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.