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NBC/WSJ poll: 62% against stripping public employees' bargaining rights

Strong majorities of Americans say they are comfortable with states requiring their employees to pay more for their retirement and health care to balance state budget deficits, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But the public is adamantly against eliminating public employees' collective-bargaining rights -- as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is pursuing.

In the poll, a whopping 68 percent find it acceptable requiring public employees to contribute more of their pay for retirement benefits; 63 percent are fine with requiring these employees to pay more for their health-care benefits; and 58 percent are OK with freezing public employees' salaries for one year.

But just 33 percent say it's acceptable -- and 62 percent say it's unacceptable -- to eliminate these employees' collective-bargaining rights as way to deal with state budget deficits.

In addition, 77 percent believe that public employees have the same collective-bargaining rights (when it comes to health care, pensions, and other benefits) that union employees who work for private companies have.

The entire poll -- which was conducted Feb. 24-28, and which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points -- will be released at 6:30 pm ET.