Most Americans Back Collective Bargaining While only one-third are firmly behind unions, most wouldn't cut benefits By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Mar 1, 2011 7:12 AM CST 88 comments Comments A woman protests outside of the capitol February 28, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Getty Images) (Newser) – According to a new poll, the nation is still on the Wisconsin protesters' side: 60% of Americans oppose weakening the collective bargaining rights of public unions, while 56% oppose cutting public employees' pay or benefits. Even so, only one-third of those surveyed in the New York Times/CBS News poll view labor unions favorably. One-quarter view them unfavorably, while the remainder is either undecided or doesn't know enough about them. And a full 61%—including a slim majority of Republicans—believe public workers' pay is either fair or too low. So how to deal with state deficits, if not through controversial measures like the one Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is backing? Forty percent said increasing taxes is the answer, while only 22% agreed with decreasing public employee benefits. The remainder wanted to cut financing for roads (20%) or education (3%). Click for another recent poll with similar results.