GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Paul Helder, president of the Grand Rapids Education Association, spent Tuesday in Lansing in the middle of all of the right-to-work chaos. When he returned to West Michigan, he shared his thoughts about Governor Rick Snyder signing it into law.
“I think the first question: ‘Is it going to stand up?’” Helder said. “I know there are a host of legal challenges that are expected. the fact that they carved out police and fire, two groups that sometimes support Republicans with their political donations makes it suspect. Republicans have already lost one fight like this in District Court.”
But he also is aware that it very well could be a reality.
“It says the union has to continue providing these expensive services for people but they can choose not to pay, but then somebody else in the union has to pay,” Helder said. “So it creates a parasitic kind of situation where some individuals will then kind of essentially live off of their colleagues.”
On the flip side, president of West Michigan Policy Forum, Jared Rodriguez said right-to-work will be good for Michigan. “Freedom to work … is something we’ve been advocating for since 2008 when our grassroots forum of over 600 individuals told us that this was the strategic priority for Michigan to help keep our state moving forward.”