Voters set to settle bill battle

Many people argue that Senate Bill 5 is about fairness. But the question is, fairness to whom?
Tom Jackson
Nov 6, 2011

Many people argue that Senate Bill 5 is about fairness.

But the question is, fairness to whom?

Is it fair to government workers — almost all of them members of the middle class — to allow them to bargain collectively for their wages, benefits and working conditions?

Or is it fair to taxpayers to put some restrictions on bargaining rights, if only to ensure those government workers pay a fair share of the cost for their pensions and benefits?

Here’s a look at the two opposing sides:

Pro-SB5: It’s fair to taxpayers

Most taxpayers can only envy the lavish benefits public employees enjoy, say proponents of Senate Bill 5.

Private employees pay 31 percent of the cost of their family’s health care premium, while local government workers pay a little more than 8 percent, according to Building a Better Ohio, the group pushing to preserve Senate Bill 5.

It’s only reasonable to ask all government employees to cover 15 percent of the cost of their health insurance, the group says.

And at a time when many private workers have no pension at all, it’s only fair to make all government workers in Ohio cover at least 10 percent of their pension costs, the group argues.

Proponents of Senate Bill 5 say the cost of government in Ohio is out of control, and personnel costs threaten the government’s ability to provide services taxpayers expect.

Building a Better Ohio says Toledo axed its residential street-repaving program this year to pay for employee pension obligations. Cincinnati’s expenses for the city workforce have gone up 18 percent a year over the past decade, even as the city’s population fell.

In an interview in May with the Sandusky Register, Gov. John Kasich described Senate Bill 5 as “an effort to give local governments, local communities and local school districts the tools to deal with fewer resources.

“What we have said in the collective bargaining reform is that if a public employee wants to negotiate on wages and working conditions, they’re entitled to do it,” Kasich said. “But when it comes to health care and pensions, that’s something that ought to be decided by people who represent taxpayers, namely mayors and city councils and superintendents.”

Anti-SB5: It’s unfair to workers

Opponents of Senate Bill 5 say the bill hurts the middle class, and it will hurt the economy and make Ohio less safe.

Trying to force down the wages and benefits of public employees will only hurt the businesses that depend upon their spending, this group says.

Merchants, too, will suffer because their customers have been hurt.

Government studies do not support the claim that public employees are overpaid, according to We Are Ohio, the main group campaigning for repeal of Senate Bill 5.

According to the group, a Rutgers University study showed that public employees earn 6 percent less a year than equivalent employees in the private sector.

The average employee in the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, which represents workers who are not school employees, makes $24,000 a year and retires with an average pension of $900 a month.

The bill keeps police and firefighters from negotiating on staffing levels for patrol and fire stations, the group says, which makes Ohio communities less safe.

State Rep. Dennis Murray, D-Sandusky — who favors repeal of Senate Bill 5 — said many people appear to be unaware that public employees do not pay into Social Security and are not eligible to receive a Social Security check when they retire.

“When I talked to people, I always mention that,” Murray said earlier this year. “I was surprised to learn about that myself shortly after I was first elected.”

Murray has predicted that if the Kasich administration wins the fight over Senate Bill 5, Republicans and the Kasich administration will then try to pass a so-called Right to Work law, similar to laws that exist in many Southern states where unions are weak.

The law, which would allow workers to opt out of participating in a union and paying union dues, really ought to be called a “A Right to Work for a Lot Less Law,” Murray said.

Comments

mikel

"State Rep. Dennis Murray, D-Sandusky — who favors repeal of Senate Bill 5 — said many people appear to be unaware that public employees do not pay into Social Security and are not eligible to receive a Social Security check when they retire."

mr murray, did you tell those same people that public employees do get either pers or sers? on most accounts pers/sers are better retirement programs!  plus, unlike, social security pers/sers will always be funded through forced taxes!

mikel

VOTE YES ON ISSUES 2 & 3!

eriemom

 I will vote No on all of the issues, because I do not trust politians. I cannot trust them to do what is best for average Ohioans. I cannot trust them to lead. I cannot trust them to make decisions based on the public good, rather than election contributions. I will not vote for changes in Ohio's Constitution.

mikel: You are forced to pay for employer social security contributions every time you purchase any product or service.

Ned Mandingo

Many public employees have taken consessions over the past few years to help reduce costs, negoiated concessions. This bill is not about the lies the governor tells on TV, its about stripping people of their rights to negoiate. A big part os bill 5 that kasich doesn't talk about is the privatetizion of six state prisons to CCA. Three companies bid on the contracts but the big winner was a company kasich has connections to.

What kind of shady back door deal did kasich cut with the winning bidder CCA and the people involved, when Its Ohio lobbyist, Don Thibaut,who served as Kasich's chief of staff when he was in Congress. The company retained Thibaut's new lobbying firm in mid-December. Also kasich appointed State prisons director Gary Mohr, who spent five years as a consultant to the firm CCA.

Kasich is a lying, scumbag who will make tons of money from this deal someday. I would bet that when kasich is out of office he will bea consultant or sit on the board of CCA.

 

mikel

eriemom - yep.  but i also pay sales tax that after funneling gets to the gov't payrolls.

6079 Smith W

Vote "No" and watch as the local and state public employee layoffs haphazardly begin.

A union success will be a pyrrhic victory.

 

Erie County Resident

"State Rep. Dennis Murray, D-Sandusky — who favors repeal of Senate Bill 5 — said many people appear to be unaware that public employees do not pay into Social Security and are not eligible to receive a Social Security check when they retire."

Talk about misleading. firefighters in most districts work a 24hrs on 48hrs. off schedule. Most firefighters work a job on their days off which pays into Social Security.

On retirement they draw a pension from Ohio Police/Fire fund. Then they either find another fulltime job while drawing it or fully retire and also collect Social Security from their second jobs.

Used to be an AFL-CIO/IAFF union firefighter/paramedic so stop playing oh poor me.

And just exactly where are these union nurses jobs at??? Never seen one or one that would affect my healthcare.

The only nurses I've ever seen are non-union and ARE mistreated by the hospitals they work for.

Nor'easter

“I was surprised to learn about that myself shortly after I was first elected.”     REALLY????? And you claim to be a competent attorney? 
 

I Judge you

My house never caught on fire, I've never been robbed, I went to private school, I've made mad money the easy way, so why should I vote for issue 2?

Ned Mandingo

Never say never, it hasn't happened yet. Do you drive on public roads, that are plowed in the winter? Do you turn on a water faucet and think its majic? Or do you get city water? Do you ever flush a toilet? Its the the things you dont see like the prison gaurds who protect you from murders, sex offenders, pedophiles, theifs, con artists and all the rest.

Its not about what you owe public employees, its about peoples rights to negoiate a contract. If their rights are stripped who is next, private unions, small business owners, farmers choice to decide what they grow or raise.

Its about destroying many of your neighbors jobs, for the profit of a few. That few are the ones who contributed to kasich's campaign, and are going to make millions of ohio taxpayers running soon to be private prisions.

Do you think kasich cares about your well being? No, but your local police and first responders do.

Stop drinking the koolaid and open your eyes.

trafficman

What Erie co. resident innt telling you is your public retirement will reduce the amount of social security you recieve. For those of you that have a retirement plan where you work, does it reduce your SS? Probably not.

Erie County Resident

Hey trafficman that's funny you'd bring that up. That is false all the way.

I have a number of friends retired from the police/fire department and they collect both fully as the PFP funds are NOT counted against their Social Security.

Go ahead... Tell me another one.

Vote to repeal SB5 and let the layoffs begin.

 

mikel

ned - you are to funny.  but, i think i saw you in line drinking the kool-aid first.

i think we should privatize the fire dept, police dept's, ambulance etc.  that way those who use them the most pays for them.  then we would see how much they would look at the bottom line.

most law enforcement dept's have clothing allowance's to pay for uniforms, equipment etc.  ever talk to a mechanic?  90% of them must pay for their own tools that can cost anywhere from $5000 -$10,000.  if you work in an office and are required to wear business casual or suits do your employers share the cost of the clothing?  prob not.  so, why are pd's getting clothing allowances?  again, it's tax payer money so who cares is their thoery.

Ned Mandingo

Private police and fire department? Are you serious? And the contract goes  to who? The lowest bidder who will provide poor service with under trained under paid employees who could care less. Like the idiots who work for the TSA.

You don't get, this is a huge scam kasich and his buddies are pulling on the people of Ohio. Very few people are going to get very rich off this. Once he can break the pensions employees will be offered 401k, most likely managed by someone who contributed to his campaign.

Kimo
The name of Kasich’s agenda is called “Strategic Employee Reduction”.   The goal is to break the unions which in turn will break the pensions.   It’s much easier for Wall Street (Kasich’s Buds) to turn a profit on an individual 401k simply because a single individual knows little or nothing about investments and is easy prey.   A group of hundreds or thousands of people has the money to hire a qualified person to make the decisions and investments and is not as easy a mark.   Sorry to say that did not help OP&F or PERS in the least when they trusted Kasich. Depending on whose number you buy it was about a 68 mil loss, give or take.   Still if each of those people had a 401k to manipulate the take and or loss would have been greater.   There is safety in numbers, divide and conquer and call the plan, Strategic Employee Reduction”.   That is really the goal of SB5. Kasich is not worried about your wallet, he is trying to fill his when his term is up.  
KURTje

Thank goodness we have the Castle Law from Gov. Strickland.         If this bill  passes we will need it.

patriot5
So all the other states that are in a financial crunch must be in a conspiracy with Kasich; including a couple with democrat mayors/governors who say they have no choice but “strategic employee reduction” They are all making money for Kasich huh?   What about these communities that are now charging for police, fire, and ambulance services? So not only do taxes support them, you now get charged a fee for using them.   Either way it’s a loss, the layoffs will come, some cities are already saying they will cut employees.  
Gardenman

At first look it seems strange why state government needs to step into school systems,  city government,  county government,  township government and get into the fray of employee benefits and pay. It would seem that there's enough to do at the state level to keep our governor and our legislators busy for a long long time. For many years all of these government levels be a county,  township, school district.  city you name they've all negotiated their own contracts with employees. All of these government levels had x amount dollars and were all quite capable in spending what they had to compensate employees. Yet in 2011 were being told that it's necessary that the state comes in and that the governor and the legislators need to take over this process that has been done for years by all of these other government levels. You have to wonder why now ????

Well don't too far from the governor's ofice for there lies your answer. You see that most of these government employees belong to unions .And unions almost always are supporting Democrats with large contributions.  So along comes our Republican governor and a Rrepublican controlled House and Senate and they say well if we can end up employees joining unions we end the money to Democrats. Thus, along with redistricting and voter laws favorable to Repulicans we can make sure Ohio never goes Democrat again. 

No Senate Bill 5 isn't about saving townships, cities, schools,  counties'  money .It's all about ensuring that Republicans wii control the State of Ohio for the next century .

I've said it and I'll say it again Kasick is a dangerous individual. He along with other Republicans in legislature are not just trying to change government they are trying to remake the entire government at the state level and below. Be careful what you wish for was said in Fall 2010 election and we know what we've got now in 2011.

Issue 2 is going to fail and it thankfully will never become law. The Republican legislators are gonna get the message and be careful so another embarrassment like this does not happen. The governor probably never will get the message for he has an agenda and he will push it for all the roch businessmen in and out of state that paid for his campaign last year. We can only hope Kasick does not create too much damage before we can get him out of office in 2014. No question about it this guy is a one term governor.  

 

 

Kimo
Re: Pat Riot   I will type this slowly; it’s obvious you can’t read too fast.   “Strategic Employee Reduction” is the name of the plan hatched to bust the unions and their pensions.   It has little or nothing to do with a “Balanced Budget”.   Bust the unions and the Democratic Party loses contributions.   Bust the pensions and Wall Street has an unlimited supply of 401k plans to plunder.   Was…………..that……………….slow……………….enough………………..for………………you?  
Kimo
  Besides if Kasich was really interested in the State of Ohio and the budget, the first “cut” would be his salary, benefits and retirement package.   Wish in one hand…………………  
Who Dat

Allowing SB 5 to remain will  NOT "bust unions" or "destroy the middle class"..........this is nothing more than scare tactics. Nor does is implicate non-government unions.

The folks who passed SB 5 at the state house are the ones lawfully voted in to make such decisions. If you voted to put those folks into office, support their decisions based on mature thinking and not emotions.

Vote YES on Issue 2.

tk

Well, I for one did not vote them in and I do not support their decisions.

buckeye15

I find it humorous when someone (Who dat, etal) says that SB5 won't bust unions.  Did you read SB5?  I did.  I read the part about eliminating fair share fees.  I read the part about mandating that union dues cannot be withheld from paychecks, and must be paid separately by union members.  I read the part about lowering the bar for decertifying unions.  I read the part about management being able to declare a fiscal emergency and declare a union contract null and void.  I read the part about longevity not being a deciding factor in layoffs.

The bill in it's current format is 302 pages.  When Senator Jones introduced the bill in it's original format it was 475 pages.  I read that version too.  I read the part where it totally banned collective bargaining.  When you combine these facts with the fact they cannot or will not show any study that shows how this will save taxpayers any money, a reasonable and thinking person can reach only one conclusion:

SB5 is not, and never has been about saving taxpayer dollars.  It is nothing more than a union busting bill!

They started with the public unions first because they have more control over them.  But the ultimate goal is to bust all unions because the unions are the biggest contributors to Democrats.  Their theory is that if they destroy unions, they destroy the Democratic party. 

I would really like to believe the Republicans would not intentionally destroy the middle class, but that is exactly what would happen if they are successful on their current quest.  Their is just one flaw in their plan.  They way overplayed their hand, and have awoken a sleeping giant.

Vote NO on Issues 1, 2 and 3

patriot5
Hey old man Chemo, strategic employee reduction had been “termed” in manufacturing from the LATE 70'S; are you that out of touch? You act like that is some new saying. Oh my God, strategic employee reduction…….never heard of that back in 1977. In terms you understand, when a certain bowling pin manufacturer bought Harley, strategic employee reduction followed with layoffs.     So bust the union and lose contributions to the democrats, explains why some democrats like Cuomo and Brown are also bringing “strategic employee reduction” to the forefront as a way to balance the budget. They must be scheming with all Kasich’s Wall Street buddies to get rich on those 401k’s?   I never stated if I am pro or foe, it’s a losing hand either direction.      
SimpleEnough

So consolidating all the school teachersunder a group to leverage their numbers to provide for a couple of chices for health insurance is a bad thing? I'd think for each dollar saved on health insurance could be a dollar for use in education where it should go, "educating students".

El Guapo

Well well, another day, another Republican caught lying to try and harm Public workers.

Today's pro SB5 deceiver of the day award goes to Erie County Resident who stated: " Hey trafficman that's funny you'd bring that up. That is false all the way.I have a number of friends retired from the police/fire department and they collect both fully as the PFP funds are NOT counted against their Social Security.Go ahead... Tell me another one."

Truth is as listed below.  Perhaps your imaginary cop friends are republicans and that would explain their ignorance on the subject.

Taken fro Socital Security official website: http://ssa.gov/pubs/10007.html

How much will my Social Security benefits be reduced?

Your Social Security benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of your government pension. In other words, if you get a monthly civil service pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from your Social Security benefits. For example, if you are eligible for a $500 spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefit from Social Security, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100).

If you take your government pension annuity in a lump sum, Social Security still will calculate the reduction as if you chose to get monthly benefit payments from your government work.

KURTje

Pat Riot.......noticed but never said anything till now.        See you rotated your icon after our previous discourse.                (kinda a military thing       right?)

The New World Czar

Interestingly enough, in our neighborhood the only "VOTE NO" signs are from public employee households. Those same houses may have "FOR SALE" signs on Wednesday morning.

El Guapo

Remember VOTE NO for ISSUE 2. 

Do not support Kasich's war on the middle class/ public employees/elderly/hospitals/nursing homes. 

Read for yourself and see that public employees are not causing Ohio's budget problems but Kasich himself.   He is cutting money to local governments/schools etc.. and has actually increased spending compared to Strickland.  The money he is taking from schools, local governments, public workers, elderly on medicare etc.  he is giving to the rich.   The majority of tax payers will not benefit from his actions and levies will be forced to occur for local governments and schools to survive.   Here is a good example of Kasich's class warfare budget slight of hand:

Repeal of the estate tax - $333.8 million loss of revenue (2009 statistics). This money only goes to people with estates worth more than $338,333. This money used to go to local governments and schools. InvestOhio - $100 million each year in tax credits to people who invest in Ohio small businesses. The credit is good for 10% of their investment and tops out at $1 million each year. Bonuses for rich school districts - a special $17 bonus payment per student for school districts that were rated either “excellent” or “excellent with distinction” General Revenue Fund shift - $1.3 billion moved into the General Revenue Fund from state and local schools Funding for charter and private school vouchers -Estimated $500 million increase. (Note: More charter schools also can be created because of changes in sponsorship rules, but the additional cost is not yet known because the funding is provided per pupil. Last year, charter schools got about $720 million and three different voucher programs got a total of more than $100 million. Based on these numbers I’m a estimating $500 million increase)   The Columbus Dispatch has the best graphic I’ve found that illustrates the Kasich cuts:

  "I fully realize that it's kind of counter-intuitive that we've closed an $8 billion shortfall and yet spending is growing." - Kasich's Budget Director Tim Keen

 

 

Who does Kasich work for:  The wealthy,

In April, Kasich gave Diebold a $56 million package of grants, tax credits and loans to keep its headquarters in Ohio. Diebold made national news in the 2004 Ohio presidential election when its then-CEO Wally O’Dell pledged to deliver Ohio’s electoral vote to George W. Bush. This was no idle promise since much of Ohio’s vote was tallied and counted on Diebold computers and their GEMS software. The software is proprietary and secret.

Kasich also gave the Bob Evans restaurant company a $7.8 million incentive package to move its headquarters out of Columbus into the wealthy suburb of New Albany, well-known as being created by Ohio’s only billionaire Les Wexner. In the Bob Evans case, he cited population losses in cities like Columbus as the reason for the incentive package.

Lost on Kasich was the fact that Columbus had added nearly 155,000 residents in the last 20 years, according to the U.S. Census. Kasich has always taken the Reagan approach on facts: “Facts are stupid things,” as Reagan said.

At the same time he was giving the wealthy Bob Evans owners nearly a $8 million welfare check, he was attacking public workers for having decent benefits when a waitress at Bob Evans had “shabby at best” health care benefits and no pension.

You see, according to Kasich, miliaires like Diebold execs and billionaires like Les  Wexner need Ohio's taxpayers money more than struggling schools, cops, firefighters, elderly on medicare etc.   It was of vital importance to Ohio's economy for Bob Evans to move its headquarters 15 miles with $17.4 million of Ohio taxpayer's money.

You see these millionaires are barely making ends meet and with Kasich's help need your taxpayers money to help them out.

17 Leslie H Wexner Limited Brands 56.06 17 Leslie H Wexner Limited Brands 56.06

Les  Wexner  only made only $56 milion last year.

And here is what Diebold staff are making these days:

Diebold President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Swidarski: $4,594,850

OTHER Diebold KEY EXECUTIVES

James Chen $1,601,333

Executive vice president, international operations

Kevin Krakora $1,329,338

Former chief financial officer

Bradley Richardson $1,176,005

Executive vice president and chief financial officer

Charles Ducey Jr. $1,102,582

Executive vice president, North America operations

George Mayes Jr. $1,079,830

Executive vice president, global operations

Leslie Pierce $607,625

Former interim chief financial officer

Where does Kasich get his legislative model for transfering money from working class to wealthy.  Look up a group called ALEC:

http://becauseican-2old2care.blogspot.com/2011/02/kasich-koch-and-alec-long-time-buddies.html

ALEC =

Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists frustrated by recent electoral setbacks, ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics. Inspired by Milton Friedman’s call for conservatives to “develop alternatives to existing policies [and] keep them alive and available,” ALEC’s model legislation reflects long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful to account. Corporate donors retain veto power over the language, which is developed by the secretive task forces. The task forces cover issues from education to health policy. ALEC’s priorities for the 2011 session included bills to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws and more. In states across the country they succeeded, with stacks of new laws signed by GOP governors like Ohio’s John Kasich and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, both ALEC alums.

http://www.thenation.com/article/161978/alec-exposed

 

Kimo
Re: Pat Riot   I have worked for and with some of the Kasich retreads that were chosen and or given a job in his administration, others I have known for years. One that I know worked for Taft, lost the job under Strickland, worked in Kasich’s Columbus campaign headquarters and landed a plum job.   Politics is a game of “musical chairs” and most will do what they need to do to land and keep a job.   It is what it is, been there done that.   As far as “Strategic Employee Reduction” goes, I was born at night, but it was not last night. You can give a plan of attack for any purpose any name you choose. This “Strategic Employee Reduction” plan has two goals, cripple the donations to the D’s and get their mitts on as much of the pension dollars as they can.      

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