October 1, 2012
Proposal 2 Question
Question: Explain to me how opponents of Proposal 2 determine that the proposal will make buses unsafe and schools unable to fire felons as claimed in recent ads.
Proposal 2 says that “No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall abridge, impair or limit the foregoing rights to organize together to form, join or assist labor organizations, and to bargain collectively with a public or private employer through an exclusive representative of the employees’ choosing].” “No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall impair, restrict or limit the negotiation and enforcement of any collectively bargained agreement with a public or private employer respecting financial support by employees of their collective bargaining representative according to the terms of that agreement.” In light of actions in Michigan and other states that are either adverse to the process of collective bargaining or limit the subjects of collective bargaining, it is expected that this proposal would remove any limitations and ensure that no actions are taken that are adverse to collective bargaining in Michigan.
Based on these provisions, opponents of Proposal 2 have been examining the laws to identify provisions that would/could be nullified with adoption of this proposed constitutional amendment. For the sake of their political spots, they have taken some of the extreme possibilities to make their point.
Laws were enacted setting higher standards for school bus drivers or limiting the ability of convicted felons to be employed in public schools. Prior to their enactment, school districts had the discretion to take actions relative to those subjects. By default they could be collectively bargained in contract negotiations during this time. Once laws were enacted on these subjects, they were no longer issues that could be raised in contract negotiations through collective bargaining.
If Proposal 2 is adopted, there will need to be a method for identifying laws that fall under those provisions. I think it is unlikely that laws (or sections of laws) would be nullified wholesale. It is more likely that laws (or sections of laws) will be nullified only when it is broached as a subject of collective bargaining, one party objects, and the issue is taken to court where a judge says that the constitutional amendment created by Proposal 2 of 2012 prevails and the laws are nullified.
Those subjects could then be the subject of collective bargaining. Would a school district agree to including these provisions in a collectively bargained agreement?
The claims of the opponents are probably a stretch, but they seemed to have served the purpose of getting your attention.