Irwin, Democrats Defeat Republican Attack on Public Employees

Attempt to overturn decision to grant domestic-partner benefits fails
Thursday, April 14, 2011

LANSING - State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) today voted against Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 9, which failed to garner enough support to pass the State House of Representatives.

“The State of Michigan made a promise to our employees that their families could get health insurance; and, today House Democrats blocked a crass attempt by the Republicans to revoke that promise,” Irwin said.

SCR 9 did not get the two-thirds support it needed to pass the House. The resolution would have rejected the state Civil Service Commission’s decision to grant benefits to individuals who live with non-married state employees.

Governor Snyder’s budget relies on $180 million in unspecified concessions by state workers. Irwin pointed out that in recent years similar concessions have been successfully bargained with public employee unions and that revoking previous promises will only make these negotiations even more difficult.

“The Republicans are trying to politicize the state workforce and revoke benefits that were bargained for in good faith,” Irwin said. “As we approach tough budget negotiations and employees are asked to once again make significant cuts to their wages and benefits, the Snyder administration and the House Republicans shouldn’t be trampling our workers’ collective bargaining rights. It sends the wrong message and won’t help us move Michigan forward.”