Thursday, January 14, 2016

Michigan legislature looking at curing Detroit schools of sick-outs

Abandoned Detroit school
Today there was only one sick-out at a Detroit public school--which is just one more than just about every school district in the United States.

Meanwhile some Republican state legislatures are looking for ways to enforce Michigan law.

From Michigan Confidential:
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he would support a bill that addressed sickouts by teachers that close schools.

"They are not supposed to strike," Jones said. "They get around not striking by a sickout. So perhaps there needs to be a change in the law in that area."

The sickouts are considered illegal strikes by some legal experts, the process is cumbersome to enforce under existing laws. The law states that before a public employer may discipline a public employee for engaging in a strike, the public employee has a right to a hearing.

With a large school district, that can lead to hundreds upon hundreds of hearings. For example, media reports have listed as many as a dozen DPS schools that have been closed due to sickouts in December and January. There are more than 460 teachers at those schools cited.

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