Membership Plunges Again for Michigan and National Teachers Unions

by | Jan 10, 2024 | News

By Jarrett Skorup

State and national teachers unions continued to lose members in 2023. The drop comes despite an increase in the number of public school employees in Michigan.

The NEA is down to 2.45 million active members in 2023. That’s a loss of more than 12,000 since 2022. The union has lost nearly 215,000 members since 2018, which is the year of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME. That decision found that every public employee across the country has the right to opt out of a labor union. Overall, that’s a membership loss of 8.1%.

From 2022 to 2023, the union’s decline jumped from 7.3% to 8.1%. The NEA’s revenue and spending has steadily dropped for three straight years. In total, the union is bringing in $74 million less and spending $130 million less than they were in 2020.

The state affiliate, the MEA, has also continued to see a decline. The MEA is down to 78,817 members – a loss of more than 1,000 since 2022. The union has shrunk by more than 38,000 members since 2013. This nearly one-third drop in membership has come despite significant increases in both the number of teachers and overall number of school employees in Michigan.

Since school employees got a choice in union membership, the MEA’s total revenue has declined by nearly $40 million annually. Despite a hike in dues, Michigan’s largest public sector union is bringing in more than 30% less each year.


Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are properly cited.

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