Collective bargaining protects all Michigan’s families, giving workers the right to negotiate fair wages and benefits.

The Protect Working Families campaign released its newest ad today, detailing how collective bargaining protects the middle class.  The 30-second ad features a montage of photos and video that shows the struggle of working families and how collective bargaining has helped them over the years.

The ad says,

“Here in Michigan, we created the great middle class…with the belief that everyone should share in the dream: A good wage…dignity and safety in the workplace…A decent retirement. Basic rights that built this state and this great nation.

Collective bargaining made those dreams real.  Now, corporate special interests are attacking collective bargaining rights and our Michigan way of life.

You can stop them, and protect our way of life, by voting yes, on 2.”

Proposal 2 to protect collective bargaining would ensure that working families keep their basic right to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that are good for us all.

A 10 percentage point increase in union membership would translate into an extra $1,479 per year for the average middle-class household, whether or not that household includes union members, according to a Sept. 12 report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

States with higher levels of collective bargaining have lower poverty levels, higher average incomes, lower workplace deaths and higher pension and health insurance coverage for all workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Corporate special interests want to take these basic rights away. They hide behind shadowy front groups so working families won’t know who is bankrolling the millions of dollars of ads attacking Proposal 2.

These secretive front groups have refused to accept a challenge from to reveal their funding sources so working families will know is trying to silence their voice to collectively bargain. Special interests know that collective bargaining levels the playing field between CEOs and working families to negotiate over workplace issues, keeping jobs in Michigan and Michiganders employed.

Secretive, Well-funded Corporate Special Interests Release Dubious Attack Ad

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, a shadowy front group for corporate special interests, has released another attack ad intended to scare Michigan voters with lies, fear mongering and misleading information.

“The claims in this ad are false,” said Lynn Jondahl, a former state legislator who also served as the chair of the State of Michigan Board of Ethics.  ”Proposal 2 does not change the current prohibition on teacher and public school employee strikes, nor does it change current law regarding safety certificates for school bus drivers, which leave that responsibility in the hands of elected school boards.”

Collective bargaining gives teachers a voice to negotiate for smaller class sizes so they can better educate our kids, time to complete ongoing training required by law and a say on policies that affect their students.  Student learning conditions are often improved by collective bargaining.

The 30-second ad makes a host of false claims about Proposal 2 to protect collective bargaining, including that the proposal would make it legal for teachers to strike, negatively impact bus driver safety standards and drive up pension and healthcare costs for taxpayers.

These claims are lies.

The Proposal 2 amendment language states, ““No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall abridge, impair or limit the foregoing rights; provided that the State may prohibit or restrict strikes by employees of the State and its political subdivisions.”

A recent press release from the same shadowy front group received a “foul” rating from the Center for Michigan’s Truth Squad for stating that “School bus drivers would no longer be legally required to have safety training.”

“The Pupil Transportation Act requires school bus drivers to complete safety training courses. … (S)chool boards are responsible for the safety of children getting to and from school,” the Truth Squad stated.

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution insists on recycling claims that have been proven false in order to scare and mislead voters.

Corporate special interests hide behind shadowy front groups like this one to launch $10.2 million of attack ads against Michigan’s working families without fear of discovery.

A loophole in Michigan’s Campaign Finance Law lets these groups off the hook from reporting their finances. The groups have refused to answer a challenge from the Protect Working Families campaign to reveal who is bankrolling them.

New Advertisement Shows How Collective Bargaining Helps Nurses Save Lives

In a new 30-second ad, the Protect Working Families campaign shows how collective bargaining helps nurses save lives.

Collective bargaining gives nurses a voice to speak up to improve patient care without fear of being fired or facing other retribution.  It also puts nurses and management at the same level during negotiations so meaningful improvements to care can be instituted.

The ad features Mary Ann Beauchamp-Sayraf, a nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital. In the ad, she says:

“Nurses work hard at a stressful job, because we care about helping people get better.

But when hospitals won’t put enough of us on duty, that puts patients in danger.

With collective bargaining we can negotiate with employers on these safety issues.

If politicians take collective bargaining away, nurses who speak up for their patients can be fired.”

Nurses fight for safe staffing levels using collective bargaining. They also can use collective bargaining to negotiate for ongoing training and the time needed to complete that training.

Staffing levels can dip without collective bargaining, impacting patient care. Assigning additional patients to a nurse increases the likelihood of a patient dying within 30 days of admission by 7 percent, according to a 2002 American Journal of Medicine report.

Corporate special interests want to take away the right of nurses and other frontline safety professionals to collectively bargain as corporate bosses look to squeeze out every bit of profit for themselves.

Proposal 2 on Nov. 2 helps nurses save lives by allowing them to have a say in fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

For more information, please visit .

The Protect Working Families campaign released its third advertisement today called “Protect.” It refutes false claims by corporate special interests that the campaign’s ballot proposal to preserve collective bargaining will force people to join a union.

There is no language in the proposal requiring people to join a union. The state’s constitution was amended in 1939 to make it illegal to force someone to join a union. Public workers in Michigan have been able to collectively bargain since 1965, when the Public Employment Relations Act was amended.

In the 30-second ad, everyday citizens talk about collective bargaining and how it helps them. They also dispel falsehoods being spread about the proposal.

The ad says:

The collective bargaining proposal doesn’t add any rights workers don’t already have. It doesn’t force people to join unions.

 It doesn’t put a single worker in a union who isn’t already in one. It doesn’t require anyone to pay dues.

Collective bargaining simply prevents those who want to eliminate working people’s rights from being able to do it. Collective bargaining for wages, benefits and pensions is an American right.

Protect it. Vote yes for Proposal 2.”

Corporate special interests tried to influence Lansing politicians and pressure the courts to deny Michigan’s working families their right to vote on the proposal. But the courts affirmed that the proposal met all legal requirements, putting it on the Nov. 6 ballot.  Now, corporate special interests will spend millions to mislead voters about the proposal.

Collective bargaining gives working families a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions that are good for us all.

For example, the UAW helped save Michigan’s auto industry because employers and employees negotiated to lower costs for manufacturers, while also ensuring that Michigan factories stayed open and jobs were brought back from overseas.

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Today, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge from corporate special interests to block a vote on a proposal that preserves collective bargaining for working families.

The initiative will remain on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“Collective bargaining is a basic right for working families,” said Angelique Peterson a member of UAW Local 245 in Dearborn. “We will fight for it and win in November.”

Corporate special interests pushed Lansing politicians to pressure the court leading up to today’s decision. But there was no legal reason to deny people the opportunity to vote on the proposal.

The Court of Appeals ordered the Board of State Canvassers to put the proposal on the ballot after the board deadlocked on the action.

The campaign collected nearly 700,000 signatures and the Secretary of State validated that more than enough valid signatures were submitted to put the proposal on the ballot.

Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette took the unprecedented action of requesting the Court of Appeals deny citizens the right to vote on the proposal.

“Corporate special interests have spent millions and will spend millions more to mislead voters and silence our voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that benefit us all,” said Cheryl Weston, a 31-year nurse who works at McLaren Lapeer Region Medical Center. “We will not be silenced and as nurses, we will continue to advocate for patients.”

Corporate special interests have released another false advertisement about collective bargaining that attacks Michigan’s working families

According to time reserved at television and radio stations, Protecting Michigan’s Taxpayers purchased $735,569 worth of advertisements ($185k on radio; $484k on TV and $67k on cable) that will air from Aug. 31 to Sept. 9th.

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution has spent or reserved a total of $6.45 million on ads opposing the proposal in August, September and October. Protecting Michigan’s Taxpayers spent or will spend $1.73 million on ads to fight the proposal that also ran this month and are scheduled to air in September and October.

Protecting Michigan’s Taxpayers is a spinoff group using the same misleading tactics as the West Michigan Policy Forum. These front groups, along with Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, have refused to disclose their funding sources, in an effort to hide their backing by corporate special interests.

These corporate special interests, which include the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, have vowed to do whatever it takes to defeat the proposal.  The chamber has filed a challenge with the Michigan Supreme Court asking the justices to block a vote on the proposal. The court will hear oral arguments today.

A website was launched in support of letting Michigan voters decide the question of collective bargaining at  where everyday people are standing up against corporate special interests.

In the ad, the Protect Working Families campaign is accused of tinkering with the constitution. The truth is the constitution is the people’s document. There have been four in the state’s history and it has been amended 171 times and the people deserve a chance to vote for fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions.

The ad misleads about the proposal, claiming it will increase pensions and benefits and taxpayers will have to pay for it. The proposal simply protects the right to collectively bargain and does not contain any language about pay raises or increases to pensions or other benefits. Moreover, in Michigan, public employees have the statutory right to collectively bargain.


Today, the Protect Working Families campaign announced that more than 500 small business owners across Michigan support the right of working families to collectively bargain.

“Michigan’s working families are the backbone of my business,” said Torry Banks, owner of Art of Rugs in Detroit. “When they can negotiate a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, it improves my bottom line.”

But corporate special interests have asked the Michigan Supreme Court to block a vote on it and are pushing Lansing politicians to pressure the courts to keep the proposal off the ballot.

“Customers at small mom and pop shops like mine are like me — neighbors, friends and family members,” said Annette Pratt, co-owner of Flour Uprising in Mount Pleasant. “They keep my doors open and I support their right to collectively bargain.”

Small businesses feel the pinch when corporate special interests ship jobs overseas.

“Collective bargaining lifts wages for everyone and when working families have more income, they spend it at small businesses in their communities,” said Mary Apps, owner of Fraser Flower and Gifts. “That helps us invest in our businesses and the surrounding community, strengthening our ties.”

The State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday. The Michigan Court of Appeals this week ordered the Board of State Canvassers to place the proposal on the ballot, which the board did.

Collective bargaining gives Michigan working families a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that are good for us all.

For the full list of businesses, click here .