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Michigan-based Mackinac Center’s Campaign to Kill Unions in Other States

July 1, 2018

On June 27, 2018, in Janus V. AFSCME, the US Supreme Court ruled 5 – 4 that nonunion workers cannot be forced to pay “fair share” fees when union advocacy results in a benefit to nonunion members.

The extreme-right-wing Mackinac Center for Public Policy is using the Janus decision to actively campaign for the fiscal crippling of unions by targeting emails to organizations such as school districts in order to try to get union members to “opt out” of union membership.

According to its mission statement on its 2016 tax form, Mackinac is supposed to focus on Michigan, the state where it is located:

Conduct scholarly research and analysis of the State of Michigan public policy issues to improve the quality of life for all Michigan citizens by advancing the principles of a free-market economy, limited government, and respect for private property.

Too, Mackinac’s “accomplishments” page also focuses on Michigan.

I suppose we all reside in the United State of Michigan, according to Mackinac’s post-Janus efforts to nationally dislodge unions.

Mackinac calls their efforts “a campaign to educate and empower workers to exercise [Janus] rights.” They paint their union-busting website,, as follows:

For over 30 years, the Mackinac Center has been advancing worker freedom, reaching over 100,000 workers and helping them to exercise their rights after Michigan passed right-to-work in 2012. In February, the Mackinac Center launched My Pay My Say, a national education and awareness campaign to support public employees affected by the court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. …

My Pay My Say is committed to supporting workers. Government unions are not always transparent so workers will need access to accurate information. We provide that through our website, national call center, and legal support,” said Lindsay Boyd Killenvice president for strategic outreach and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Consider the information on the My Pay My Say home page:

Government workers in the United States now have a voice and a choice whether or not to support or pay money to a union. Get started by choosing your state below, or check out our explainer video for more information on the issue.

Mackinac’s “choose your state” dropdown menu makes its intent clear. It offers a state name, and right beneath the state name is the phrase, “Opt Out of Your Public Sector Union.”

In case you missed it, right in the center of the state page in bold and in all caps: OPT OUT OF YOUR UNION.

Individuals are then directed to enter personal information, including employer and union information.

On most of the state pages in Mackinac’s drop-down menu, individuals must provide all of their union information.


My Pay My Say generic union info form

However, on the pages of 10 states, there is another drop-down menu to make it easier for individuals to “opt out”:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington State

My Pay My Say union info for Connecticut


My Pay My Say union info for Illinois


My Pay My Say union info for New York

It may well be that in its union-killing efforts, Mackinac is targeting these 10 states. Note that all 10 belong to a larger group of 22 states that are not “right to work” states.

Note also that Ohio has a completely different page from all others; it is not a form that opens with OPT OUT OF YOUR UNION. Instead, it opens with Workers Have the Right to Choose!

This page is not part of; when one clicks on Ohio as part of the My Pay My Say state drop-down menu, one is sent to, “A Project of the Buckeye Institute.”

Ohio’s “workers choose” page is a softer sell:

On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States recognized the right of public employees to choose whether to financially support their union based upon the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Janus v. AFSCME decision provided good news for all teachers and other public employees who like their unions and wish to maintain their membership in them while nonetheless allowing those who believe that their unions do not meet their personal needs to stop paying compulsory fees to their unions.

If you are one of Ohio’s hardworking teachers or other public-sector employees who prefer not to financially support or participate in your union, you can begin the process of notifying your union of your choice below.

Learn more by reviewing our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions, problems, or concerns that are not answered there, feel free to reach us at 1-855-e-Choose or

The above page has an “Opt Out Now” button at the bottom, which takes one here (complete with *we’re not trying to coerce you and we’re not responsible* disclaimer):


If you are a public-sector worker in Ohio, you can initiate the opt-out process below to end your financial support of your union by entering your first and last name, email address, and the Ohio county in which your employer is located.

Once you have entered that initial information, a dropdown menu will appear from which you can select your employer and then your union.

After you complete those steps, we will provide you with the unique opt-out requirements for your specific union as well as relevant instructions on how you can complete the process, which varies from union to union in Ohio.

Please note that the resources, tools, research, and statements on this website are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or consultation for your particular situation. The information we have compiled on this site is based upon publicly available data as of June 27, 2018, and is subject to change at any time. The Buckeye Institute does not warrant or guarantee its accuracy.


From the “Opt Out” on the “Workers Choose” page for Ohio

Ohio is in the news because of its legislators’ trying to decide if “right to work” legislation is obsolete because of the Janus decision.

Note that the Mackinac effort via My Pay My Say is larger than a “right to work” issue, or even a “fair use” fee issue:

It is an attempt to nationally kill collective bargaining, or the coming together of those with less individual power in order to realistically leverage negotiations with management.

If you happened to receive one of those My Pay My Say emails prodding you to “opt out” or your union, you might respond by asking how getting people outside of Michigan to drop their unions “improves the quality of life for all Michigan citizens.”

And then bombard them with union literature from your state.



Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Check the 74 million post for today. I just deleted it but another case Bain… Something is in the works that would allele to every state, if won.

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