Michigan Association of Fire Fighters

Three bills were signed into law this week improving conditions for public union employees throughout the state.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 169, House Bill 4230 and House Bill 4234 on Nov. 29, 2023, removing barriers for Unions representing public employees in Michigan.

“Since taking office, we have made real progress improving the efficiency of state government and making Michigan the best place to live, work, invest, and raise a family,” Whitmer said of these and several other bills she signed Nov. 29. “Today’s bills take important steps to cut unnecessary red tape … and advocate for better working conditions … among other things.”

Senate Bill 169, which was sponsored by state Sen. John Cherry (D-Flint), requires public employers to provide collective bargaining representatives with their employees’ employment and contact information.

“In the past, some unions have struggled to contact employees they represent, because new hire information was not transmitted,” Cherry said. “The intent behind Senate Bill 169 is to ensure employees receive the representation they are entitled to. Thanks to Gov. Whitmer signing it into law, represented Michigan workers will now have better access to services from their union.”

House Bill 4230, sponsored by state Rep. Jimmie Wilson, Jr. (D-Ypsilanti), and House Bill 4234, sponsored by Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou, (D-East Lansing), would remove the restriction on public bodies setting up a payroll deduction plan for consenting employees for political contributions.

“As a proud supporter of all Michigan workers, I am happy this bill is becoming law,” Wilson said. “This bill gives public employees the opportunity, if they choose, to participate in payroll deductions for their labor union’s PAC — giving workers an additional way to advocate for their needs and support the organizations that support them in the political sphere.”

“I think most of my colleagues can agree that, as elected officials, we should never be in the business of taking rights away from working Michiganders. For years, working people have seen their freedoms taken away by attacks on their unions — the very institutions whose sole purpose is to fight on behalf of their members,” Tsernoglou said. “I sponsored this bill to give workers their rights back, which has been a central priority for the Dem controlled 102nd Legislature.”