As noted earlier, Michigan has permitted public-sector collective bargaining through the state’s Public Employment Relations Act and through rules approved by the Michigan Civil Service Commission. At present, the Michigan Civil Service Commission can change these rules, and the Michigan Legislature can pass statutory amendments to the Public Employment Relations Act, meaning that public-sector bargaining power remains subject to legislative control.

In fact, the appearance of Proposal 2 on the November ballot follows a period of legislative revisions to PERA that have generated controversy. One Associated Press article in 2011 described Michigan’s government employees as feeling “under attack.”[13] The current state of public-sector employment relations in Michigan, both legal and financial, is discussed below.