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.

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here is the TRUTH!!

I have spoken to many of you in the last few days who are horrified that educators, both teachers and other educational employees, are being villified by the newest commercial on TV.  You know the one.....the one that says if Proposal 2  passes the unions will bargain to have felons working with kids!  You know as well as I do, that isn't going to happen.  These ads are outright lies.

While the MEA and other organizations are working to get the networks to pull these low level, outrageous lies from the airwaves, there is a brand new commercial that will be aired that is funded by "Protect Working Families".  It features law enforcement officers that address the lies being told by the anti-proposal 2 campaign.

Please watch the video below and then, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH YOUR good friends, and perhaps even with your not-so-good friends.  POST IT on your FACEBOOK account!!!

This is our way to fight back against the lies that are being perpetuated about those who work every day in our profession!