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Issue 2 good for us

Published: Sun, October 30, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

To watch the false and misleading anti-Issue 2 TV ads, you would be left with the impression that fireman, fire victims and hospital patients will be dead on the streets if Issue 2 passes. The impressions created by the ads are wrong. An analysis by Politifact.com found two of these ads regarding staffing levels and other issues to be “mostly false.” Similar problems have been found with other anti-Issue 2 ads.

Nothing in Issue 2 prohibits safety unions from discussing staffing needs with safety administrators. Issue 2 simply allows staffing decisions to be made by fire chiefs, police commanders and school superintendents who are responsible for managing their departments while respecting the realities of community needs and budgets.

Public employees play a vital role in strong, effective government. We need quality people in government service; not at any cost, but at a cost that fairly reflects the needs of the citizens and the realities of the marketplace.

Health insurance

The common sense reforms of Issue 2 are many. Public sector employees will have to pay at least 15 percent of the cost of their health insurance and a 10 percent contribution toward their own retirement program. The Vindicator recently reported that 71 percent of Mahoning County employees had all or part of their “employee contribution” toward retirement paid for by the taxpayer. Fairness? Hardly.

Collective bargaining will continue for hours, wages and working conditions. The right to bargain for safety equipment is guaranteed. Our elected officials and their representatives will have their traditional rights as managers restored. The difference is that no longer will an unelected, unaccountable arbitrator have the power to force a settlement onto a township, city, school board or union. The elected representatives of the people will be given back the responsibility to deal with public employees while respecting the wishes of taxpayers. Final settlement offers can no longer be shrouded in secrecy, but will be open for all to see. The threat of a public sector strike will be lifted. We saw first hand how the threat of a strike at YSU caused so much anxiety to thousands of innocent students who wanted nothing more than to plan for the next semester.

No longer will public employees have their money confiscated by unions to support issues they may not agree with. Instead, employees will have to sign an authorization to permit their money to be taken for union or political purposes. Reasonable? Of course.

One of the greatest gifts of Issue 2 is that our best teachers will be rewarded for their contributions to learning. Raises will be based on merit, not just time in the seat. By controlling costs, school boards can avoid layoffs.

Even with SB 5, Ohio public union members will have more collective bargaining rights than any federal government worker, and more than would have been granted by President Roosevelt, who said, “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

Public sector employees enjoy higher wages, better benefits and job security, but contribute less for those benefits than workers in the private sector who are footing the bill. It’s time to restore fairness and common sense. A yes vote on Issue 2 will strengthen Ohio, help governments manage scarce resources, and slow down the constant drain on the taxpayer.

Mark Munroe is vice-chairman of the Mahoning County Board of Elections who has been active in local GOP politics for over 30 years and is chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party.


1Dan_Moadus(33 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Great common sense points. I don't see how anyone could read this and oppose Issue 2.

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2theotherside(333 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

More obfuscation from Mark Munroe. Who is really misleading who Mark? As many claims made by politifact and other fact checkers show just as much political spin on the pro-SB 5 side so lets look at the real facts of SB 5 instead:

1). Munroe claims "...nothing in Issue 2 prohibits safety unions from discussing staffing needs with safety administrators..." What he doesn't tell you is that those administrators won't have to even consider what the union thinks. They simply will impose their will. And furthermore, since staffing levels are outlawed as a negotiating item, that worker would be breaking the law if he brought that up in the faux collective begging that SB 5 will spawn. So either Munroe is desperate to confuse voters or he is ignorant of what is in SB 5. I suspect both.

2). Mahoning County paid worker pension contributions instead of giving them a raise. By any auditing standard, this actually saves the taxpayers money. Of course Munroe doesn't want you to know that. Munroe, Kasich, Building a better Ohio, and the rest of the union busters want you to think this is about pensions and health care contributions. It isn't. It's about union busting and consolidating economic power into the hands of would be plutocrats like the Koch Bros, who are the real puppet masters holding Kasich's strings. You want to be a corporate slave? Then vote yes on Issue 2.

3). Binding arbitration is the check and balance that protects taxpayers not only from over zealous union negotiating, but from management cronyism, favoritism, and nepotism as well. SB 5 removes the rights of workers to sit at the table and be represented under normal collective bargaining and permits management to practice the isms mentioned above. You like corruption? Then vote yes on Issue 2.

4). There is no research that exists, nor any program currently working anywhere that proves that merit pay works in education. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. This is nothing more that John Kasich "...breaking the backs of the teacher's unions..." Teacher working conditions are student learning conditions. You don't want teachers negotiating for smaller class size and what they feel is best for their students? Then vote yes on Issue 2.

5). Roosevelt was a man of his times. Not these times. I love how republicans love to quote the man they love to hate. It is disingenuous to make such a claim. If Roosevelt were alive, he would likely be appalled at the attacks on public workers, union or not.

6). "...Public sector employees enjoy higher wages, better benefits and job security, but contribute less for those benefits than workers in the private sector who are footing the bill..." This is classic obfuscation because Munroe knows full well that there are studies that refute this claim. Sort of like the 43% claim, huh Mark?

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