Teacher Strikes Still Illegal Under Prop 2

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Thousands of teachers already hit the picket line in Chicago and some say a scene like it could show up in Michigan if Proposal 2 passes in November.

"I've seen what's happening in Chicago. It's scary and I think Michigan kids deserve better than that...Until we passed laws in the state that established fines for school employees walking out on their classrooms, teacher strikes were an annual occurrence here in the state," said Nick De Leeuw, spokesperson for Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, the group against the union-backed collective bargaining initiative.

He then pointed to an internal memo that leaked from the Michigan Education Association (MEA).

"Which says if Prop 2 passes this fall the Michigan Constitution would give teachers' unions the power to override those fines," said De Leeuw.

MEA argues that's not what the memo says and that their message is being twisted.

"At any point you find the legislature where they have stepped in and said you can no longer discuss these issues at the bargaining table, this law would overturn that," said Steven Cook, President of MEA.

Cook says penalties for teachers on strike was never a bargaining topic, meaning Prop 2 also won't have power to make it one.

"That's the purview of the legislature and they would have the right to continue that."

According to Cook, the purpose of Prop 2 will restore but won't extend union power.

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