Are the DPS sick-outs illegal?

Reblogged from the Detroit Free Press

The sick-out by Detroit Public School teachers is likely illegal but unless district officials file a formal complaint, teachers won’t face any fines or other sanctions.

“It’s the employer’s responsibility to file a complaint. We can’t initiate it ourselves.” said Tanya Baker, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. “I think we would refer to this as a strike. It is a violation of Michigan law for public employees to go on strike.”

DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley said last week that the district was researching the legality of the sick-outs but as of early this afternoon, no formal complaint had been filed, Baker said.

Michigan law defines a strike by public workers as the “concerted failure to report for duty, the willful absence from one’s position … for the purpose of inducing, influencing, or coercing a change in employment conditions, compensation, or the rights, privileges, or obligations of employment.” Read more>>