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Public Sector Labor Relations: Michigan

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Authors: Clifford L. Hammond and Patricia Nemeth, Nemeth Burwell, PC


  • Michigan's Public Employment Relations Act (PERA) grants almost all public employees the right to organize and to be represented by labor organizations of their choice. See Michigan's Public Employment Relations Act.
  • The Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) is an independent agency responsible for administering the laws governing labor-management relations in Michigan, including PERA. See Michigan's Public Employment Relations Act.
  • PERA sets forth procedures for mediation of labor disputes between public sector employers and employees and/or unions. See Mediation and Arbitration.
  • Public sector "critical service" employers and employees, such as police and firefighters, are subject to compulsory arbitration of unresolved collective bargaining issues. See Mediation and Arbitration.
  • PERA generally prohibits public employers and unions from engaging in certain specified unfair labor practices. If an unfair labor practice is found, employers and unions are subject to penalties, including injunctive relief, reporting requirements, and other remedies deemed appropriate under the Act. See Unfair Labor Practices.