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Teachers in Pontiac, Michigan, are about to lose their health insurance, thanks to school officials diverting health care money into the school district's general fund. That includes not just money that the district was supposed to be paying as part of the teachers' benefits, but the teachers' own contributions to their health insurance premiums. A lawsuit filed by the Pontiac Education Association:
[...] states the board intentionally disregarded their duty to monitor the administrators and willingly used the wrongfully diverted income “for the purpose of deceiving the state of Michigan” on the status of the district’s deficit elimination plan.

“No employer may withhold or otherwise divert an employee’s income without that employee’s written permission,” Lee maintained in the lawsuit.

Eclectablog gets it exactly right:
It’s important to note that this isn’t just moving around piles of money that are in the school district’s budget. They literally took money the teachers paid out of pocket and applied it to their bottom line. The outcome is that these teachers effectively had their benefits stripped and their pay cut at the same time and they never even knew it was happening. It is theft, pure and simple.
Michigan has been accumulating an astonishingly bad record on treatment of teachers; in Grand Rapids, some teachers had to go on food stamps when increased health care contributions were retroactively taken out of their paychecks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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