Friday, October 12, 2012

With all the negative ads out there regarding Proposal 2, I believe the record continues to need to be addressed by the rest of us.  A colleague of mine in Birmingham wrote the letter below to the BEA staff.  I thought it was excellent and want to pass it on to you.  In turn, please pass it on and speak to your friends, family, and children about this.  The strength of our word is what will mean the most in this election!


Many teachers have been asking about the ads against Proposal 2 on television and the radio. These ads amount to nothing more that blatant scare tactics and outright lies. All the issues discussed in the ads are not subject to collective bargaining, and nothing about Proposal 2 changes this.

·         Strikes by public employees in Michigan are illegal (PA 336; 1947). Proposal 2 reaffirms the authority of the state to enact laws prohibiting strikes by by specifically stating so in the amendment. We will not witness scenes from Chicago played out in Michigan, nor will we see police or fire fighters placing public safety at risk by striking as ads alleged.
·        Criminal background checks for public employees, especially school staff, are non-negotiable. They are required by state law (PA 45;1976). 

·         Dismissal of convicted criminals from public education is required by state law (PA 129-131 and 138l 2005). This is not effected by Prop 2. 

In short, Proposal 2 has no impact on any of these legal safeguards.
Media outlets have a moral obligation to refuse to run ads that cross the line between informing and blatantly panicking the voting public. Click the link below to contact television stations in Michigan and tell them to stop running these ads.
The best response to these ads is for every member to talk with their friends, family members and neighbors about Prop 2. Tell them how collective bargaining protects working families by providing a voice for all workers. Tell them how collective bargaining helps nurses, firefighters and police improve public safety by enabling them to bargain staffing, training and safety standards. Tell them how collective bargaining helps improve education when teachers and support professionals bargain working conditions that become the students’ learning conditions.
Voters will believe an ad, no matter how outrageous, until someone they know and trust tells them differently. Two conflicting ads usually cause voters to be confused, and when they are confused, they will usually vote against an issue. However, they will believe someone they trust. It is up to all of us to get the truth out.
Scott Warrow
Birmingham EA President