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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.


1Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Clearly THOMAS53 has his head up his rear end, where all those conspiracy theories and misinformation the teabaggers have been HIRED to spread by the KOCH brothers is breeding.

Do you know who the Koch Brothers are? Look them up. That's where the real conspiracy is, dummy.


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2jethead11(139 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

"Unions promote productivity".

Does anyone believe that?

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3Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


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4Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 5 years, 5 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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5republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Unions are good for productivity? Is that a joke?

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6MLC75(661 comments)posted 5 years, 5 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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7Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

It isn't a joke if you read it in the context of what they said, not in a bad Vindy report that frames it as stupidly as this article does. Read their entire testimony online. And stop trusting your media outlets, because they're not doing a very good job at reporting the actuality of the soundbites they bring us.

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8palbubba(809 comments)posted 5 years, 5 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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9Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Union workers are more productive because they have a vested interest in their jobs, as opposed to non-union workers who are usually crapped on by their owners and have no hope of rising to the top because they have no say in the conditions of their workplace. Having a place at the table, which unions ensure, makes workers care about that table more, because they're at it. When they're made to eat their dinner at the kids' table in the other room, they start to feel patronized and stop caring.

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10MLC75(661 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

@Tigerlily I agree with you 100 %!

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11republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Tigerlilly, I hope you see everyone is laughing at you and your assertion that unions promote productivity. Ask any company manager about union vs nonunion plants and it isn't even close... The nonunions are almost always vastly superior in productivity.

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12Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

No, repugnican Rick, you and a few others are laughing. Many others are united with me IN SOLIDARITY!

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13PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 5 years, 5 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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14Westsider(269 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

As a former union president I can assure you that union contracts are designed to protect the worst employees - not to reward the best. The problem is that taxpayers - including college students - can no longer afford to foot the bill for cushy pension packages and job security that isn't available to those in the private sector.

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15georgejeanie(1531 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Firsthand experience, back in the 1970s when the trucking companies were being deregulated by the federal government our unionized drivers realized we as owners could not afford to sign the National Freight Agreement, they petitioned the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to negotiate an individual company contract. These drivers were threatened by their own internattional union with losing their pensions, consequently we were picketed by union thugs and driven out of business. Look at Hub bard Road now, where most of the trucking companies had terminals, so much for unions.

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16RustOnMyBelt(172 comments)posted 5 years, 5 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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