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UPDATED: House gives SB 5 approval by 53-44 vote

Published: Wed, March 30, 2011 @ 5:40 p.m.

Video (YouTube)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Republican-led Ohio House voted Wednesday to severely limit the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers across the state, sending a bill that’s sparked pro-labor protests for weeks back to the state Senate.

The full House approved the measure on a 53-44 vote. A vote in the GOP-controlled Senate, which narrowly approved an earlier version of the legislation, could soon follow.

The measure affects safety workers, teachers, nurses and a host of other government personnel. It allows unions to negotiate wages but not health care, sick time, or pension benefits. It gets rid of automatic pay increases, and replaces them with merit raises or performance pay. Workers would also be banned from striking.

Gov. John Kasich has said his $55.5 billion state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections to fill an $8 billion hole. The first-term governor and his Republican colleagues argue the bill would help city officials and superintendents better control their costs at a time when they too are feeling budget woes.

Contentious debates over restricting collective bargaining have popped up in statehouses across the country, most notably in Wisconsin, where the governor signed into law this month a bill eliminating most of state workers’ collective bargaining rights. That measure exempts police officers and firefighters; Ohio’s does not.

The Ohio bill has drawn thousands of demonstrators, prompted a visit from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and packed hearing rooms in the weeks before the Senate passed the measure. Its reception in the House has been quieter, though Wednesday’s vote drew several hundred demonstrators to the Statehouse.


1vor2011(14 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

As a Republican, I believe in less Government and a movement towards a free market system. This seems like the opposite. Lets eliminate the rights of public workers to bargain, so that all police departments, fire departments, and public schools become watered down with the people who are willing to stay in our state and work for the least common denominator. As a rule, the nicest communities are currently places where that attract public workers because the wages are attractive. There are already local elected officials in Boards of Education and Township Administration who negotiate wages and other compensation factors with our public employees. Do we really want to turn the control of our localities over to the state... is this less government? Didn't the state, not our townships go bankrupt? Shouldn't they be focused on cutting state official and employee pay (some of which is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Here is the bottom line from a conservative who has not gotten on board with the Fox News Sarah Palin Tea Party Movement:

1. In my community, I want my police offers to be the best and to be paid accordingly because they protect my home, business and my children.

2. In my community, I want my firefighters to be the best and to be paid accordingly because they get to my house and put out fires.

3. In my community, I want my educators to be the best and to be paid accordingly because they teach my children and care for them as if they were their own for eight hours a day and in after school programs.

4. What do state employess do for us? What does the Governor do for us? Take our money and spend our money.

I am a Republican, but I also have common sense. Top down leadership never works, causes unrest, and is unproductive. Top down government is a democratic idea. Making all people and towns and public employee pay universal is a democratic idea.

As a Republican, I want communities to remain competitive and for the community I live in to reflect the hard work of the community. I also do not want to tick off the people who keep me safe and the people who help me raise my children.

If public employee pay and benefits are so great... why doesn't everyone do it? The answer... it is hard. Not everyone wants to deal with the crime, rotten children, and vandalism brought on by the neglect of parental responsibilities. Before we crucify our public employees, lets remember what they do for us every day. Lets remember that there is no federal bailout of state and local budgets because that was only for banks and large corporations. Lets remember that this whole deal has already started to chase young people out of our state which the census showed us is not something we need.

I apologize for the rant, but there must be a voice of reason in all this. If we want to make changed with our public employee unions, lets do it the right way. By working together with them at the local level.

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2Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


Are you sure you're a republican? You make way too much sense.

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3MFC997(261 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

There must be a ton of wealthy executives out there then to elect all those Republican legislators then ... right dude ... ???

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4rocky14(830 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

This too shall change

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