Challenging the unions, that is
At some point you have to consider this a trend. As we noted earlier, Governors of northern states are taking a long, hard look at government employee collective bargaining: last week it was Wisconsin Gov.-Elect Scott Walker, two days ago it was outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
And yesterday incoming Ohio Gov. John Kasich offered his own take on his state’s collective bargaining law. Kasich announced his intention to end binding arbitration of labor disputes. Michigan’s binding arbitration law, very similar to Ohio’s, adds as much as five percent to the cost of government. Kasich also wants to make strikes by government employees illegal, and back up that prohibition with the termination of striking government employees. Finally, Kasich proposes that the state repeal its prevailing wage law.
Add in the example of Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels ended state employee collective bargaining via executive order, and Michigan is surrounded by states that have curtailed government employee collective bargaining or are likely to consider doing so.
Our own Gov.-Elect Rick Snyder has yet to tackle collective bargaining directly, but he has taken a pretty firm line on government employee benefits (Here's the video, forward to about 5:00), something that’s bound to make union officials in Michigan uncomfortable. Snyder may portray himself as a nerd, but he may find himself among the trendsetters.