- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) - A month into the new school year, more than a dozen Michigan districts still are trying to negotiate new contracts with teachers.

Experts tells The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/1j2JopB ) that Michigan’s right-to-work law, which makes union support voluntary, has weakened the leverage of unions at the bargaining table.

Districts without new contracts include Birmingham in suburban Detroit. A parent, George Yaple, urged the school board this week to make a deal so teachers can focus on students. He says, “These people are your jewels.”

In Arenac County, negotiators in the small Arenac Eastern district are stuck on pay. School board president Ann Brown says it’s a “difficult conversation.”

Novi school board president George Kortlandt says the district doesn’t have much flexibility, citing small increases in state aid from Lansing.

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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