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

Free Press Refuses to Hear From Prop 2 Supporters

The Detroit Free Press announced their ballot proposal endorsements today.  The editorial board is urging a NO vote on Proposal 2 even though THEY REFUSED to meet with the supporters of collective bargaining rights before making their decision.

On Friday, Yes on 2 to Protect Collective Bargaining delivered a letter to the publisher, signed by a nurse, a firefighter, a teacher, an auto worker and Protect Working Families Chair Karla Swift expressing disapproval over the fact that working families were shut out of the process.  As the letter said:

The coalition that has been built to support Proposal 2 to Protect Collective Bargaining represents millions of Michigan citizens who will be rightfully outraged that your publication declined repeated requests to allow working families to appear before your editorial staff to make our case for supporting collective bargaining. 

And today’s endorsement shows the danger of making endorsements without getting the facts.  The Freep got it wrong:

Freep said: “Proposal 2 would handcuff local and state governments in their dealings with public employees.”

Here’s the truth:

In ruling to put Proposal 2 on the ballot, the Michigan Appeals Court said, “Presuming the people of the State of Michigan enact the proposed initiative, the Legislature would remain empowered to ‘enact laws relative to the hours and conditions of employment,’ and indeed, the bare fact that employees of the State would have the right to collectively bargain does not in any way force the legislature to enact, or decline to enact, any laws whatsoever.”

Freep said:  “Even criminal background checks for teachers or drug testing for cops and firefighters would be subject to bargaining.”

Here’s the truth:

Federal and state criminal law requires background checks for teachers and other school officials, and those laws are not subject to bargaining.  Licensing requirements for cops and other public safety officers also fall outside of the collective bargaining process.

Freep said:  “Michigan just can’t afford those kinds of limitations in an era when debt from pension and health obligations to current and retired employees are pushing many local governments to the brink of insolvency.”

Here’s the truth:

According to a comprehensive study published by Cambridge University Press, states that allow collective bargaining for public employees have smaller budget gaps than states that ban it.  States which allow collective bargaining for public employees also spend slightly less on wages and benefits as a percentage of total state expenditures than states which do not bargain.

According to a comprehensive study by Fisk and Olney, states with collective bargaining for public employees have better pension plan funding ratios than states without bargaining.

The Free Press doesn’t have the facts or a willingness to hear the voice of millions of working families.  Proposal 2 protects collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining keeps us safe and gives workers a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and pensions.  Lansing politicians continue to attack the fundamental right to have a voice in the workplace even as corporate CEOs are making millions in salary and bonuses, while the people who actually do the work have seen their wages cut.


Watch videos on the truth about Proposal 2 .