LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Supreme Court this week approved Big Labor’s “Protect Our Jobs” ballot initiative that would enshrine collective bargaining in the state’s constitution – a power grab to elevate labor agreements above state and local laws.
F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy for the Mackinaw Center for Public Policy, said the ruling means Michigan voters will now have to make a critical decision in November.
“Do they want to give union officials more power than legislators and local elected officials, or do they want to move ahead with reforms that could keep Michigan on the path to recovery?” Vernuccio said in a news release Wednesday.
If voters adopt the measure, they will effectively repeal (in part or whole) about 170 Michigan laws, the Mackinac Center reports. That would certainly put the state’s public schools in a doomsday situation.
Gov. Rick Snyder and state legislators have enacted a series of promising laws in recent years designed to curb the destructive influence of teachers unions in public schools. They have also required public employees, including teachers, to contribute more toward their own health insurance and pension costs.
If the”Protect Our Jobs” proposal passes, many of those laws could be voided through mandatory collective bargaining in many school districts.
In other words, the state would return to its ugly tradition of putting union labor demands ahead of the welfare of students and taxpayers. It would take school districts back to the days when labor officials demanded teacher layoffs to fund massive retirement payouts, and it would ensure the old way of doing business continues indefinitely.
But as virtually any Michigan school leader can attest, the old way of doing business is simply unsustainable. Public schools must be able to control labor costs if they have any hope of a financially stable future.
The unions are attempting to bamboozle the public into believing they’re working to “Protect Our Jobs,” but in reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. They’re really seeking the constitutional right to once again raid school treasuries through “collective bullying.” In November we’ll know if voters approve of that idea or not.