Ohio voters will get to decide fate of union law

Ohio voters will get to decide in November whether to repeal the state's new collective bargaining law, which would let public worker unions negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits.
Associated Press
Jul 26, 2011

Ohio voters will get to decide in November whether to repeal the state's new collective bargaining law, which would let public worker unions negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits.

The state's elections chief said Thursday that opponents had gathered enough valid signatures to put the question before voters. The measure is now suspended from taking effect until voters have their say.

The law signed by GOP Gov. John Kasich in late March affects more than 350,000 public workers, including police officers, firefighters, teachers and state employees. Aside from restricting bargaining, it bans strikes and gets rid of automatic pay increases, replacing them with merit raises or performance pay.

The group We Are Ohio delivered more than 1.3 million signatures to Secretary of State Jon Husted, though the opponents needed roughly 231,000 valid signatures to get the question on the ballot. He said more than 915,000 of the signatures were valid.

The opponents' successful campaign proves that the legislation was ''a bad bill that was passed by extreme politicians who are out of touch with hardworking Ohioans,'' said Melissa Fazekas, a spokeswoman for We Are Ohio.

The measure was approved by the Republican-controlled state Legislature in March amid shouts and jeers from protesters in each chamber. But the overall response by protesters in the Rust Belt state, despite its long union tradition among steel and autoworkers, paled in comparison to Wisconsin, where protests topped more than 70,000 people. Ohio's largest Statehouse demonstrations on the measure drew about 8,500 people.

That difference has been attributed to Madison's labor legacy and the proximity of the populous University of Wisconsin campus to the state capital.

The fallout from each state's bitter fights over collective bargaining restrictions have also differed.

Unlike in Wisconsin, Ohio voters cannot recall state lawmakers, so opponents are pushing for repeal through a referendum.

In Wisconsin, nine state senators -- six Republicans and three Democrats -- face recall elections. GOP Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law eventually survived a court challenge and took effect.

A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found that 56 percent of Ohio voters say the new collective bargaining law should be repealed, compared with 32 percent who say it should be kept.

The We Are Ohio campaign says 10,000 volunteers and some paid workers circulated petitions to get the referendum before voters. The coalition of labor groups and others contends the law is an unfair attack on workers.

Kasich, a first-term governor, and his GOP colleagues argue the legislation will help city officials, school superintendents and others control their costs at a time when they, too, are feeling budget woes.

Kasich has said he plans to play a visible role in defending the law. So far, he has directed his supporters to a website for Building a Better Ohio, a group that wants to keep the new law in place.

Jason Mauk, a spokesman for Building a Better Ohio, said Thursday that certification of the signatures puts the focus back on the law's merits.

''Ohio voters now have a choice to make,'' Mauk said in a statement. ''We can keep the unfair, unsustainable policies that are bankrupting our communities, or we can change direction and give them the tools they need to create jobs and get spending under control.''

The referendum's clearance for the ballot came as the head of the AFL-CIO met in Columbus with community organizations, religious groups and representatives from the Ohio Conference of the NAACP.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka would not say how much money the nation's largest labor federation planned to spend in the ballot effort, only that the organization planned to devote resources and people to help repeal the law.

''This is a battle of over the conscious and the moral character and the direction of the country,'' Trumka told reporters. ''And we think that the people in Ohio and the people in America think that people like Gov. Kasich is going in the wrong direction -- that he overreached, that he used a tough budget time to try to scapegoat public employees and try to destroy a ladder into the middle class.''

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the law was about restoring fairness and balance between the private and public sector employees.

''Mr. Trumpka does have to live in one of Ohio's cities or towns that are hanging on by their fingers, struggling with high costs,'' Nichols said.

The state's labor groups have turned to their members to help pay for the repeal campaign.

Ohio's largest teachers union in May agreed to a one-time, $54 dues increase. The move by the members of the Ohio Education Association was expected to yield an additional $5.5 million.

The Fraternal Order of Police also anticipated raising $1 million from their roughly 200 local lodges around the state. And the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters asked its 9,600 members to voluntarily kick in $100 for the repeal effort.

Comments

man4451

SB-5

guaranteed to

raise your taxes

this law has nothing

to do with UAW or

any other unions.

YAWWNN

Right you are man4451, however that hasn't stopped the Unions from spreading misinformation about how this supposedly affects even private sector unions.  The funny thing is that the rank and file union members honestly believe what their union leaders are telling them when in reality this only affects those in public sector unions.  Get ready for huge tax increases if this is repealed.

stepham2009

THIS IS A DEFINITE VICTORY FOR THE WORKING CLASS MAN, OUR TEACHERS, AND ALL THOSE OTHERS IN PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS THAT RELY ON THE UNION TO PROTECT THEIR LIVELIHOOD!!

NEXT LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO STOP KASICH FROM SELLING OUR PRISON SYSTEM TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER AND TAKING THE JOBS OF 100'S OF OTHER WORKERS! AND GET HIM OUT OF OFFICE!

WHEN WE FIGHT TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR EACH OTHER! THOSE OF YOU IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR UNIONS REMEMBER THAT YOUR FELLOW UNION MEMBERS IN THE PRISON SYSTEM HELPED FIGHT YOUR FIGHT, NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO HELP THEM KEEP THEIR JOBS!!

 

Nor'easter

This Bill has in fact NO Consequences.  All of the government workers unions in our area have already renegotiated their contracts in order to bring their costs within the budgets of local schools, citys and countys. The only areas that could and needs to be reined in by this bill is the big city schools in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Columbus and the other regions that are under investigation for corruption, fraud, and other sundry problems.  SB5 should be upheld and we will begin to see costs reduced in these areas.

tk

No, all of the public sector unions have not all renegotiated their contracts.  The contract at Ohio Veterans Home will expire in the near future.   Looking forward to casting my vote to repeal HB5.  @ Nor'easter, You contradict yourself when you say in your  first sentence that this bill has no consequences and end up saying that we will begin to see cost reduced.

 

mikel

he comes all of the whining again!

either this bill stands and these people keep their jobs OR this bill gets repealed and the layoffs begin.  pick your poison!  the greed of the unions have ruined the working man more than the gov't.

6079 Smith W
Public sector unions are like the Mafia; they strong-arm you into paying them for protection or they ruin your business and mess with your family.   By overturning SB5, voters will be shouting that OH is a union state.   With that proclamation, watch OH's economy go south (literally) as current and prospective businesses and entrepreneurs seek out right to work states to set up shop.   Go ahead; overturn SB5 and watch as a number of negative unintended consequences unfold.   The passage of SB5 was a fight for the middle class taxpayer against the authoritarian tactics of the public sector unions.   A vote to repeal SB5 is simply a vote for higher state and local taxes and fees on each and every business and individual.    
SarahTonin

6079 or 09.85 or whatever says: "Public sector unions are like the Mafia; they strong-arm you into paying them for protection or they ruin your business and mess with your family."

WOLF WOLF WOLF BOO-HOO BOO-HOO WOLF WOLF BOO-HOO.

The obvious reply is that if the workers could trust their bosses (in all cases, public sector or not) there would be no need for union style protection. I don't trust politicians and I don't trust the likes of Henry Ford.

Oh by the Smitty, how much is it costing the Ohio taxpayers for Kaisich, love his little pea-pickin heart, to stay in his own home instead of the governors mansion? Am I not for personal choice? Sure but let him pay for it out of his own pocket, after all it's his choice. That money could be used by the state elsewhere!

Bess

6079-

You let your anger (remember the “dark side”) permeate your writing.  Your first sentence is preposterous.  There is no “strong arm”, no “protection” and the union cannot ruin your business and “ruin your family” really? 

Ironic that many who in earlier SR blogs proclaimed that if the teachers and state employees didn’t like the new Governor’s rules, well they could find work elsewhere.  Now the same circumstance is true when a person applies for a union shop position.  The applicant can clearly go elsewhere for work if he/she doesn’t like the union status.  Chances are pretty good though they are applying at a union shop because the pay and benefits are better.  Of course this is due to collective bargaining done by the union.  “Ruin your business” this is crazy talk because only the owner can do this.  If the owner cannot afford union scale he cannot afford to do business.  Of course in my opinion anyone who wants to own a business should be able to support any employees, current or future, with a living wage or not engage in the business.

YES, I am proud to say - because I believe there is no doubt SB5 will be repealed, that Ohio is a union state.  It is the repeal of SB5 that is a fight for the middle class taxpayer and the unions that gave us all a middle class. 

Your projection of higher taxes is not supported by the facts.  Before SB5 government employees were more than willing during collective bargaining to do their part and take cuts in their contract to support lower state and local revenue.  They were and they will be after SB5 is repealed and with collective bargaining agreements.

myname

Either way the taxpayers will win.  If SB5 is repealed massive cuts and layoffs will happen.  And for all of you Veterans Home workers.  Quit crying.  If you don't like your job, quit and go find another.  I think you should have to be a Veteran to even apply for a job there anyhow. 

Hmm

Sarah, how much IS it costing the taxpayers?  You have an issue with and believe it is costing the taxpayers.  How much?

Kimo
Nor'easter = Member for 7 weeks 5 days Better Ohio org was conceived to promote SB5 about that same time. You work for the propaganda machine? You people claim to want "less government" but insist on "more government" when it suits "your agenda". Any group that will lease a turnpike to pad their own pockets (at the expense of the hard working people that built, run, and support the road), is not to be trusted.
SimpleEnough

I don't think this should be put to a  general vote as we elected the law makers to the state postions and expect them to do what is required to manage the state government and budget.

6079 Smith W

SarahTonin writes:

"How much is it costing the Ohio taxpayers for Kaisich, love his little pea-pickin heart, to stay in his own home instead of the governors mansion?"

Whatever it is, it's obviously not as much as the billions of dollars that public employees are costing state and local taxpayers in wages, benefits and retirement bennies.

(BTW: Teresa Heinz-Kerry didn’t wanna live in that dump, the WH so she told hubby to lose and he obeyed. He knew where his real meal ticket came from. )

Henry Ford? The man's been at room temp. for a while hasn't he? Irrelevant.

Save your "workers of the world unite" nonsense for someone who's ignorant enough to fall for it.

I trust that you'll be voting for every school levy and property tax increase that overturning SB5 is gonna be costing you - and more.

 

Perkins2060

Repeal it and LAY OFF these leaches of society!

Perkins2060

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE LAY OFFS!

6079 Smith W
@ Bess:   So everything that you learned in life you got from Star Wars? LOL.    Yea, teachers, police and other public employees never strike for higher pay and benefits do they? Reads like a protection racket to me.   "Messin'" with your family - not "ruin." Read it again.    

So you must obviously send regular monetary donations to the state, city and county because you believe that your taxes are too low eh?

Kimo

 

Re: we elected the law makers to the state postions and expect them to do what is required

I vote for the local school board members and pay the real-estate taxes that support the brain factory. I don't need Kasich or anyone else for that matter to tell me what's good for me. Leave me alone.

I use the Ohio Turnpike, pay the fees, and I'm perfectly happy with the way it's run, and the people that run it. I really resent some "elected official" that decides to lease the road, because you people don't want to pay your share of the past bills that "you" have accumulated.

Pay your nmad bills and keep your nose out of my decisions and out of my wallet.

OMG.LOL.WT_

All you anti union people who believe the crock the republicans are pushing need to read Doonesbury today!

http://www.doonesbury.com/strip

 

Amerian Dad

Can someone explain this; why is it that teachers, police, fire fighters and state employees be punished for out greedy politicians' inability to manage money? Its their frivolous spending that got us here.
These pension systems are in place so we have something to live on later in life. The politicians see these large banks and figure they get there hands on this money for a quick fix. What about their wages, their medical, their pensions?
We're asking for fairness.....
Believe it or not......police and fire do not make high scale wages......and if they're not able to bargain contracts, the cities around the state will have them working @ low wages...no quality applicants..you'll have felons applying for jobs!
Pay on merit.......welcome the suck a$$'s and favoritism, w/no arbitration to fight it........ Put it to the vote!

Kimo

 

When I go to a store and see all the young mothers with a couple of rug rats and some dude with his hat turned sideways bopping along behind, I can't help but wonder who is paying for those kids and why isn't "dad" working.

When I see a store full of people that should be working, (they sure as hell all don't work nights), I know who is paying that bill.

Instead of punishing the working people that pay those bills why don't the elected officials work to curb the problem that just keeps multiplying??

How does SB5 solve the " baby machine" issue?

How about we work on the real problems and not "kick that can down the road".

Perkins2060

START THE LAY OFFS NOW! 

eriemom

 Perkins2060: According to your posts, if honest, you live and have children attending school in the Perkins School District. Where should lay offs begin? Who is it that you have an issue with? Could you solve your personal problems without bringing an entire school district to its knees?

That district's employees have made contract consessions, so your problem is not monetary. Where does your anger originate?

Bess

Eriemom-  "There's a storm a commin'"  No really - it's awful dark outside.  It is also pretty dark in this blog.  The mojo we have defeating SB5 has the right wing bloggers angry.  The quote is from Hagrid in Harry Potter. 

The New World Czar

The good news for all of the pro-SB5 constituents is that Trumka is now involving himself.

His presence alone will drive the repeal downward...cannot wait for some private sector cheese to go with the collective public whine.

goofus

Oh No say it aint so liberals !!!!

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/07/wi-announces-largest-gain-since-2003-in-private-sector-jobs/

Doesn't Wisconsin have a sb 5 clone????

goofus

Another post for your reading pleasure liberals, something you won't see in your media world!!LOL

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/07/republican-governors-proving-that-conservative-economic-principles-work/

Did anyone know about our bond rating going up??????

Did anybody know Indiana gave state workers a bonus, and they have limited collectivebargaining rights.

Who da thunk!!

pearl

   WHERE IS THE PREVAILING WAGE LAWSUIT ARTICLE AGAINST THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS?

 

Perkins2060

BEGIN THE LAY OFFS NOW!

myname

I'm not angry I'm happy!  I can't wait till this blows up in your faces and you are all on the unemployment line!  Repeal SB5!  LOL!

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