Michigan workers are under attack in Lansing, but they aren’t alone.

Earlier this week, Governor Whitmer vetoed Senate Bill 686, the Whistleblower Protection Act, written to ensure government workers who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, abuse, or criminal behavior by state officials don’t lose their jobs or benefits for doing the right thing.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tom Barrett, was approved unanimously in the state House and state Senate – not a single Republican or Democrat voted against it. But that didn’t stop Whitmer from vetoing the bill.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Nessel attacked state workers this week, sending a letter to the Michigan Civil Service Commission opposing a rules change designed to protect their constitutional rights on the job.

Michigan workers have the legal right to join – or not join – a union or any other organization of their choice. That’s not merely a belief or political principal, it’s a foundation of our constitution and state law.

That’s why this week the Michigan Freedom Fund asked the Michigan Civil Service Commission to approve proposed amendments to civil service rules to bring them better in line with the state and federal constitutions, and Michigan Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court precedent.

The proposed amendments would empower state workers, putting the power back in their hands, and giving them the choice whether to authorize a labor union to collect membership dues or fees. Current prior authorizations allowing these automatic deductions from workers’ paychecks often predate a series of recent court rulings granting workers additional workplace rights and freedoms.

The amendments would also require the state to notify workers of their constitutional rights.

We’re strongly encouraging the Civil Service Commission to put Michigan workers first, to protect their rights, ensure the state notifies them of those rights, and to bring outdated rules in line with state law and Supreme Court precedent.

We’re speaking up because workers’ rights matter. We’re standing up because Michigan workers are worth fighting for.


Tony Daunt

Executive Director

Michigan Freedom Fund