Statewide Poll Shows Strong Public Support For Teachers, Public Employees and Their Right to Bargain Collectively

by on April 11, 2011 · 0 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Labor

Tulchin Research / April 5th, 2011

A recent statewide poll, commissioned by the California Federation of Teachers, finds a solid majority of likely voters in California have a favorable opinion of public employees and support their right to engage in collective bargaining.

From the CFT’s press release:

In the aftermath of major demonstrations by labor unions on Monday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death and to bring attention to working families, the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) today released new polling results showing that 56% of California voters have a favorable view of public employees and 61% support their right to bargain together. With public sector workers under assault and major battles over union rights in Wisconsin, California voters also sided with the Wisconsin public employees (56%) over its governor (37%).

Public employees were viewed favorably across the political spectrum.

  • Democrats hold public employees in the highest esteem, with nearly two-thirds (63%) perceiving them in a positive light and only one out of ten (10%) in a negative light.
  • Among decline-to-state and third party voters, six times as many voters hold a favorable opinion of public employees as holds an unfavorable opinion (54% favorable to only 9% unfavorable), with 33 percent neutral and the remaining unsure.
  • Republicans also view public employees favorably by a margin of better than 2-to-1, with nearly half of GOP voters (46%) saying they had a favorable opinion to slightly less than one out of five (19%) who viewed public employees unfavorably.

Voters Blame State Budget Woes on Wealthy and Corporations Not Paying Their Fair Share – Not On Public Employees.

When it comes to California’s fiscal challenges, our poll finds that most voters feel that the wealthy and corporations not paying enough in taxes is a much bigger problem facing the state budget than public employee salaries and benefits. Specifically, more than half of likely voters (52%) say the wealthy and corporate interests not paying their fair share was the bigger problem affecting the state’s budget woes, while less than one-third (32%) thought the bigger issue was public employee compensation.

Voters See Tax Disparity As Bigger Budget Problem Than Employee Compensation

“Which is a bigger problem facing California’s budget right now?”

Public employee salaries, pensions and benefits – 32%

The wealthy and corporate interests not paying their fair share in taxes – 52%

Both – 8%

Neither – 5%

Don’t Know / No Answer – 4%

*Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Go here for the remainder of the poll.

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