Public Unions

MI Public Unions Seek Constitutional Protection

Making an end-run around ticked-off taxpayers


Labor unions in Michigan have escaped the broad-based attacks their neighbors in Wisconsin and Ohio have experienced in the past couple of years. Michigan's public sector unions still have the right to bargain collectively with their employers about the terms and conditions of their employment. There is no immediate prospect of a statewide "right-to-work" measure making it illegal to impose union fees as a condition of employment.

But Michigan unions, which remain a formidable force in state and local politics, are going on the offensive in an effort to make sure things stay that way. A measure on the November 6 ballot, Proposal 2, would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution and invalidate all past and future laws that restrict those rights. The most recent polling shows a close division, with 48 percent of voters in favor of the proposal and 43 percent against, according to the firm EPIC-MRA. A yes vote could embolden unions to pursue a similar strategy in other states where union support is relatively strong.

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  1. Although they lack the political will, what’s to stop the legislature from just dissolving any problem department completely, and then creating a new department that fulfills a similar role but with all new employees, and with old employees (other than management) banned from consideration. Exercise the nuclear option a couple of times, and the unions may rein in their bullshit.

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