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Union leaders: We will not negotiate on SB 5 repeal

Published: Fri, August 19, 2011 @ 12:02 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



Union leaders will not take Gov. John Kasich up on his offer to meet in Columbus and negotiate a potential compromise to remove Senate Bill 5 from the November ballot.

Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio, said Thursday the controversial collective- bargaining law would have to be repealed in its entirety before opponents would sit down with the administration and Republican legislative leaders.

“While we thank the governor, Senate president and Speaker of the House for reaching out and recognizing that the bill is flawed, we are asking for a fresh start,” she said in a released statement. “That fresh start must begin with a full repeal of Senate Bill 5.”

Rob Nichols, spokesman for Kasich, said the governor, House Speaker Bill Batchelder and Senate President Tom Niehaus planned to be on hand for this morning meeting in case union officials decide to attend.

But he said a repeal of the legislation would not be part of the negotiations.

“That’s like saying you’ll buy a lottery ticket but that you want to receive your award check first,” Nichols said in a released statement. “Is the anti-SB 5 campaign also saying that no labor contracts should ever be renewed until after existing ones are first repealed? Of course not. We’re confident that there are reasonable folks who understand the value of restarting the negotiations that labor unfortunately pulled out from earlier, and we look forward to talking with them on Friday.”

Kasich and the Republican leaders of the Ohio House and Senate announced Wednesday they were willing to meet with “the government- employee union leaders of We Are Ohio” to negotiate an agreement to keep Issue 2, the repeal of Senate Bill 5, off the November ballot.

The three said they were willing to move quickly on any potential compromise, including bringing lawmakers back into session this month to pass legislation if necessary.

But We Are Ohio, which collected more than 900,000 valid signatures on petitions to force the November referendum, and the leaders of Ohio’s largest labor unions quickly made it clear they were not willing to begin talks with the administration until after lawmakers repealed Senate Bill 5 outright.

“The Ohio AFL-CIO attempted dialogue during the legislative process and was denied that opportunity,” Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, said in a released statement. “Since the bill passed and was signed into law, the Ohio AFL-CIO has been clear that if SB 5 is repealed in its entirety, we would be willing to address any concerns that the governor and the Legislature have with the collective-bargaining law. This is our position and will remain our position throughout this campaign.”

We Are Ohio sent letters to Kasich, Batchelder and Niehaus on Thursday echoing those sentiments.


1youngstownsteve(84 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Repeal SB5 in November and then let's focus on throwing Kasich and these other bums out of office. Absolutely the worst govenor of our time.

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2VindyPost(436 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Kasich has been the worst gov. that I can ever recall, also!

and as far as a compromise? Well, that was a complete joke! Did anyone really think that was going to happen? Never fall into the Kasich Krap-Trap!
puleasssse. See how tricky- J-Dickey can be?

VOTE NO on Issue 2

Frankly, it's disposable toilet paper!

..."it's been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that other's waste!" hf

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3timOthy(802 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

We are Ohio doesn't want to bargain other wise it would repeal this now. It's on Kasich and the Republicans houses just watch what happens. You may win ,but It won't be with my vote. After it's gone maybe we can get rid of you loser. Republicans where oh where are the jobs ?

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Repeal SB5 and keep filling the trough with higher taxes .


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5AtownAugie(893 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Poker is an even more subtle game than chess....

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6noggin7717(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Being a citizen of Ohio, I am sick and tired of not having a voice in the bargaining process of the employees I pay.

You union members are scared/angry that your voice will be taken away; understood. But please understand that We the People have not had a voice in your negotiations, EVER.

This notion that you have some right to bargain your salaries and benefits is absurd in a public sector job. Labor Unions should have NEVER been allowed into the public sector.

* 11+ million people in Ohio and 15% of the populace demands pay/benefits/etc from the other 85%. And the 85% have ZERO say in the process. *

I say BAN UNIONS FROM PUBLIC SECTOR. SB5 doesn't go far enough, but I'll take what I can get when I can get it. It's time the playing field was leveled.

<img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2h2qxba.jpg">

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7dancinmoses(68 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The Kasich crap is just that CRAP! He wouldn't come to the table before, now he want's to talk? Sorry, too late, he wants to talk now because he knows We Are Ohio is going to kick butt. It's is about FAIRNESS, not about union thugs as the private sector likes to label them......stick it to the creepy, greedy Republicans, they deserve to lose BIG time this fall in the elections. Kasich cannot be trusted and I'm glad the leaders are standing him & his Wall Street Cronies up!

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8AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


You do have a say.Its called your elected officials. You have a voice it is called voting for the elected officials to represent you and deciding on local taxes. They have council meetings you can attend. They have BOE you can attend. How many BOE meetings have you gone to this year? BE honest. Labor unions are needed to protect the workers, to help stop gov kasich putting 60 kids in a classroom, to help put good equipment around police out on the street.

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