Politics

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia in the WSJ on Big Labor's Big Battle in Michigan

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After losing Indiana, Wisconsin and earning fresh notoriety in Chicago, labor unions have made Michigan the new

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Ground Zero. They are pushing a constitutional amendment called Protect Our Jobs (and Kill Yours, presumably) in the November elections that, if approved, will give them more powers than the elected legislature, notes Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in the Wall Street Journal this morning. She points out:

The amendment says that no "existing or future laws shall abridge, impair or limit" the collective-bargaining rights of Michigan workers…That may sound innocuous, but…the amendment would hand a broad mandate to unions to challenge virtually any law they don't like.

Thanks to media leaks, we know that already the Michigan Education Association has drawn up an internal wish list of all the laws it will challenge if the initiative passes. The targets include a cap on the health-care benefits of teachers, and reforms to teacher tenure that recently enabled schools to promote teachers based on merit rather than seniority alone. But what's really exciting the teachers union is the prospect of killing "interdistrict or intradistrict open enrollment opportunities"—which would otherwise promote some competition in education…"

Read the whole thing here.