There are a lot of myths and rumors going around about Proposal 2. It’s important to know the facts before you go to the polls. Here are a few of the biggest myths — along with the facts about Proposal 2.
Myth: Proposal 2 isn’t about collective bargaining
Fact: Actually, Proposal 2 is only about collective bargaining. Opponents have spent $22 million to try to confuse voters. The amendment is clear. It protects the right to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that benefit us all. A Yes vote protects this basic right.
Myth: Collective bargaining doesn’t belong in the constitution.
Fact: First of all, four states have collective bargaining in their state constitution — Missouri, Florida, Hawaii and New Jersey. In addition, Proposal G was on the November 1978 ballot as an initiated constitutional amendment and was approved by voters. Proposal G gave Michigan state troopers and sergeants the right to collective bargaining and binding arbitration. That’s right — collective bargaining (albeit, for a select group of workers) is ALREADY in the Michigan Constitution.
Myth: Proposal 2 would handcuff local and state governments in their dealings with public employees.
Fact: 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.”
Myth: Proposal 2 would mean the end of criminal background checks for teachers or drug testing for cops and firefighters.
Fact: Proposal 2 does nothing to change these laws. 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.
Myth: Michigan can’t afford Proposal 2.
Fact: 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.
You can stay up-to-date on the Protect Working Families campaign by “liking” their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/protectworkingfamilies and following the campaign on Twitter @ProtectMIJobs.
And vote Yes on Proposal 2 on Nov. 6.