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YSU workers to lawmakers: Unions promote productivity

Published: Fri, February 18, 2011 @ 12:43 p.m.


Sherry Linkon


John Russo

By Marc Kovac



Other schools have tried to lure Sherry Linkon and John Russo away from Youngstown State University.

But the two, who serve as co-directors of the Center for Working-Class Studies, have stayed at YSU because of labor agreements in place that protect them and others.

“We have chosen to stay at YSU, in part because we want to work in a union environment,” Linkon told state lawmakers in Columbus on Thursday. “The working conditions established by the YSU-Ohio Education Association contract have helped us be productive and successful, as they have for many of our colleagues.”

She added, “We believe that the stability, clear expectations and fairness provided by collective bargaining help faculty do a better job of developing new knowledge, teaching our students and working with the community.”

The two, along with Brenda Crouse, a senior academic adviser at the university, and Michael Glonek, president of the YSU Association of Professional and Administrative Staff, stood before a state lawmaker committee Thursday night to oppose Senate Bill 5, which would make sweeping changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws.

Linkon and Russo waited more than nine hours to offer their testimony on a day that included comments from about 50 proponents and opponents of the legislation.

Linkon said collective bargaining has helped to establish standard workloads for faculty and staff and created a “productive, congenial work environment.”

“We’ve maintained an order, we’ve accomplished the goals, we’ve improved the university and we, at the same time, [have one of] the lowest tuitions in the state of Ohio,” Russo said.

It’s also helped to keep quality faculty teaching and staff working at the university in the long-term, Linkon said.

“This bill targets [public workers], many of them earning relatively low wages, blaming them for an economic crisis that they did not create,” Linkon said.


1jethead11(139 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

"Unions promote productivity".

Does anyone believe that?

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2Silence_Dogood(1342 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

The largest union in this area I would guess is the UAW, and they increased the productivity so much so that thier company had to go hat in hand to the Federal Government for a handout/loan of over $60,000,000,000. How is that for PRODUCTIVITY.

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3MLC75(529 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Unions are good for productivity,I have been on jobs with union and non-union workes.The union workers have a much better work ethic than the non-union workers.The productivity isn't even close,the union workers out perform the non-union workers.The non-union workers take longer breaks and lunches,than the union workers and they leave earlier on some days,not putting in a full eight hour shift.

All the union haters need to see both sides .We need to keep our union workers.

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4palbubba(664 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Tigerlily is the only one so far on this board with his/her head up their rear. If anyone believes that unions have increased productivity, I have a mansion to sell you in Youngstown for a mere million dollars. Get real.

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5MLC75(529 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

@Tigerlily I agree with you 100 %!

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6PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

The best the way to resolve the issue is with facts. Arizona is a good example. Arizona is a right to work state, no unions in government there!! However, check their pay rates. The Upper Level Administrators and Directors make 3-5 times there suboridnates. :In other words the PEONS are paid very low wages while the bosses are paid huge salaries. That is what will happen in Ohio and Wisconsin.The PEONS by not having any advocacy, will subsidize the bosses huge salaries....The bosses will get the biggest share of the taxpayers taxes..PHISHIE

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7aztek519(29 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Where I live, we are a right to work state, which means no union. THAT promotes productivity because if you suck at your job, you are gone. Additionally, our schools are non union and the buildings are constructed using non-union labor. Surprisingly, our buildings are much cheaper to build and take less time. All unions do is protect crappy workers from losing their jobs. My sister was a salaried employee at Lordstown and used to tell us how many people should be fired but cant because of the UAW.

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8RustOnMyBelt(114 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Ha Ha ,AzteK makes me laugh ! "Using Non-union" builders..hey,get a clue. They are non-legals afraid to be sent back to Meheco and ,so, work long,hot days for low wages. This Governor stepped DOWN from Wall St. to step ON the middle class. If his aim were true, he would appeal to all organized labor groups to adjust their pay and benefits in order to reflect the economic situation.He does not give union members (your neighbors ,your customers, your fellow Ohioans) credit .He has branded Unions as his scapegoat for Government overspending in other areas such as the Iraq conflict. If we had but one-tenth of the money that we have spent so far on this "war" we could pay the debt of EVERY state right now that are operating in the red.Public servants have become the scapegoats for our National debt. This Governor rode into office on the coat-tails of what many believed was a true grass roots movement and now he and his ilk will have their way with all who stand up for the average middle class man.The fear of economic collapse does not warrant such a drastic move as to eliminate colllective bargaining. It only opens the barn door for the wealthy to abuse and take advantage of the plight of the common man and unavailablity of jobs. If you think this will stop with public workers, think again.If you think you'll EVER get back the right to demand good safe working conditions, humane hours and work weeks, and decent pay think again.

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9aztek519(29 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

RustOnMyBelt, as a teacher who does not get collective bargaining, I would say my $61,000 annual salary for 10 years of teaching is WAY above what most teachers in Ohio with the same experience and education receive. Even when you factor in cost of living, I still make more. Additionally, being a non-union district, we don't go on strike. Now tell me, how does striking benefit students? It doesn't. Striking is only meant to benefit union members, no matter who gets screwed over in the process.

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