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MANHATTAN INSTITUTE POLL SUMMARY OF FINDINGS DOUGLAS E. SCHOEN, LLC SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 1 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "MANHATTAN INSTITUTE POLL SUMMARY OF FINDINGS DOUGLAS E. SCHOEN, LLC SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 1 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 MANHATTAN INSTITUTE POLL SUMMARY OF FINDINGS DOUGLAS E. SCHOEN, LLC SEPTEMBER 20, Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

2 OVERVIEW Representative sample of 1,000 registered voters across the country from August 5 – 10, To test voter knowledge and opinions of state budgetary issues in general and collective bargaining and labor unions in particular. -To determine favorability towards the various ways states can and did address their budget crises. Margin of sampling error is +/- 3%. 2 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

3 OVERVIEW Also conducted ten surveys with 400 randomly selected voters from August 29 – September 5, 2011, in FL, IL, IN, MI, MT, NC, NY, OH, PA, WI. -To test state voters’ knowledge and opinions of public sector salaries and benefits, and reform of such benefits. -To test voter opinion of state budgetary issues taking place in that individual state. Margin of sampling error is +/- 4.9%. 3 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

4 MAIN CONCLUSIONS Voters believe that states are facing fiscal crises. Voters support steps to pare back spending and reduce benefits for current and future public employees. Voters strongly oppose measures to increase taxes and oppose reducing benefits for retirees. Voters overwhelmingly blame elected officials for creating and exacerbating current fiscal problems. 4 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

5 MAIN CONCLUSIONS Voters feel that there is no absolute right to collective bargaining; rather, they feel that it is a benefit that can and should be negotiated. They are prepared to accept some restrictions on collective bargaining when states are facing fiscal problems. When voters are given the choice between restricting benefits and keeping benefits at current levels, a clear majority support reducing benefits. However, there was opposition to the laws that were passed in Ohio and Wisconsin because voters did not see the clear linkage between restricting collective bargaining rights and resolving states' fiscal problems. 5 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

6 DIRECTION OF GOVERNMENT Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 6

7 DIRECTION OF THE ECONOMY Voters are very unsatisfied with the direction of the economy. Just 14% say it is headed in the right direction, while 80% say it is on the wrong track. 7 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

8 DIRECTION OF YOUR STATE’S ECONOMY Voters believe their state’s economy is headed in the wrong direction as well, 66% to 23%. 8 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

9 EFFICIENCY OF STATE GOVERNMENT But voters have positive views toward their state government. They say their state government is efficient by 55% to 43%. 9 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

10 PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES 10 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

11 PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES – INCOME 11 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute A majority (57%) believe that public sector employees make more or at least the same as private sector employees

12 PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES - SALARIES AND BENEFITS 12 Which is closer to your view? Public employees’ salaries should be frozen and they should be required to contribute more towards their benefits 48% Public employees’ salaries should not be frozen and they should not be required to contribute more towards their benefits 40% A plurality (48%) say that public employees’ salaries should be frozen and they should be required to contribute more towards their benefits. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

13 NEW PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES – HEALTH BENEFITS A majority says that new public employees should have to contribute toward paying for their health care benefits because of state and local government budget problems, 57% to 38%. 13 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 13

14 PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES – PENSIONS 14 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 14 A solid majority of voters (60%) say current public employees should have to contribute more toward their pension benefits because of budget problems.

15 PUBLIC SECTOR RETIREES – PENSIONS 15 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 15 However, majority say that retirees should not have to contribute more towards their pension and health care benefits because of budget problems.

16 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – RAISE TAXES? Voters would not be willing to have taxes raised so that the salaries and benefits of current public employees could be paid at current levels if states did not have the money to pay them, 64% to 31%. 16 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 16

17 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – RAISE TAXES BY PARTY 17 Voters across the aisle agree. Republicans say they are not willing to have taxes raised to pay current public employees’ benefits at current levels, 84% to 14%, and Independents agree, 50% to 37%. A plurality of Democrats say they would not be willing to have taxes raised, 47% to 43%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 17

18 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – RAISE TAXES BY PARTY 18 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 18

19 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – WISCONSIN AND OHIO 19 Strong majorities of voters in Wisconsin and Ohio also oppose tax increases as a means of keeping public employees at current salary and benefit levels. Wisconsin voters reject paying more taxes to pay current public employees’ benefits at current levels, 61% to 35%, and Ohio voters reject this, 65% to 29%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 19

20 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – CUT SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS? Voters would also not be willing to have state social service programs cut so that the salaries and benefits of current public employees could be paid at current levels if states did not have the money to pay them, 51% to 36%. 20 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 20

21 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – WISCONSIN AND OHIO 21 Strong majorities of voters in Wisconsin and Ohio oppose service cuts as a means of keeping public employees at current salary and benefit levels. Wisconsin voters reject accepting service cuts to pay current public employees’ benefits at current levels, 66% to 25%, and Ohio voters reject this, 62% to 29%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 21

22 STATE & LOCAL GOV FUNDS – WISCONSIN AND OHIO 22 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 22

23 STATE BUDGET CRISES 23 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

24 STATE BUDGET CRISES A large majority of voters (78%) say their state faced a budget crisis this year. 15% say their state did not face one. 24 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 24

25 STATE BUDGET CRISES 25 How was your state’s budget crisis resolved? (up to two choices accepted, responses combined) Spending cuts68% Taxes increased28% It was not resolved9% Not sure16% A majority of voters (68%) say their state’s budget crisis was resolved by spending cuts. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 25

26 STATE BUDGET CRISES – WHO IS TO BLAME? 26 As you may know, many U.S. state governments are facing large budget deficits this year, meaning that their spending has exceeded the amount of revenue that they have brought in from fees and taxes. This has caused many public employee pension plans and healthcare plans to be greatly underfunded. What would you say is the main reason for these problems? Elected state officials made careless and self-serving decisions48% State governments spent too much money28% Public employees’ benefits are too high and unsustainable13% State governments did not tax enough6% A plurality (48%) blame their elected officials for their state’s budget deficit. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 26

27 STATE BUDGET CRISES – BEST SOLUTION 27 In your opinion, what is the best way to address the problem of states not being able to afford public employee benefits? Cut government spending47% Require current public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 31% Raise taxes13% Require retired public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 1% A plurality (47%) say that cutting government spending is the best way to address the problem of states not being able to afford public employee benefits. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 27

28 STATE BUDGET CRISES – BEST SOLUTION BY IDEOLOGY 28 In your opinion, what is the best way to address the problem of states not being able to afford public employee benefits? LiberalsModeratesConservatives Cut government spending42%44%49% Require current public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 13%28%43% Raise taxes33%16%3% Require retired public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 2%1% There is bipartisan support for cutting spending. A plurality of liberals, moderates and conservatives all say that cutting government spending is the best way to address this problem. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 28

29 STATE BUDGET CRISES – LEAST DESIRABLE SOLUTION 29 What would you say is the least desirable way to address the problem of states not being able to afford public employee benefits? Raise taxes36% Require retired public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 21% Cut government spending21% Require current public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 14% A plurality (36%) say that raising taxes is the least desirable way to address the problem of states not being able to afford public employee benefits. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 29

30 STATE BUDGET CRISES – LEAST DESIRABLE SOLUTION BY IDEOLOGY 30 A plurality of moderates and conservatives say that raising taxes is the least desirable way to address this problem, while liberals say cutting government spending and requiring retirees to contribute more are least desirable. In your opinion, what is the least desirable way to address the problem of states not being able to afford public employee benefits? LiberalsModeratesConservatives Raise taxes19%38%46% Cut government spending33%16%17% Require current public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 9%20%14% Require retired public employees to contribute more towards their benefits 32%16%18% Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 30

31 REDUCING STATE SERVICES Voters favor reducing or eliminating certain state services to reduce budget deficits, 56% to 35%. 31 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 31

32 REDUCING STATE SERVICES – BY PARTY 32 Majorities of Republicans and Independents favor eliminating state services to reduce budget deficits. A plurality of Democrats agree. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 32

33 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING 33 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

34 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING Next we introduced collective bargaining to voters with the following explanation: Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and labor union representatives aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions and determine salary and benefits. 34 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

35 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING 35 Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and labor union representatives aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions and determine salary and benefits. Which position is closer to your view? All Public employees should not bargain collectively and use the power of the group to potentially limit, delay or restrict the delivery of important government services 50% By negotiating as part of a union rather than individually, public employees can have more leverage in securing the higher pay and more generous benefits that they deserve. 42% Half oppose collective bargaining, and say that public employees should not bargain collectively and use the power of the group to potentially limit or restrict the delivery of government services. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 35

36 STATE GOVERNMENT DISPUTES OVER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING Voters side more with state officials than public employee unions in the state government disputes over collective bargaining, 46% to 39%. 36 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

37 RESTRICT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RULES Voters favor restricting some of the collective bargaining rules of public employee unions, 53% to 41%. 37 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

38 RESTRICT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – WISCONSIN AND OHIO Wisconsin and Ohio voters think that collective bargaining should be restricted, 53% to 45% and 60% to 36% respectively. 38 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

39 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – BASIC RIGHT? By 60% to 33%, voters say that collective bargaining is not a basic right; rather, it is one that can be negotiated. 39 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 39

40 WILL LIMITING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ACTUALLY HELP STATE BUDGET PROBLEMS? 40 Which position is closer to your view? It is unclear how much money will actually be saved by limiting these rights. 56% Limiting collective bargaining will result in more reasonable benefits for public employees and thus help states close their budget gaps. 33% While voters support measures to restrict collective bargaining, say that it is not an absolute right, and side with state officials in state government disputes over restricting collective bargaining, they are not convinced that limiting these rights will actually save states money, 56% to 33%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 40

41 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – TEACHER TENURE 41 56% favor phasing out tenure for teachers because it protects bad teachers from being fired while making it harder to bring in new and better teachers. 39% say teacher tenure is a longstanding right for public school teachers. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

42 PENSIONS 42 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

43 PENSION PROGRAMS Voters are clearly in favor of changing the nature of public employee retirement plans, opting for plans that resemble those found in the private sector, to help maintain current benefit levels and improve their state’s finances. 43 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

44 DEFINED BENEFIT VS. DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PROGRAMS 44 Voters strongly favor moving all new public employees from the existing defined benefit plan to a proposed defined contribution plan. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

45 DEFINED BENEFIT VS. DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PROGRAMS – BY IDEOLOGY 45 There is support across the political spectrum for moving all new public employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, as majorities of Liberals, Moderates and Conservatives favor this. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 45

46 DEFINED BENEFIT VS. DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PROGRAMS – WISCONSIN AND OHIO 46 Majorities of voters in Wisconsin and Ohio favor moving all new public employees from existing, defined benefit plans to proposed, defined contribution plans. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute 46

47 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE LABOR UNIONS 47 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

48 SALARIES AND BENEFITS OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES Generally speaking, by 41% to 13%, voters say the salaries and benefits of most public employees are too high for the work they do. 32% say they are about right. 48 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

49 RETIREMENT OF POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS Voters say that police and firefighters should have to be older than their 40’s and 50’s to retire and collect pension checks regardless of the number of years they have served, 57% to 38%. 49 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

50 RETIREMENT OF TEACHERS Voters are split on if teachers should be able to receive pension checks after a set period of time if they are younger than 65, with 47% agreeing and 48% saying they should not be able to. 50 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

51 INDIVIDUAL STATES – CASE STUDIES 51 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

52 INDIVIDUAL STATE CASE STUDIES Next we asked voters if they favor or oppose how various states addressed their budget crises. This section reports findings on voters’ attitudes both nationally and in individual states to state-specific issues. 52 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

53 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN In our national survey, those who say they have heard about what happened in Wisconsin sided with the Governor rather than the Democrats in the legislature, 52% to 40%. 53 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

54 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN 54 However, voters nationally oppose the Wisconsin law that was passed, 49% to 45%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

55 Our Wisconsin survey shows that Wisconsin voters also oppose the law, 52%-45%. 55 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

56 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN Opposition to this law is due in large part because voters are unsure as to how collective bargaining impacts their state’s fiscal health and the salary and benefit levels of public employees. They seem to think that the current system of collective bargaining is too open-ended, but they are more inclined to see public employee salaries and benefits reduced in order to improve their state’s fiscal health. 56 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

57 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN Wisconsin voters are split (47%-47%) on whether limiting collective bargaining will have a clear benefit on closing state budget gaps. How would limiting collective bargaining impact state budgets? It would result in more reasonable benefits for public employees, allowing states to close their budget gaps 47% It is unclear how much money would actually be saved by restricting collective bargaining rights. 47% 57 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

58 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN And only 28% of Wisconsin voters think reforming collective bargaining is more important than reforming public employee salaries and benefits to improve the state’s finances. Which is more important to improving the state's finances - reforming the collective bargaining process, or reforming the way public employees are compensated and the benefits they receive? Reforming collective bargaining is more important28% Reforming public employees’ benefits is more important43% 58 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

59 CASE STUDY – WISCONSIN This demonstrates the disconnect between what voters want (savings and more efficient government) and what they think is the best way to achieve these goals (pension and benefit reform at the expense of collective bargaining reform). We see that voters are clearly in favor of repealing the type of work rules that are born out of the collective bargaining process. 59 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

60 CASE STUDY – OHIO In our national survey, those who say they have heard about what happened in Ohio sided with the Governor rather than the Democrats in the legislature, 54% to 33%. 60 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

61 CASE STUDY – OHIO 61 However, voters nationally also oppose the Ohio law that was passed, 45% to 40%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

62 CASE STUDY – OHIO In our Ohio state survey, we found that Ohio voters oppose the law as well, 52% to 43%. 62 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

63 CASE STUDY – OHIO Like Wisconsin, opposition to the Ohio law can be attributed to voters’ uncertainty as to how collective bargaining impacts their state’s fiscal health and the salary and benefit levels of public employees. Ohio voters are more inclined to see public employee salaries and benefits reduced in order to improve their state’s fiscal health. 63 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

64 CASE STUDY – OHIO A plurality of Ohio voters (48%) feel that it is unclear how much money could actually be saved by limiting collective bargaining. How would limiting collective bargaining impact state budgets? It is unclear how much money would actually be saved by restricting collective bargaining rights. 48% Limiting collective bargaining will result in more reasonable benefits for public employees and thus help states close their budget gaps. 38% 64 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

65 CASE STUDY – OHIO And only 17% think reforming collective bargaining is more important than reforming public employee salaries and benefits to improve the state’s finances. Which is more important to improving the state's finances - reforming the collective bargaining process, or reforming the way public employees are compensated and the benefits they receive? Reforming public employees’ benefits is more important59% Reforming collective bargaining is more important17% Not sure24% 65 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

66 CASE STUDY – OHIO Like in Wisconsin, this demonstrates the disconnect between what voters want (savings and more efficient government) and what they think is the best way to achieve these goals (pension and benefit reform at the expense of collective bargaining reform). Voters clearly favor repealing the type of work rules that are born out of the collective bargaining process. 66 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

67 CASE STUDY – NEW YORK Three-quarters of New York voters approve of New York’s strategy to address the budget crisis by cutting spending in most areas rather than raising taxes. 67 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

68 CASE STUDY – NEW YORK We told New York voters the following information: “State and local government workers pay an average of 29% of their health insurance premiums, compared to 31% in the private sector. Governor Cuomo recently negotiated two new contracts with state government employees that will raise their health insurance contributions to a level closer to the national average. However, some large groups of local government employees in New York continue to contribute much less.” We asked voters if all New York public employees should be required to contribute as much to their health insurance as state government employees do. 68 Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

69 CASE STUDY – NEW YORK 69 A majority of New York voters say that New York public employees should be required to contribute as much to their health insurance as state government employees do, 61% to 29%. Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute

70 CASE STUDY – NEW YORK 70 New York voters also favor requiring local public employees to contribute at least 10% of health insurance premiums for individual coverage, and at least 25% for family coverage, 50% to 36%. The New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness has recommended that all local public employees be required to contribute at least 10% of health insurance premiums for individual coverage, and at least 25% for family coverage. Keeping in mind that some public employees now pay closer to the national average in health insurance contributions, but some pay nothing… Conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC for the Manhattan Institute


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