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Repeal of SB 5 means there’s work to be done in Columbus

Published: Wed, November 9, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

During the long and varied de- bate leading up to Tuesday’s vote on state Issue 2, the referendum on Senate bill 5, we heard any number of public employee labor leaders say that their members understood the need for change. All suggested that they were willing to pay the 10 percent share of their public pensions and a 15 percent copay toward their health insurance.

So in the wake of Tuesday’s vote, the General Assembly should move quickly to approve imposition of the 10/15 cost sharing portion of SB 5, because local governments and school districts are going to need those savings and more.

Gov. John Kasich, who campaigned hard for yes votes on Issue 2 conceded defeat last night and said he understands “the people have spoken.” But he added that there will be no bailouts for local governments.

Kasich and Republicans in the General Assembly balanced the biennial budget, in part, on the backs of local governments and then offered SB 5 as the tool with which those local governments could cut their costs by not only imposing cost sharing minimums but by tilting the bargaining process so far in management’s favor that unions rebelled. Kasich and most of the Republicans in Columbus gambled, and they lost.

Time to focus

It is now incumbent on the governor and Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly to work on legislation that is focused on reining in abuses and reducing costs for local schools and governments without treating every public employee as an enemy of the state.

As we’ve already said, requiring minimum employee contributions toward pensions and health care coverage is a good place to start.

As we said Sunday, when we recommended a no vote on Issue 2, other areas worth pursuing include :

Eliminating accumulated vacation time and sick leave for purposes of cashing-out at retirement.

Providing greater transparency in public pensions by giving the public access to information on individual retirees, which would guard against some of the double-dipping abuses that drive up pension costs and could threaten the viability of some of the state pension systems.

Reforming or replacing binding arbitration as an alternative to public safety strikes. Too often arbitrators look only at a subdivision’s bottom line of the day and approve pay raises that local government or a school board cannot afford in the long run without seeking additional taxes.

While the voters spoke yesterday on Issue 2, they also sent a message about their almost universal unwillingness to approve additional local taxes.

That really isn’t a mixed message, it is a nuanced message to which Democrats and Republicans in Columbus must respond — beginning today.

Until proven otherwise, Ohio remains a swing state, and a state in which there’s stronger evidence today than yesterday that Ohioans expect all their elected representatives to be able to work together for the common good.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Genie is out of the bottle now... just wait to see how much local governments start shoving levies and other taxes down our throats to prop up their government union allies - and the SPINDicator will goose - step right along with them, because of the ad revenues that is realized from being a big proponent of corupt, inefficient and just plain dumb public polices.

Welcome to Ohio - soon to be spelled GREECE!

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

The shakedown of the private sector . . ..

Government office worker going door to door demanding more . . ..


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3legend33(169 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I am freaking tired of seeing issue 4 on the ballot. Why the hell does the home owners of the county have to support something that effect less than 0.05% of us. This should be funded with state or federal taxes. What BS. It always passes by 70-75% every flippin 2 years that is on the ballot!

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4AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

All layoff or cut backs will be blamed on issue 2. There have been layoffs over the years, there have been payfreezes for years. But now everything will be blamed on not passing issue 2. If you drink the koolaid, you will blame issue 2 for years.

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5JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

"Voters clearly rejected tax issues in eight of 14 central Ohio school districts on the ballot yesterday, some of which now plan to cut hundreds of teaching jobs, high-school busing and extracurriculars."

"Westerville to cut sports after levy fails"

"Chris Williams, the teachers union president, called the deep cuts “very grim.” About 61 percent of Westerville voters said no to the issue."

AAC, I thought only SB5 would cause mass layoffs???? Here come them 50 students-to-1 teacher classrooms you and SOC have been whining about.

Better get used to the layoffs in all public sector services! Maybe you'll see the "1 fireman running into a burning house to save you" scenario that you cried about! Enjoy your cutback in public services:)

Round #3 (just in the last 3 months) coming to Canfield School District.


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6JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Correction, round #3 in the last 12 months at Canfield SD - you still get the idea, cutbacks/layoffs are coming.

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7Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh no, I completely disagree with this editorial. It seems to me that the voters have spoken - leave collective bargaining as it is - and vote down every new tax issue because there is no more money coming from Columbus. That ought to thin the ranks of public employees pretty quickly - and unfortunately the best employees may be the ones looking for work. . .oh well. . .

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8candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Look for mass "furlough days" with little notice to public employees so a city or college doesn't bounce payroll checks.

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9jojuggie(1702 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

LET THE LAYOFFS BEGIN!!!! Let's see how effective the unions are in running the state of OHIO.

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10Traveler(606 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

SB5 was a bad bill but we need it the government has shown that it cant bargain effectively with public sector unions. With the votes against most of the levies to raise taxes and the vote against SB5 to help reduce cost we as a state have shown we only want bread and circus and will deserve what we get when it comes crashing down around our head

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11NoBS(2762 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I can't escape the feeling that the same people who are bellyaching and crying on here would be gloating and baiting the "vote no" crowd if Issue 2 had passed. Boo-freekin'-hoo, you lost, deal with it. That you still wish ill on the public employees, instead of hoping for a unified state where cooperation and progress is the goal, says a lot about you all.

So, Kasich says there will be no bailouts for local governments. What, then, will he be doing with the money he's 'saving'?? Giving his cronies more and bigger raises?

And to the Vindy, who are obsessed with what others get that they don't - may I remind you that those who do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it? In this instance, buying back unused sick time and vacation time was a deal struck BY MANAGEMENT as a cost-saving measure. And it's more applicable in today's skeleton-crew world than it ever was.

I would urge the Vindy to get over its long-standing resentment toward public employees and work toward progress and unity for the Valley. Divisiveness is never healthy. Stop promoting it.

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12bsafeandproud(46 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

We Are Ohio and the union thugs raised $30 million + to defeat SB5. That's $30 mill. + depleted from their donators towards the 2012 elections and beyond. And yet Kasich can still stand proud on passing his powerful 2011 state budget and on his soon-to-be massive expansion of EdChoice, which allows my children quality private schooling until graduation. You've easily won my vote, Mr. Kasich!

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13Boardman120(82 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I hope all you who voted NO on Issue 2 are ready to ante up and pass every levy that comes down the pike, because I will never vote for another levy, ever again.
If government employees won't give up their ridiculous perks, they just might sit up and take notice when they realize they've just priced themselves out of a job.
I have to pay my taxes, but I don't have to give them more money to squander.
Hope you guys are happy.

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