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Proposition 2 and the End of the World (As We Know It)

The misinformation campaign surrounding Michigan Proposition 2 and the simple right of employers and workers to negotiate with each other outside of State interference or control

I am no great fan of amending the State constitution for political purposes, but I am in strong support of Proposition 2, which would enshrine the right to collective bargain in the State constitution. Why is this necessary and why the high art form of misdirected truths toward this issue by our state Republicans, in Lansing and locally.

The Republicans in control of the State of Michigan passed legislation that would dictate benefits for public employees. Also by starving the school districts of funds that are reduced due to corporate tax breaks. Now one would wonder why a party that espouses free enterprise would take a page from Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro and impose state controls on such issues? This answer is that free enterprise is for certain individuals and groups (banks, investment bankers, employers etc.) but not for public workers.

The most important fact that they do not tell you is that collective bargaining is the truest form of free enterprise. Both parties can make negotiation requests of the other and for an agreement to be reached, BOTH parties must agree. If both parties do not agree, management can implement what is called the last best offer.

This however is not enough for State Republicans, who want to force benefit and wage concessions without the right of both parties to bargain. What have they done with this money….. tax breaks for business interests to “create” jobs. However unemployment in Michigan is UP for the last 7 months.

Now local and state Republicans will crow that we still have collective bargaining in Michigan. This is somewhat true, in the sense that chickens can collectively bargain with Col. Sanders as to whether they would like to be fried or broasted.

It is unfortunate that the misuse of legislative power in Michigan has resulted in the need to enshrine in the state constitution a right that has been in existence for decades. Politics does make strange bedfellows, but Snyder, Calley, Colbeck, Heise and their fellow travelers marching to the tune of state imposed economic benefits is perhaps a trip down the rabbit hole that even Alice would be amazed to take.

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Denise Nash October 15, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Agreed. Too much for admin. 100% agreement.
Denise Nash October 15, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Hairman, you seem very angry...did you retire when you say you "left" the educational system? We have friends like you who complain all the time about the schools, union, tenure, etc, yet they accept their paid retirement health care, and their pension. I would think if they were so against it all, they wouldn't accept those benefits. But there you have it. Perhaps K. Bentivolio and you have something in common? He seems very angry at kids, too, and his goal in his classroom was to make them all cry. Now, he has a reindeer farm, pretends to be Santa and is running to be my congressman.
DownUpside1 October 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I have often heard that the of incoming money the districts receive, there is a rising % paid out annually to the state retired teachers. Amounts that districts are not able to negotiate and that the state sends them a bill for each year. Are those legacy costs (that reportedly are non-negotiable) strangling the district's finances?
Bruce Koldys October 15, 2012 at 07:17 PM
This is only partially correct. The state DOES determine the percentage per employee for retirement. However in collective bargaining all sides can make negotiation requests of each other. (One caveat is that under a previous Republican administration, the right to negotiate subcontracting was removed by law. If you see a trend here you are most wise) . I am familiar with several recent contracts negotiated in nearby school districts where the employees negotiated with management to pay any amount of retirement above a certain percentage. In theory you could negotiate that employees pay all of it!! This illustrates that Republicans in this state have made collective bargaining a red herring, claiming on TV that it will be responsible for child molestors working in schools, theives, criminals and perhaps Bigfoot himself.
Jerry Grady October 17, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Does anyone know how many states have this in their constitution? You begin to walk slippery slopes when constitutions begin to be changed without real knowledge. And unfortuntely neither side has provided true honest facts.

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