In three weeks voters in Michigan will have to decide whether to include collective bargaining rights in their state constitution. It is one of the most controversial items on the ballot and could have a major impact on Michigan.
Here is what voters will see on the ballot:
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION
REGARDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
This proposal would:
-Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.
-Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees' financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
-Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.
-Define "employer" as a person or entity employing one or more employees.
Should this proposal be approved?
Melissa Clapper taught elementary school in Berrien Springs for 25 years.
"You come in with a passion because you think you have something to offer," says Clapper.
Now that she is retired, she is still teaching, but in a different capacity.
"Collectively bargaining helps set the standards for our children," says Clapper as she sits in the Education Association office in Berrien Springs.
Clapper is an activist now. She is trying to spread the word about Proposal 2 -- which would put collective bargaining rights in Michigan's state constitution.
Clapper and other supporters of Proposal 2 in Michigan say there has been a a strong effort across the country and the state to limit collective bargaining. They believe this is also an effort to weaken unions. This proposal is in response to that.
"For years people have bargained in good faith with each other," says Clapper, "were there issues at times? Sure there were issues at times, but people always sat down and discussed things."
Clapper says, if this proposal doesn't pass, public and private workers in the state could lose rights that protect them.
"It is really a dangerous and unprecedented power grab by government unions," says Wendy Block, the director of health policy and human resources for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has come out against the proposal saying if it passes it would be a step back for the state. Block believes the proposal would end up costing the state a lot of money because it would wipe out cost saving reforms and end up giving unions the constitutional power to nullify a broad range of laws.
"We are trying to get the word out about how dangerous this is -- how unprecedented it is and how it really would tie the hands of state and local lawmakers to control their budgets," says Block.
Proposal 2 is one of 6 constitutional proposals voters in Michigan will have to decide on.
See all of them here: