FERNDALE, Mich. — A Michigan school district has corrected a teachers union contract that gives ‘special consideration’ to non-Christians.
Officials with the Ferndale School District state that they were unaware that language in the teachers union contract suggested discrimination against Christian applicants.
“Should there be two (2) or more of these applicants with equal qualifications for the position and one (1) or more of these applicants with equal qualifications is a current employee, the current employee with the greatest seniority shall be assigned,” the contract 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. However, in all appointments to vacant positions, the Board’s decision shall be final.”
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy had recently discovered the language in reviewing contracts throughout the state. It then contacted the school district to express concern.
“Earlier this week, Ferndale Public Schools learned of antiquated language in employee contracts that we somehow missed when recently bargaining contracts,” district spokeswoman Shelley Rose wrote to FOX News. “This language dates back to at least 1979, and is not in compliance with current legislation. Fortunately, the district also has newer and strong anti-discrimination language in the contracts and has never, in our known history, enacted this now out-of-date language.”
“Ferndale Public Schools takes the issue of discrimination seriously and has acted swiftly to resolve this unfortunate contract language issue,” she said.
The district asserts that it does not discriminate against Christians, and states that it is unsure how the language at issue had been overlooked for so long. The latest teachers union contract had been for 2011-2012, but was extended to 2017.
EAG News notes that Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of religion.