Ballot measure will protect Michigan bargaining rights

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Nearly 685,000 Michigan voters signed a petition that was submitted to the Secretary of State on June 13 in support of a constitutional amendment to protect people's right to negotiate for fair wages and benefits. The 684,286 signatures submitted is more than double the state requirement for the measure to appear on the November ballot.

AFT Michigan members were active in the effort to gather signatures, which attracted more than 41,000 volunteers throughout the state. The signatures submitted reflect the support of a broad cross section of Michigan voters, from young people to senior citizens, and including Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

"Collective bargaining helps teachers keep our class sizes small and focus on educating our kids," says volunteer Eve Ratliff, a speech pathologist in Macomb. "Nothing is more important than that."

"Collective bargaining lifts up all workers and businesses," says Nayyirah Shariff, a Flint small-business owner. "Everyone benefits when management and workers can come together and negotiate."

The Protect Our Jobs initiative was launched in March 2012 to safeguard the collective bargaining rights of workers as part of the Michigan Constitution. The petitions will now be certified by the Michigan Secretary of State Bureau of Elections so the measure can be formally added to the November ballot. [Project Our Jobs]

June 14, 2012