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Tele-Press Conference to Demand Deceitful New Ad be Taken Off the Air

Protect Working Families, 9/27/12

Secretive Front Groups Won’t Let the Truth Slow Attack

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution’s latest ad lies to attack Proposal 2. The 30-second ad falsely claims that Proposal 2 will block schools from removing employees with criminal backgrounds and remove safety standards for school bus drivers.

“The last thing we need is parents worrying about the lies in this ad,” said Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. “Proposal 2 won’t make it harder to protect our kids.  Collective bargaining actually helps law enforcement keep our schools and our communities safe.”

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.  The lies spread by these shadow groups won’t pass muster in the light of day,” says labor and employment lawyer Michael Lee.

According to Lee, “Under the Revised School Code of Michigan, all current teachers and newly hired teachers receive background checks conducted by the Michigan State Police and the FBI. Prop 2 doesn’t change that. If an employee of a public school is charged with a crime, disclosure to the Superintendent of the district is required under the Pupil Protection Act.  Prop 2 does not change that either. If a school employee is convicted of a crime, the due process and legal prosecution is not affected by Prop 2.”

The claim that Prop 2 would eliminate safety standards for school bus drivers has already received a “foul” from The Center for Michigan’s independent Truth Squad.

Federal and State of Michigan law make clear that this claim is false.  Labor organizations do not and cannot bargain about the licensing requirements under federal and state law.

“School employees cannot drive school busses unless they have a CDL-S drivers license (Commercial Drivers License with S endorsement). Bus drivers must pass a safety skills test and meet other requirements to obtain a CDL-S license. The CDL-S school bus drivers license is required under federal law, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, and is administered by the State of Michigan,” says Andy Nickelhoff, lawyer for the Protect Working Families campaign.  “The ad is false, plain and simple.”

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution is a shadowy front group that refuses to reveal who is bankrolling its efforts.  Corporate special interests hide behind these shadowy groups to attack working families without fear of discovery. These groups must immediately disclose their funding source.

Corporate special interests have already spent $10.2 million to attack collective bargaining and have pledged to spend millions more. These corporate bosses want to squeeze out every bit of profit while the people who actually do the work see their pay stagnate and cut.

The truth is that collective bargaining gives teachers a voice to negotiate for smaller class sizes to better educate our children, time to complete training required by law and input on policies that affects students.  Collective bargaining gives working families a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that benefit us all.

Voters shouldn’t be fooled by false ads by shadowy front groups.

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