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Strike threat shows need for SB5



Published: Fri, August 26, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Strike threat shows need for SB5

Even the threat of a strike at YSU is unacceptable. The students are innocent victims in this entire situation, essentially held hostage by the OEA. Many students including myself work two or three jobs to just get by and pay tuition.

The threat of a strike is why S.B. 5, now known as Issue 2, must pass. Striking in the private sector is one thing because that only affects a small aspect of the community. But a strike in the public sector is much more harmful. YSU has approximately 16,000 students. A strike would affect each and every one of them because of a delayed or worse case scenario canceled semester. It would affect the entire community. The people of Youngstown are held hostage to the OEA’s greed.

Our tuition has gone up 3.5 percent this year, yet the faculty expects a raise? That is intolerable. How is that fair to the students who work so hard to get through school? At a time where unemployment sits at skyrocket highs and working class people are forced to take pay cuts and benefit reductions, why should we continue to give those in the public sector more and more raises?

The union is fighting one major issue and that is health-care coverage. The administration asks that they pay 15 percent toward their benefits, but the OEA cries foul over this. Currently YSU employees pay a small percentage toward their benefits. As health-care costs continue to climb it is a fair request that the union’s employees pay their fair share.

The state’s $8 billion budget deficit affected us all. With the budget cuts, funding was lost. Students sucked up and accepted their 3.5 percent tuition increase this year. We sacrificed; it is time our professors do the same. The administration simply asked for a pay freeze, yet the union claimed it was being asked for a pay cut.

The threat of a strike just days before the start of the fall semester is why collective bargaining reform known as Issue 2 is so vital to not only the financial security of our state, but to the fairness towards students for years to come.

Ryan Beil, Boardman

The writer is vice chairman of YSU College Republicans.

Don’t blame the faculty at YSU

Strikes are tough. And, in the end, no one wins. Yet, when lost in a forest, the only way to survive is to take the difficult route. One thing is clear, the situation at Youngstown State University is not the fault of the faculty. They were not asking for more money, only to maintain a semblance of their already meager wages.

It is a common misconception that instructors make an absurd amount of money. Have you ever met the YSU faculty? Most don’t. Most are just like any of us. They drive old cars, live in normal houses and struggle to pay off their debts and loans.

In spite of this, they were willing to take a massive pay cut, but that was not good enough for the administration.

YSU wants to expand and grow, but no remodeled building is going to make the school any better. It takes the hard work of a faculty who put in countless hours outside of class supporting and connecting with students.

Never once during my time at YSU have I looked at the Rec Center and said, “Wow! This building really changed my life, I’m so glad I came to YSU!”

On the other hand, there have been numerous occasions when the faculty has had the power to affect me. Through words of encouragement, advice and motivation, the faculty of YSU has pushed me to do my best and grow as a student, writer and person.

The faculty is the reason YSU matters. Don’t let pettiness take attention away from that.

Matthew Lattanzi, North Jackson


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