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SB 5 is an attack on labor rights

Published: Thu, October 13, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

SB 5 is an attack on labor rights

Tony Ehreneich once stated: “Labor rights are as fundamental as human rights, and the job of a democratic country is to protect both.” Senate Bill 5 is an unfair and unsafe attack on the rights of hard working Ohioans. It is a bill that was quickly pushed through the Ohio Senate and House in March 2011. When two of the eight Republican senators on the Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee decided to join the four Democrats on the committee and oppose SB 5, one of those Republican senators (Bill Seitz) was replaced with Sen. Hite, one in favor of SB 5, by the Ohio Senate president, a Republican; thus, the committee vote was a 7-5 passage.

First responders — police, firefighters, and nurses — did not create the economic crisis in which our state finds itself. These are individuals who run toward or into a dangerous situation to keep others safe while those being protected are running from said danger. SB 5 will limit, on multiple levels, the ability of these responders to negotiate to continue to keep our communities safe.

Likewise, teachers and other public employees did not cause Ohio’s economic crisis. As a recently retired teacher of 38 years, I saw the teachers and classified workers in the district in which I taught take wage freezes and health-care concessions whenever necessary to help the district with financial needs. We have always paid a percentage of our salary for our retirement since we do not collect Social Security.

A recent study found Ohio public employees earn 6 percent less on a yearly basis than their peers in the private sector and earn 3.5 percent less on a hourly basis (Economic Policy Institute, Feb. 2011).

Public employees continually make sacrifices in communities in which they work. For example, state employees have taken a pay freeze five times in nine years. In the last contract, the state employees voluntarily made sacrifices that saved $250 million and an additional $100 million in health-care costs (We Are Ohio: Myth vs. Truth, Sept. 2011). Again, collective bargaining rights of public employees in the state of Ohio did not cause Ohio’s economic crisis, yet those rights are under attack.

If SB 5 goes forward and is not repealed, many jobs will be lost in both the public and private sector. I urge all of my fellow citizens to join me and my family as we vote no on Issue 2 in November to repeal an unfair and unsafe bill that will hurt everyone.

Sandra Webber, Girard


1penguinfan1(29 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


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2AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Many Ohioans are with you Sandra. With over one million signatures behind sb5, I have full faith that sb5 will be voted DOWN. It is an attack on middle class, of which the vast majority of Ohio workers fall in to.

Too bad so many middle class workers defend the rich, wealthy, and famous. And seem to think the repub politicians will stand up for them.

Its funny how so many teapubbers say GM should not have been bailed out. And their employess make a good living. But the same teapubbers don't say anything about banks being bailed out, and their tellers get paid so very little. The same teapubbers think oil companies should be given billions in tax right offs, while some middle class firefighter risking their life for us, are overpaid and too many bene's. Teapubbers will support wall street in new York, but not their next door neighbor in Ohio. SAD, Very Sad.

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3paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


You're wrong. Public employees earn more than their private sector counterparts - because of the retirement bonanza you and others enjoy. Basically, you only have to work 75% of the time it takes a private sector employee to reach retirement.

As for concessions, "so what?" They were forced on you. The greed of the public sector will always make sure that there will a job with cushy benefits awaiting the lazy hogs at the public trough...

Also, I am so tired of the "we didn't cause this mess" argument. Neither did the private sector workers - who have given back a whole lot more than you Cadillac-ers.

Maybe if Issue 2 passes, we can start to restore some sanity in the system.

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4NoBS(2238 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

So, paulparks, when the economy gets going again, and the private sector wages rise, will you actively support public sector employees getting those same raises?

And I like your "so what?" comment - it shows your true colors. If the public sector concessions were only given because they were forced upon them, what on earth do you think separates that from what happened to the private sector? Did they voluntarily give back a large chunk of their wages and bennies? Or were those things "forced upon" them, too? The private sector was the ones for generations who lived high on the hog, with tons of perks and benefits the public sector never had a chance at. Where was your indignation over that injustice? You made huge money to lean your beerbelly on a broom for 8 hours, and the guys running into harm's way to keep your ungrateful self safe made a dollar an hour. Why didn't you speak up then?

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5paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


"A dollar an hour?" Who do you know in the public sector who doesn't make a decent wage?

I will never support the public sector getting the same wages as the private sector because:

1. Public sector jobs only go to "connected" people,

2. Even if public sector workers work "hard" at their jobs, they never equal the private sector,

3. Public sector employees couldn't make it in the "real world" without all the perks and bennies, etc., and,

4. There are people who work for a living - and they are the ones who support the "Cadillac-ers" in the public sector.

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6rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

dirtbag and paulpark

Both of you are nothing but Socialists.
You want the public sector to make exactly what the private makes.You also want them to get the same exact benefits.
You are both nothing but Socialists!

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7taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Why does that make them socialists? Just becuase we don't want to pay for you to retire at 55 (just an example, don't go all crazy) and have us pay for your luxury retirement and we can keep working until we're 67 and then maybe we can survive when we retire? Two wrongs don't make a right. Just because there may have been lower wages for the public workers 25 yrs ago doesn't mean we want to pay premium wages and the best retirement anyone could hope for while we work until we drop. Just remember, while you complain that we don't get it, neither do you. We are the ones who pay your salary and benefits. You don't pay ours!

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8AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It is the greed of the businesses that took away retirements from many private sector workers. Except for places like GM, oh yea the union fought for their workers to keep retirement. Now since private sector has less unions (just like the greedy owners want) they have no retirement. So the private sector thug workers with no union, no retirement, no protection wants everybody else to suffer with them.

Hey private sector, lets JOIN TOGETHER and fight for what we deserve. Good pay and retirement for a good 30 years of work. Thats what unions are for. Thats why sb5 MUST be voted down. Or real soon NOBODY will ever retire. We will all be working into out 70's for low wages and GREEDY CORPORATE AMERICA will have exactly what they want.

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9rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


You got it all wrong.The only time i ever worked in the public sector is when I served 4 years in the military.
Stop trying to lower workers wages to yours,Start trying to bring yours up to theirs.
How about if people making $7.50 an hour wanted you to be making that?

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10Philo(99 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

There is simply no room for unions in the public sector. If by some miracle SB 5 is recalled, then the Republican controlled state legislature needs to dismantle the public sector unions piece by piece if necessary. They have gouged Ohio taxpayers long enough. If you need a union to protect you because you feel you're not really worth what they're paying you, and you know deep down the taxpayers could obtain better services for less money, then quit and take a job in a private sector union. I sense a backlash amidst the voting public. Thinking men and women are sensing that if the unions are so anti-SB 5, then maybe we better be pro SB 5. In either case we are bearing witness to the end of public sector unions in Ohio, and rightly so.

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11VINDYAK(1822 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

When the wages of public servants become greater than the wages of those they serve and those public servants begin to talk down to citizens and taxpayers as if they are actually the servants, then it is time to reconsider the program.

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12VINDYAK(1822 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Ohio Public Sector workers are paid 43.4 % more than private-sector workers. A report prepared for the Ohio Business Roundtable by Andrew G. Biggs, Ph.D. and Jason Richwine, Ph.D.

Opponents of SB 5 argue that Ohio public workers currently receive less compensation than they could
receive in the private sector, and that SB 5 would worsen the problem. This report compares current
public‐ and private‐sector compensation in Ohio, focusing on how the wages, benefits, and job security
of public employees compare to those of private‐sector workers with similar skills. We conclude that:
• Ohio public employees receive nearly the same wages as comparable private workers (2.5 percent
less), but
• Fringe benefits for Ohio public workers are more than twice as generous as those paid in the private sector, meaning that when pay and benefits are taken into consideration public workers receive 31.2
percent more in total compensation than private‐sector counterparts.
• Ohio Public employees enjoy significantly greater job security than private‐sector workers. That job
security has an economic value equal to approximately 10 percent of compensation.
In total, considering wages, benefits (including retirement), and the value of job security, Ohio public sector workers are paid 43.4 percent more than those in private‐sector employment.
• Even if the provisions of SB 5 were implemented in full, it is very likely that Ohio public‐sector workers
would continue to enjoy a substantial compensation premium over private‐sector Ohioans.

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13VINDYAK(1822 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

For those who believe voting No on Issue 2 will save jobs, nothing could be further from the truth.

Voting No on Issue 2 will actually force state and local governments to lay-off employees in order to balance their budgets, since they will not be able to save any money on current employee compensation packages.

Voting No will mean younger employees with families will lose their jobs, while older employees with Cadillacs, Lexus's and Suburbans will keep their envied compensation packages.

If you really want to help State and local governments AND help younger government employees keep their jobs...Vote YES for Issue 2.

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14UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

YES on SB5. Paying a small fair share for your benefits is right and correct in this economy after all those of us in the private sector already do.

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15JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

“It’s a pretty easy decision for the taxpayers,” .... “If you keep giving benefits you can’t afford, benefits that are out of touch with the private sector, ultimately you have fewer workers, you raise taxes or you have fewer services.”

Vindyak said it correctly


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16paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


You are absolutely right! It's the system that's flawed - not the poor public workers (the Cadillac-ers). Voting YES on Issue 2 will begin to revise the system!

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17rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

What a bunch of cry babies!!
Try going out and get a real job.No one has ever stopped you from getting one of these public jobs.
Try getting an education.

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18VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

If sb5 was only about making public workers paying more for retirement and bene's then I would support it. That makes sense. However sb5 is more about union busting and not effecting nonunion positions, such as Guv and his staff.

If they passed something ONLY stating ALL public workers pay 15-20% of medical, that would be fine. But no, sb5 wants to strip away bargaining rights of hard working middle class taxpayers.

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19paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Public sector jobs only go to the connected and public employees are the BIGGEST cry babbies on the planet.

Face reality, communist!

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20rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Face reality communist!

YOU are a moron!
My wife worked in the public sector.She was a teacher.She knew NO ONE to get her job.She came from another part of the state.
Get off your lazy a$$ and get yourself a real job.

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21davemck616(3 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I was from out of state also. I obtained a County job through hard work and getting to know people while working in the private sector (10 years). This BS about Public workers and the Private sector is crap. The reality if you want to face it: this Administration is waging a war of American vs American. We would not even be in this BS if he did not want chaos. It is called "Class Warfare". Wake up and quit fighting each other. We are all peons in his mind. Unless you make 10 million a year as he made last year. He has over one Billion in his Campaign chest:. Really. Don't ya think he is going to reap some of that "Obama Stash?". Worker against worker is playing into their hands. SB5 will not make that much difference in the public sector any way. So you have to pay a little more for you Health Insurance. Welcome to the real world my friends. Most are non union workers. We need to get real and realize who the real enemy is. It is not each other.....

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22Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The opponents of SB5 are only asking more of your less and less . They want to tax you to the limit one more time . . ..


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23paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


A communist is a person who thinks Republicans are socialists & who thinks working for the public sector is the only "real job."

If the shoe fits - stick it in your big mouth, commie!

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24streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


I think that a communist would vote "NO" on Issue 2.

Not that all "NO" voters are communists... or are they?

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25streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Silence is golden... also capitulation.

Are you a card carrying Communist or a closet Communist?

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26charms(228 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

SB5 is not an attack on "rights" labor has - a right is something due people because of their citizenship... Like in the Bill of Rights.

SB5 curtails "benefits" public employees have enjoyed by virtue of a misguided attempt by our legislature to "even the playing field" with management.

History has shown that "too much" in benefits were awarded to public laborers - thus all the government funding problems we have today.

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27rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Sure---I spent 4 years in the military defending this country and a bunch of morons like you two.
I guess that makes me a Communist!

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28paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

No, rocky...

You are a communist because you believe that:

1 Public employees are the only employees entitled to "special status,"

2. You think people who don't agree with "your party line" are morons, and,

3. You think conservatives don't have any freedom of speech.

Only your opinions matter, rocky... right? You diss everyone else - what a jerk you are!

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29rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


The reason I called you a moron is because you ARE a moron for calling people Communists.

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30streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Post # 9 - Rocky, you started the name-calling - calling Paul Parks a socialist. So if he calls you a communist, so what!

I'm tired of you liberal maniacs attacking people.

Shows you the world you know - the world of privilege for public sector employees is changing.

Now you can call me a moron. How clever of you!

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31rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

If your house catches on fire maybe YOU should put it out.
If someone breaks into your house--don't call a public sector cop
At least a public sector teacher taught you how to read.

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32streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


This is typical of the "hurt-feelings" arguments the "NO" on Issue 2 people put forth.

No one said we should eliminate the public sector or that we don't need a public sector to provide important services.

All the "YES" on Issue 2 voters are saying is that:

1. We have a "spending in the public sector" problem,

2. It's not the public sector workers' fault, but the changes needed require more sacrifice from the public sector workers,

3. The changes that are being advocated are not unfair to the public sector - when compared to what is happening with workers in the private sector, and,

4. Its one thing or the other - either reduce the cost of government - or increase government revenues (taxes) to pay for the public sector expenses.

That's as simple as you can put it.

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33rocky14(766 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


You are right.They will have to pay more towards their pension and medical costs if they are not doing it now.They know this and most of them accepts this.
But it's the rest of the garbage in there that they can't accept.
Vote no on SB5

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34meagain(85 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Ok. Last time. If this was ONLY about the money the bill would be one page and state: Public workers will pay 10% toward pension and 15% toward healthcare. And I'd bet none of them would have a problem with that because many already pay that or darn close to it. It's the administrators of these people who don't make much contribution if any at all. What they have a problem with is the garbage that fill the other hundred pages. This isn't about the money!

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35AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Its all about making public workers pay more for retiement and medical. Well for some but not others

Read sb5 where it states that all law makers are EXEMPT from the laws contained within SB5!! Love it!!!!! VOTE NO ISSUE 2, SAVE OHIO AND THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!


Vote NO on issue 2

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36ConservativeDude(36 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Lawmakers are NON UNION. They are not covered by SB5. You are listening to the spin doctors, We are Ohio and Innovations Ohio. Their mission is to confuse people with misinformation. You bit!

The TAXPAYERS, like you, need to demand these UNION employes step up and pay some of their benefits and pensions like the Private sector does. That money can be saved and used to maintain employment levels for Police and Fire.

Wake up Youngstown we the TAXPAYERS are getting no representation at the bargaining table. VOTE YES on Issue 2 and return the control to the TAXPAYERS, not the UNIONS.

For all Union members, what exactly do you get for your Union dues? Wouldn't it be nice to have some or all of that money returned to your paycheck?

Just sayin'

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37honestman(33 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

ok, i see the same crap here, the reb party blah blah blah, ......... the unions get everything, private gets nothing, hey do the research, multiple sites, in all the sites i pulled up comparing wages, fire vs public, private vs public, avg wages of ohio firefighters etc, only 1 claims public makes more, most at least 7 or 8 gave numbers, stats, etc stating that private make approx 5 to 7 more percent than public. and many of public unions are now indeed paying much more than in decades past, for retirement and healthcare. i myself pay 10% for both, and we have reopeners for health care which means we will have to pay more each year. this bill is union busting plain and simple otherwise they wouldnt be killing a tree to print just one copy. are all unions bad, no are all corps evil no, you dont cut off the arm when you have a broken bone, you mend it. you want reform, tired of lazy union workers, how bout some standards that have to be met. if you dont make the standard than you can lose your job. how about townships and cities forming boards that meet and search out the best prices for insurance, and hwo about the politicians taking a paycut. yeah, tell the grunts you make to much, how about administrators, pencil pushers, blow hards taking a cut in benifits. are you gonna stop the burglar breaking into my house or intervine during an hear attack, or teach my kids to read. we have more chiefs and not enough inidans. while politicians sit aournd and pat each other on the backs and tell each other how great they are, we the workers, keep the wheels turning. with sweat, and blood and heart.

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38honestman(33 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

as far as the guy who thinks public sector is lazy and we couldnt handle it in the real world, what do you do, i dont think you could keep up with me buddy, let me tell you about my day, come to work, clean and do daily duties, run any medical calls or fire calls that come in, than we train for a few hours, plus we usually do some guest apperance at someones community function at least once a month from spring to fall, ask my wife when i get home in the morning exhausted from running calls all night. to presume you work harder than me is arrogance. not to mention my second job that i have to work. i must work for the wrong department. i saw your quote on one set of findings, well there is about five or six others that state public makes less, do the search. anyone interested in the truth can search public vs private sector, and by the way i wont be retiring till 60, we have a 25 year min, thats because our jobs are demanding, horrible back injury's, heart attacks, cancer and lung problems. we dont ride a desk, you cant expect a 67 year old to lift a 350lb person out of tub or fight a basement fire. i know two guys that retired, guess what they are still working other jobs to defer health care costs. so much for cadillac retirement. we have had only two retire in the last ten years by the way, so its not like 2 out of 20 people, its 2 out of 2 still working. i give my hats off to all physical jobs out there, contruction, laborors, pipefitters, landscapers, electricians, etc. we all put in a hard days work hats off to ya. also one last comment, alot of public workers have degree's and schooling.. ff/medics have over 3 years of ed to do our jobs plus we do about 75 hours a year of cont. ed. compare out wages to people with associates degree's and 4 year degree's. otherwise its not fair

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