Ballot Proposal 2: Guaranteeing collective bargaining in Michigan Constitution

Proposal 12-02 asks Michigan voters to amend the state constitution regarding collective bargaining for private and public employees.

Currently, private employees are guaranteed the right to collective bargaining under the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Public employees in Michigan, including state and local government employees, public school teachers and university staff are not covered by NLRA. They are covered by state statute – Public Employees Relations Act (PERA) which has more limitations than the federal law that governs private employees. The Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “powers not delegated to the U.S. or prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved to the states.” This gives state and local governments the authority to make laws regulating the relationship between employees and the government entity for which they work.

The Civil Service Commission acts as the liaison between civil service employees and their employers. The commission makes work rules and conditions for civil service workers. They also have the authority to approve, modify or reject negotiated agreements prior to their taking effect.

Michigan State University Extension has prepared a bulletin that provides Michigan residents with non-partisan, objective information about all of the statewide ballot proposals. Download the free bulletin, GE49 “Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012” from the MSU Extension Bookstore.

Proposal 2012-02, if passed, would:

  • Amend the Michigan Constitution to guarantee the right to form unions and negotiate contracts to public and private employees in the areas of wages, hours and conditions of work
  • Invalidate any existing or future state or local laws that impede joining a union, bargaining collectively or negotiating and enforcing collective bargaining agreements
  • Override any state laws that currently regulate work hours or conditions to the extent they conflict with collective bargaining agreements
  • Define an employer as any person or entity employing one or more employees
  • Not prohibit public employees from striking

A “Yes” vote will amend the state constitution by amending Section 28 of Article I and amend Section 5 of Article XI to include the above provisions.

A “No” vote  will leave current laws in place that set collective bargaining parameters for local governments, school districts and higher education institutions.

For more information on this and the other proposals, read Michigan State University Extension’s bulletin, Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012, to learn more about the issue and supporting and opposing arguments for this and the other issues on the November ballot.

Additional information also can be obtained from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

You can also read more MSU Extension News articles on: Proposal 1, Proposal 3, Proposal 4, Proposal 5 and Proposal 6.

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