Collective bargaining protects all Michigan’s families, giving workers the right to negotiate fair wages and benefits.

Firefighter Time

Ad Justification Click on the facts for more information about the ad.

VOICE:   “When we’re out on a call, we’re counting on our training and equipment… As Firefighters, we know what we need to do our job.”

  • “The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology found that the size of a firefighting crew affects how quickly firefighters could complete 22 essential firefighting tasks. Four-person teams were 30 percent faster than two-person crews and 25 percent faster than three-person crews.” (“ Landmark Residential Fire Study Shows How Crew Sizes And Arrival Times Influence Saving Lives And Property ” U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, April 28, 2010.)
  • “We’re losing 22 percent of our pay when we’re demoted from rank back to firefighter, so that’s roughly $15,000 a year,” said Urbas, who was with Engine 47, which closed Friday. Fire Capt. Karl Hofbauer said it’s about the safety of the citizens. “People will die – that’s a fact,” because of the layoffs, Hofbauer said. “It’s not like we’re crying because we can’t get our way.” ( )
  • “Firefighter and Paramedic Sgt. Brad Hoffman said they want the community to know and understand the crisis the department is facing, now that 19 firefighters and EMT’s have been laid off. “Eighteen or 19 layoffs — that’s a huge cut for us … Trying to provide the same service, that’s hard for us” he said.” ( )
  • “Every day our firefighters are subjected to HIV, hepatitis, TB, meningitis, cock roaches, rats, bed bugs, chemical and biological hazards and exposures. It is a job that can be brutal on the body. Ask a firefighter if they have ever fallen through a floor or roof of a structure fire. Over 81,000 firefighter injuries occur annually in the United States… It’s just a shame we have to justify why collective bargaining is a necessity. It is imperative that we have a say in the aspects of our job.” ( We need collective bargaining for police and firefighters )

VOICE:  “But Lansing politicians – who’ve never been on a rescue run, never attacked a fire, — want to make it illegal for us to bargain for what we need to do the job. With collective bargaining, the politicians can’t make decisions without our say so. Collective Bargaining helps protect firefighters and that protects all of us. It’s why I’m voting Yes on 2.”

    • “Michigan has lost more than 2,400 firefighters and 2,000 police officers since 2001[-2009]. Michigan communities that have announced reduced police and/or firefighter jobs in the recent months include Grand Rapids, Troy, Hillsdale, Bay City, Ann Arbor, Lansing and many others.” This trend has continued during the current fiscal year. Just recently Hamtramck laid off half of their firefighters in an effort to cut cost and in doing so rejected a concession vote by the representing union. (“ Legislation Seeks to Protect Police and Fire Jobs by Allowing Arbitrators to Consider a Community’s Ability to Pay , ” Michigan Municipal League, Dec. 8, 2009)
    • “Reform that eliminate barriers that prevent local government from further cooperating in providing services or consolidating governmental entities when it makes sense, would be helpful to local governments desiring to improve service coordination as well as reduced costs, but its misplaced effort to make service sharing and local government consolidation the main thrust of state policies to reform local government.” ( ) Yet, the current Governor and legislature developed the Competitive Grant Assistance Program which main premise is to “offset the costs associated with mergers, inter-local agreements, and cooperative efforts for cities, villages, township, counties, school districts and intermediate school districts that elect to combine government operations” ( Michigan department of Treasury ) as a replacement for statutory state shared revenue. If these municipalities don’t comply they will forfeit this much needed funding.
    • “In 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder cut $500 million of funding that previously was available to local officials for costs such as public safety. A wave of layoffs followed the cuts.” ( )
    • “The Governor’s budget also eliminates statutory revenue sharing payments for cities, villages and townships in 2011. This reduction will impact 509 local units of government.” ( )
    • “Governor Snyder has forced the hand of municipalities to forego the ability to collectively bargain by pushing through legislation that undercuts the ability to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions with the passage of Public Act 258 of 2011 which doesn’t allow for collective bargaining for consolidated services of two municipalities.” ( Municipal Partnership Act )
    • “The statute and its effects, which include the appointment by the governor of emergency financial managers for municipal governments and school districts with broad powers to reject, modify and terminate contracts and even specific terms and conditions of contracts between municipalities/school districts and third parties (including collective bargaining agreements) has polarized the politicians and the public.” ( )
    • “Michigan Fraternal Order of Police spokesman John Buczek questioned whether Pontiac’s emergency financial manager Michael Stampfler’s plan for police service would provide adequate coverage for the city of 66,000 and he said that his group is in complete opposition to the new law that gives appointees total control over local governments. “It would appear once they abolish collective bargaining agreements they can just get rid of police and firefighters as they like,” he said. “The people who still pay taxes in those communities have no say.” (“ Emergency Manager law already forcing unions into new concessions ,” Michigan Messenger, March 8, 2011)
    • “The city [of Ecorse] announced Friday that the Fire Department will convert eight of its 14 full-time firefighters to part-time duty and ambulance services will be privatized in an effort to cut costs, according to a statement from Emergency Manager Joyce Parker. By changing the eight positions to part time, the department avoided making layoffs, the statement said.” ( )

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Protect Working Families seeks to amend the state constitution to protect collective bargaining through a Nov. 6 ballot initiative. Visit  for more information.