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DETROIT -- The Michigan Court of Appeals today affirmed the right of working families to vote on a proposal to preserve collective bargaining.
The initiative now will be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.
“It’s a major victory for working people,” said Karen Kuciel, a Warren Consolidated Schools teacher. “Collective bargaining will be on the ballot for a vote. Now we must overcome the corporate special interests at the ballot box to ensure we have a voice for fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions for all of us.”
Corporate special interests pushed Lansing politicians to pressure the court leading up to today’s decision. But there was no legal reason to deny people the opportunity to vote on the proposal.
The campaign collected nearly 700,000 signatures. The Secretary of State validated that more than enough valid signatures were submitted to put the proposal on the ballot.
The campaign was forced to go to court after the Board of State Canvassers declined to place the proposal on the ballot, even though the board previously and unanimously approved it in March. The board deadlocked along party lines as its two Republican members discussed Attorney General Bill Schuette’s opinion as a reason to oppose it.
Attorney General Schuette’s opinion is faulty and politically motivated. In an unprecedented move, Gov. Rick Snyder filed a brief in support of Schuette’s opinion with the Court of Appeals.
No Michigan governor or attorney general has ever taken such drastic action to prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote.
Michigan citizens have voted on similar basic constitutional laws in recent years, including amendments dealing with stem cell research, affirmative action and the definition of marriage.
This initiative is no different. The proposal adds one new section to the constitution and amends another.
Michigan’s constitution is the people’s document. There have been four constitutions in the state’s history and it has been amended 171 times.
Collective bargaining gives working families a voice to negotiate for good wages, benefits and working conditions that are good for us all.
Collective bargaining gives firefighters and police the ability to negotiate for life-saving equipment, protects nurses who speak up about a patient’s care and fights for the small class sizes teachers need to best educate our children.
Small business owners, the faith-based community and hundreds of elected officials support the rights of working families to vote on having a voice in their workplace.