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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  • by Dave Location: East Lansing on Sep 19, 2012 at 07:48 PM
    I'm surprised that we have added a platform to such blatant misinformation given by Mr. De Leeuw. I can appreciate a good debate, but not out right dishonesty. Read Prop 2...it doesn't allow for striking or eliminate the penalties imposed. Was not happy to see this report on TV as it lends a lift to dishonesty. Here's the real language: PROPOSAL 12-2 A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING This proposal would: · Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions. · Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees' financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking. · Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements. · Define "employer" as a person or entity employing one or more employees. Should this proposal be approved?
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