting at our sides for our students and for us.

Brit Satchwell (AAEA) on behalf of Steve Norton, Exec. Dir. of Michigan Parents for Schools

Everyone who values public education in Michigan needs to speak out NOW

Join MIPFS in this Important Moment to Protect Our Schools

Let your lawmakers know how YOU feel about their plans for public schools!

Dear Friends and Supporters of Education,

This is an extraordinary moment for public education in the state of Michigan. The full impact of the Great Recession, and of years of trying to ignore funding problems in education, are hitting our communities all at once. Dramatic changes are proposed, because "dire times require drastic measures." Over $1 billion would be cut from education under the Governor's proposed budget, most of that from K-12 education. These cuts would dramatically affect our schools, and limit the education we can offer to our children for years to come. Do the changes make sense? Do they reflect the real needs and values of the people of Michigan? We're not so sure. You haven't heard from Michigan Parents for Schools in a while, but we have been busy behind the scenes. Most importantly, we've been "eating our own cooking" by building alliances to support public education at the local and regional level. All of us have learned a lot, and we hope to share what we've learned with interested citizens across Michigan. But right now, the most pressing action is in Lansing. And while the problem is at the state capitol, the solution rests in communities all around the state. None of us can go it alone. Only by joining together can we ensure that our State continues to invest in education - to invest in the future of our children and our communities.

Tell our political leaders that huge cuts to education do not reflect our values and will not move our State forward! The problems are huge, and the answers are not easy. But the proposals currently on offer in Lansing - that rely on slashing funds for education and increasing the burden on the most vulnerable members of society, including children - will not get us where we need to go. We need to remind our fellow citizens of our common commitment to invest in the future of our children and our communities. Excellent public schools are a centerpiece of that commitment. Those of us who value our public schools - parents, educators, citizens - need to lead that critical effort.

You will be hearing more from us soon, as we work to build alliances across the state. In the meantime, make sure to let your state lawmakers know how you feel! Please join us as we reach out to people all around Michigan who share our commitment to education and our vision of a better future for everyone in our state.

With thanks, Steven Norton Executive Director Michigan Parents for Schools


Make Your Voice Heard - Take Action at the State Capitol WHAT: Rally to protest attacks on middle class families WHO: Students, seniors and workers from across Michigan WHEN: Wednesday, April 13 Protest, Legislative Action from 1-6:30 p.m. Speaking programs at 2 and 5:30 p.m. WHERE: State Capitol Building 100 Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI WHY: Politicians are unfairly exploiting Michigan’s economic crisis to attack students, seniors and working families. Join us on April 13 to fight back and let the politicians know that We Are The People, and it’s time to start protecting the middle class – not the CEOs. NOTE: Please bring a canned good to donate to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.