To the Journal editor:
As a teacher and union member, I am voting yes on Proposal 2. Public education has been hit hard by policies enacted by our current Legislature in Lansing.
In addition to robbing the School Aid Fund and making cuts that have slashed programs for students, there has been an attack on the people who provide educational services.
These attacks have taken the form of laws directly aimed at stripping collective bargaining rights from public school employees.
It is because of attacks like these that over 700,000 people signed a petition to get Proposal 2 on the ballot and amend our Michigan constitution to protect the rights of the people to organize and collectively bargain a contract, a right that has been in our Constitution for Michigan state troopers since they passed a similar proposal in 1978.
Why vote yes on Proposal 2?
If you are a small business owner, you will benefit from a stronger economy. Unions built the middle class. The middle class stabilizes the economy. When people have money to spend, they will spend it in your business.
If you are a parent, vote yes for Proposal 2. Teachers' working conditions are your child's learning conditions. Reducing the salaries and benefits of school employees will discourage the best teachers and support staff from working with your kids.
If you are a member of a working family, vote yes for Proposal 2. If you don't belong to a union, the standards set by those who work under collective bargaining agreements have raised your wages and benefits. In addition, the dollars of union workers have supported the business or company for which you work.
If you are a health care provider, or work for one, vote yes on Proposal 2. Teachers' unions, for example, have negotiated health benefits in lieu of salary increases for years. You have benefited from the negotiated health insurance of unions.
I am getting towards the end of my career as a public school teacher in Michigan. I want there to be competition for my job when I retire. I want my students to have a shot at decent-paying jobs with benefits, safety standards and good working conditions.
Support working families. Vote yes on Proposal 2.