Michigan district baffled by union clause giving hiring preference to non-Christians

by
March 21, 2014

A Michigan school district’s written policy of giving hiring preference to non-Christians has been scrapped after more than 30 years, and officials say they have no idea how the clause – which they insist was never invoked – ever made it into the teachers’ union contract.

The teachers union contract in Ferndale Public Schools in Oakland County contained a clause that gave “special consideration” to applicants that are of “the non-Christian faith.” District officials say they didn’t even know about the clause, which the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan-based, nonpartisan research and educational institute, found while reviewing teacher contracts in the state’s 200 biggest public school districts.

The clause was meant for current school employees seeking to apply for a vacancy within the district — and made clear that certain “minorities,” including those “of the non-Christian faith” will be given special consideration.

“Any teacher may apply for a vacancy in a position considered to be a “Promotion” as defined in Section 2 above,” the clause read. “Special consideration shall be given to women and/or minority defined as: Native American, Asian American, Latino, African American and those of the non-Christian faith.”

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