Michigan universities may lose funds for long contracts

Universities that approve contracts before right-to-work law goes into effect could lose some state aid


LANSING, Mich. – Michigan's public universities that approve extended contracts before the right-to-work law goes into effect March 28 could lose 15 percent in state aid under a bill headed to the House floor.


The bill passed 4-3 Tuesday by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee makes 15 percent of state funding contingent on requirements that employee contracts approved between Dec. 10 and March 28 show more than 10 percent in savings.


Republicans control the Legislature, which last year passed the law to bar unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers they represent.


The bill could cost Wayne State University $27 million this year. The university's governors are expected to vote Wednesday on a tentative 8-year faculty contract.   


Opponents say universities should be free to renegotiate contracts before the law goes into effect.