Michigan Supreme Court sides with collective bargaining ballot supporters


by Félix Pérez

Game on! The Michigan Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday that voters have the right to decide a ballot proposal this November that would enshrine collective bargaining in the state’s constitution.

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The court said the 700,000 teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters and members of working families who signed petitions met every legal requirement for placing the proposal on the ballot.

“This is truly a victory for working families, union members and the voters of Michigan. There’s only one challenge left for us — getting out the vote in November,” said the Michigan Education Association, which represents more than 157,000 teachers, faculty and education support staff.

Protect Working Families, in a statement, said, “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 ruling represents a significant loss for Governor Rick Snyder and State Attorney General Bill Schuette, who, along with business interests, have a led a high-profile campaign to derail the proposal.

The Supreme Court affirmed a ruling last month by the state Court of Appeals. The state Board of Canvassers, which had voted along party lines to keep the proposal off the ballot, is expected to certify the proposal tomorrow, the last day it can do so.

At stake, say ballot proponents, is the right of educators to advocate for smaller class sizes and better learning environments for students, nurses to negotiate for safer hospital conditions, and police to bargain for more effective patrols.

Reader Comments

  1. Marie the last thing you want is a union. Do you want to have to PAY someone else to have a job? Do you want to watch a bunch of drunks and dopers stumble around your workplace without any consequences? Do you want to work along side of someone who shows up for work late or not at all on a regular basis and still keeps a job? Do you want to pay some FAT CAT union boss over $400,000.00 per year out of your pocket so you can keep a job? If you think you’d like all this then by all means try and join a union or form one on your own.
    I’m like most people I want to recognized for hard work and effort by having my employer pay me more. But usually the people who want a union are usually the very lazy type to begin with. So make a choice you can remain an individual under your own self control or you can be a mind numbed robot and join a union. I’m willing to bet that if you do get a union you’ll regret it in 5 years or less or your union will put your company out of business and ultimately put you out of a job.
    Unions are the epitome of greed and slovenliness, don’t be fooled by them.

  2. WELL MARIE , if you ever get to own a company you will want to be able to fire at your discretion, if you are a good worker do your job properly most likely you will never be fired, unions have a way of making people lazy and then protect them, you are lucky to live in a great state

  3. This is fantastic news. And I am proud to have knocked on doors with sisters and brothers in Detroit in support of this collective bargaining proposal while at the AFT convention last July. On to November!

  4. How can we get collective bargaining in NC. There are no unions. Twachers that protested in Raleigh in the late ’90 were photographed and not given their step up raise the next year. That scared everyone from voicing their opinions about anything. Now they’re trying to tie test scores to raises and soon hiring will be tied to test scores. Kids get board with reading and bubbling in and then just fake it. I know because up until 5th grade I did that. It was in 6th grade that I realized that the track I was in was determined what I scored on the Iowa’s the previous spring. Now kids are not tracked so what is the incentive for them to try their best.
    There is even a law here that employees can just be fired at the bosses discretion and it can’t even go to court. A friend of mines husband is an electrician. For no fault of his own, and he had seniority, he was fired so somebody that was higher up then him got his brother-in-law the job. You work here at the pleasure of your employer.

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