Michigan’s ballot Proposal 2 is probably the greatest assault on jobs reform — make that future employment possibilities in Michigan — of several “special interest only” efforts to alter Michigan’s constitution.
It’s a blatant attempt to block the ability of future Legislatures to make needed decisions affecting life in Michigan.
The “Protect our Jobs” or “Protect our Families” proposed amendment to the constitution would not only dampen Michigan’s financial ability to hire more public safety employees and teachers; it could wipe out considerable legislation already on the books, including laws relative to the screening of pedophiles from teaching in public schools and the ban on teacher and public safety strikes. The fiscal instability alone is hardly what we need in these times.
Proposal 2 changes Michigan’s constitution to enhance the collective bargaining strength of unions and prevents Michigan from becoming a right to work state. However, the real issue is not about “right-to-work” or union shop. The proposal allows for the wipeout of years of labor legislation unions want to eliminate with this constitutional re-write. The resulting legal battles would add even more costs to the taxpayers.
At stake is many billions of taxpayer dollars here, including the overturn of more than $1 billion dollars in public employee entitlement reforms. Proponents of Proposal 2 have spent upward of $10 million on this campaign.
We, as a nation and a state, are still far from solving the serious economic challenges and financial deficiencies in our economy. “Protect our Jobs” is a misnomer … it would erase economic reforms that have already been achieved and work to limit money for new jobs. Existing jobs will continue to be at risk if communities can’t raise the taxes to support union demands. Without these reforms, we could run out of money to pay for health care and pension plans already earned and being paid.
The express purpose of Proposal 2 is to separate and shield Michigan’s public employees and their unions from the authority of Michigan’s Legislature and other elected officials, and the fiscal reforms deemed necessary for the good of the general population.
We support a “no” vote on Proposal 2.
Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.