Protect Our Jobs ad hits airwaves just ahead of BoC decision

Here comes a great ad from Protect Our Jobs:

It’s a great ad, and 100% truthful. It’s the teachers who drive the quality in the classroom. And it’s tools like collective bargaining (and tenure specifically) that put teachers in a position to go to an administrator and say, “you can’t use that bond money on the football stadium, you promised it would go to classroom technology.”

[Insert GOP shocked denial here]

My only criticism of the ad is that it comes too late. This message should have been out there for months. I’m not going to get too critical; it’s not like we have a gazillion dollars to keep these ads running into the general.

Here’s the press release announcing the ad:


August 14, 2012 (313) 355-4262


As parents prepare for the upcoming school year, teachers are fighting to make sure they have the tools to give kids the best possible education.

In this first advertisement, the campaign to protect Michigan’s working families features a teacher talking about how collective bargaining helps kids learn.

“Each day, when the kids leave and it’s quiet, teachers take stock. What worked, what didn’t? It’s not just about funding – it’s class size, training, supplies, even books.

And teachers negotiate all of that with the school district when they have collective bargaining. Teachers have collective bargaining so they can fight for things like smaller class sizes and good materials, to help kids learn.

Collective Bargaining helps our kids. So I’m voting “Yes” for collective bargaining.”

The ad hits the airwaves as all eyes shift to the State Board of Canvassers, which meets tomorrow to decide whether to place the proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The ballot initiative meets all legal requirements. Under direction from Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a faulty and politically motivated opinion two weeks ago designed to keep the proposal off the ballot. The Attorney General’s opinion, which is not binding, contradicts a decision he made as a member of the Michigan Court of Appeals in the 2004 Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action case.

Nearly 700,000 people signed a petition to allow citizens to vote on the question of collective bargaining, which provides workers a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

Collective bargaining brings teachers and administrators together to negotiate for small class sizes, time to complete professional training required by law and protection to speak out about policies that lower educational standards.

“We bargain for smaller class sizes, better training for teachers, adequate supplies for students and even books,” said Karen Kuciel, a fifth grade teacher in the Warren Consolidated School District. “Collective bargaining helps kids learn. That’s why it matters.”

Lansing politicians have passed laws stripping teachers of the right to negotiate on placement, layoffs, evaluations and performance-based compensation. When collective bargaining is attacked, we all suffer, especially students. To see evidence showing the impact of collective bargaining, please see the ad justification for “Teacher”.

“In my district, teachers and administrators have put kids first and worked together cooperatively to make sure students get what they need to learn,” Dearborn teacher John Bayerl said. “We partner to make sure there are no roadblocks to success.”

To find out more about the campaign, visit You also can “like” us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @ProtectMIJobs.

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