Thursday, October 18, 2012

Michigan Parent Teacher Association Endorses Prop 2

A REPRINT FROM Today's mailing from the American Federation of Teachers

Today, Proposal 2 to Protect Collective Bargaining is announcing the support of the Michigan Parent Teacher Association.

“When teachers have the right to collectively bargain, they use their voice to fight for what's right for our school children," said Michigan PTA President Shaton Berry. “Teachers bargain for training, smaller class sizes, and the materials they need to keep kids safe and to improve educational outcomes. As the voice of parents across our state, we support collective bargaining.”

The Michigan PTA is part of the National PTA, which counts 60,000 people as members. For nearly 100 years, PTAs have been a resource for parents, an advocate for public education, and a powerful voice for children.

“Our communities lose when we remove the voice of teachers and other respected public servants like firefighters, police, and nurses, who bargain for working conditions that keep children and families safe,” said Michigan PTA President Elect Teresa Marhofer.

Collective bargaining gives Michigan’s working families a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that are good for us all. It gives firefighters and police officers a voice to negotiate for life-saving equipment and protects nurses who speak up about a patient’s care.

But corporate special interests are trying to silence the voices of working families. Corporate bosses hide behind shadowy front groups to purchase or reserve more than $22 million in ads attacking collective bargaining that are riddled with lies, misleading information and fear mongering.

“The scare tactics Proposal 2’s opponents are using on Michigan’s voters are frankly, offensive,” Berry said. “The idea that Proposal 2 would make it harder to remove felons or sex offenders from our classrooms is a complete lie and the Michigan Court of Appeals agrees that Proposal 2 does not impact school safety. No teacher, school board member or superintendent wants to protect felons or sexual predators, nor would they ever attempt to do so at the bargaining table.”

The PTA joins a growing list of child advocates, law enforcement professionals and elected officials to condemn the false ads against collective bargaining and working families. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith and former Governor Jennifer Granholm, who enacted legislation to protect school children while she was in office, have also called the ads lies.