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2 sides of Issue 2

Published: Sun, October 30, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.




Kenneth Nielsen says he has thick skin.

  State Issue Two

Kenneth Nielsen of Struthers shares his opinions on State Issue 2.

Kenneth Nielsen of Struthers shares his opinions on State Issue 2.

  A Firefighter Speaks Out On Issue 2

A Firefighter Speaks Out On Issue 2.

A Firefighter Speaks Out On Issue 2.

The Struthers man needs it working as a locksmith at Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

He also needs it as a member of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association union. He’s a vocal supporter of state Issue 2, which restricts some collective-bargaining rights for public employees, including himself and his co-workers.

Nielsen, who makes $46,441 annually, isn’t making friends and influencing others at the workplace by supporting the issue.

“I’m not one to sugarcoat anything,” he said during an interview with The Vindicator at the Poland public library. “If I just hid in a hole in the ground, I’d be better off, but that’s not me. I’ve been hassled at work. I’m sure other people who believe this is a good law don’t say anything because they don’t want to get hassled, too.”

Nielsen’s wife, Karen, is a teacher at Gospel Baptist School in Poland and also supports Issue 2.

She works full-time making $12,000 a year at the nonunion school that doesn’t offer health insurance or other benefits to its employees, Nielsen said.

“Smaller private schools aren’t in a position to offer health insurance,” he said.

When asked if that seems fair, Nielsen said, “I haven’t thought a whole lot about it.”

The couple have six children — two are adults living on their own, three in college and one in high school.

Why does Nielsen support Issue 2?

“It’s a patriotic thing,” he said. “Citizens don’t have control over how money is spent. Taxpayers don’t have any recourse. This bill gives more control at the local level.”

In the current economy, the money is not there to pay for all the perks given to public employees, Nielsen said.

“We’re being overtaxed,” he said. “If the economy moves in a way that people paying the bills don’t have the money, you need to make some cuts. If you buy something you can’t afford, eventually you find yourself in trouble.”

If approved on Nov. 8, public employees would be required to contribute at least 15 percent of the cost of health-care premiums and 10 percent of their salaries toward pensions.

Like other public employees working for the state, Nielsen already does both.

The issue also caps

vacation, sick and other paid leave and limits what employees could cash in from those benefits when leaving state employment.

Nielsen said the bill “in some ways may affect me a little bit.”

But reform is important enough, he said, that whatever money he loses is worth it.

Though he works for the state government, Nielsen said, “I’ve been in a tea-party frame of mind long before there was a tea party.”

As for the biggest misconception about Issue 2, Nielsen said it is that “public workers won’t be able to bargain at all.

“This doesn’t get rid of the collective-bargaining law,” he said. “It makes adjustments. It rewrites some of the points in the law. Unions can still bargain on wages and work conditions. If I see something that’s unsafe, I can still bring it to the forefront.”

But if the bill passes, elected officials would have the final say on many collective-bargaining issues if negotiations hit an impasse.

The bill would help control spending on the local level more than the state level, he said.

He said there are union members on the local level who pay nothing or very

little toward their health-care premiums and pensions.

“We can’t keep going the direction we’re going,” Nielsen said. “We’ll go broke. You have to be fiscally responsible.”

Nielsen said he also favors the bill because financial caps would be in place for those retiring from public work. He said he agrees with those in the private sector who complain about public-employee pensions.

“If you put in 20, 30 years as a state worker, you’ve got a nice retirement waiting for you,” said Nielsen, who’s been a public employee in Ohio for the past 12 years, and previously spent four years in the public sector in Indiana.

“Some are doing quite well for themselves. You can’t blame them. No one wants to voluntarily take a cut in wages, but sometimes the situation necessitates changes and reductions.”


Matt Davies said he didn’t join

the Youngstown Fire Department three years ago to make an easy buck.

Davies started in 2008 with a $24,000 annual base-pay salary.

It’s not much more today. He’s making $28,000 annually, and it increases to $31,500 next year.

“I took this job knowing I wouldn’t be a rich man,” he said. “It’s something I love. I’m lucky to have this job. I’m so honored.”

But Davies says he’s bothered by what would happen if state Issue 2 is approved by voters Nov. 8.

The issue, if passed, would affirm Senate Bill 5, which was approved earlier this year by the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

SB 5 restricts some collective-bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio.

Sitting in his Boardman home with his wife, Marissa, also a public employee — a school psychologist for the Youngstown school district who makes $44,680 annually — and their 15-month-old daughter, Emma, Davies said he’s more concerned about safety than money when it comes to Issue 2.

If the issue passes, Davies said he would see his health-care premium contribution increase from 10 percent to 15 percent, and he’d lose perks such as $724 a year in hazardous-duty pay and $300 annually for having a bachelor’s degree.

Davies made $1,110 in overtime last year and receives $960 annually for uniforms. Neither of those payments is addressed in state Issue 2. The issue also allows public union members to bargain for wages.

Davies and his wife both currently pay 10 percent of their salaries to their pension plans — a requirement under Issue 2.

“Everyone wants to make more money, but I started at $24,000, and I’ve never complained,” he said.

The bigger concerns to Davies are issues such as staffing levels; equipment and training would be decided by elected officials.

The bill allows negotiations on safety equipment and training. But rather than having a third-party arbitrator make those decisions if the union and city reach an impasse, the bill permits elected officials to have the final say on those and other contract issues.

Minimum-staffing levels are not in the Youngstown fire-union contract.

“We haven’t been awarded the staffing rights, but we currently have the ability to negotiate to get it even though it’s been a management right,” Davies said.

Building a Better Ohio, the main organization supporting Issue 2, says fewer than 12 percent of public- employee contracts in the state have provisions for minimum staffing levels.

Davies says collective bargaining works, pointing out that the last three-year firefighters contract and the three-year deal signed a few months ago have included pay freezes.

The contract signed in 2008 included a provision that requires firefighters to spend 10 years with the department before making the top annual base-salary pay of $54,000 rather than the six years in previous deals.

“It was a huge giveback, saving the city more than $2 million over three years,” he said. “It’s a tough time financially, and we understand that. The concessions we’ve made have been through collective bargaining.”

Davies said he knows there’s a perception that public workers are “greedy with bloated salaries.”

“It’s just not true,” he said.

If Issue 2 passes, Davies said he and other firefighters will continue to work as hard as they always have worked.

“I’m going to get back on the truck and continue to do my job,” he said. “All we want is the ability to take care of people and take care of ourselves.”

Without training and the proper equipment, there could be major problems fighting fires, he said.

“Issue 2 is a life-or-death situation,” Davies said. “It’s about our safety. Passage of the issue is a scary thought. Without the protections [in union contracts], bureaucrats will be making decisions on how to save people.”

His wife, who has a master’s degree from Kent State University, is in her first year as a school psychologist in Youngstown after working three years at the Mahoning County Educational Service Center. She earns $44,680 in annual salary, according to information provided by the school district.

“It impacts educators; it impacts public employees in general,” Marissa said of Issue 2. “Public employees have done what they can to save money. Public employees have been taking wage freezes and cuts. Through collective bargaining, we’ve been able to save [public-sector entities] money.”

Davies is among five psychologists in the district.

“I’m just trying to do my job,” she said. “Issue 2 would bring about changes but not in a good way.”

Her health-insurance premium cost is 1.225 percent of her annual salary. That’s about $550 a year.

Issue 2 would increase her health-care premium contribution to 15 percent of the district’s annual cost for coverage. That would be about four times the amount she currently pays.

Her union ratified a three-year contract, effective July 1, 2010, before Davies started working at the Youngstown school district. That contract calls for 1-percent salary increases annually.


1VindyPost(436 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Vote NO On Issue 2 !


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2ohio48(17 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


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3AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Vote NO on issue 2.

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

vote NO

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

***** Yes on Issue 2 *****

Paying only 10% towards your pension and 15% towards your healthcare seems reasonable and fair in this tough Ohio economy while those in the private sector who pay for those public employee benefits are struggling to keep their financial heads above water. It's the patriotic thing to do.

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6NoBS(2824 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

We all freely admit that politicians are, as a group, some of the most un-trustworthy people in the country. If Issue 2 passes, those same un-trustworthy politicians will be able to hire their buddies and relatives, fire honest hard-working people to make openings for those buddies and relatives if vacancies aren't convenient, take our tax money and blow it on their personal pork projects instead of using it to provide training and equipment for our safety forces, and more.

The money it "saves" isn't the issue - even Shannon Jones, the author of SB 5, admits the bill won't save any significant money.

And anybody who thinks their taxes will go down if Issue 2 passes is drinking entirely too much Kool Aid.

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7db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I pay mine, why won't they pay theirs?

No Kool Aid involved: Issue 2 does not eliminate gov't unions, doesn't let politicians hire their pals, and is a part of the plan that got Ohio out of the $8,000,000,000 (billion!!) hole and impending bankruptcy.
We ALL need to pay our fair share.


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8glbtactivist(321 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

When you are hassled at work, you might want to consider that you are wrong. Greed is not an honorable position to take. Vote no on 2

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9db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Greed is not an honorable position to take"?? That is exactly what you need to tell your union. I gotta pay my own way and I gotta pay yours too? You want healthcare & you want retirement benefits but you refuse to pay for them and demand that we pay for you. Hate to tell ya' glbactivist but it's time you folks stand on your own two feet and pay your fair share. The free ride is over; we are taxed out.

- Vote YES on Issue 2 -

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10peacelover(839 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Kasich and the GOP would love to see all teachers in Ohio making what Neilsen's wife makes teaching at that non union private school. plus no bennies. I am voting NO on 2.

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11fd6636(288 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I've read both sides and have a few thoughts:
1.Psychologist who makes $ 44,000 in public sector. She could make DOUBLE in the private sector. public vs. private... public makes more.... DEBUNKED!
2.Firefighter pays 10% towards pension. ISN'T THAT WHAT PRO SB5 WANTS?
3.Youngstown saved 2 MILLION on COLLECTIVE BARGINING to save on costs FOR the city, with no job stoppages, or strikes....... so, accusing labor of not wanting to work with management......DEBUNKED!
4. Imagine this senerio: You and your spouse are getting divorced. The judge is your father in law. do you think you will get a fair shot??? SAME IF SB5 PASSES! management vs. workers. yes,you CAN collectively bargin, BUT, MANAGEMENT had the FINAL SAY!!!! do you see the fairness in that?? Can i hav.........NOOOOO!!!!!! The end!
As far as Mr Neilson's take on this. Mr. neilson in inadvertenly asking the state to ELIMINATE his job if issue 2 passes. Why would you do this if you have SIX children??? Somthing wrong there. How much did vindy pay you to be the poster child for issue 2? He mentions great retirement pay, but, fails to mention that he will have to pay almost 1,000.00 a MONTH for healthcare benefits. Ain't looking as good now Mr. Neilson. I dont understand why Mr. Neilson is asking for cuts for his family, so those who reap the benefits of issue 2 will shine in his defeat??? Firefighter wins! VOTE NO, ISSUE 2...... unfair lop sided law full of loop holes and land mines in this 300 PAGE law!! Be for you vote, TRY to read this law. Makes no sense, VOTE NO , ISSUE 2!!!

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12Joe306tow(49 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Issue 2 proponents are blaming the wrong people for Ohio's and local governments financial problems.


1.) Gov. Kasich while turning Pubic Employees into Villains, got jobs for his buddies. About 100 of his "Friends" got cushy state jobs paying over $100 K a year plus other perks for those jerks. Math equals over $10 Million a year not including the perks! Meanwhile, those darn public employees had their pay frozen for up to 5 years.

2.) Cuyahoga county Elected officials and other Officers, Judges, and contractors have been and are still being convinced of theft in office, bribery, racketeering, kickbacks, and other illegal activities. This also includes 2 former members of suburban school boards. Meanwhile, through Labor/Management negotiations our Local saved 3 jobs and taxpayers over $350,000.00 in the process. Our school system was paying a large contractor over a half million dollars a year to change filters. Now three employees do the same thing, the schools purchase the filters and they install them. The schools save even more since the 3 employees perform other work when Not replacing filters. This Labor/Management process would go away with issue 2 (S.B. 5) approval.

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13samIam(241 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Every home that does not have a "VOTE NO on ISSUE 2" sign will definitely be voting YES, as will I and the 220 residents in my community (according to our most recent residents home owner meeting) that are tired of being victimized by public servant salaries being paid for by forced coercion and extortion of our tax dollars. Public servant jobs are a Gift from the TAXPAYER not a Right.

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14SomeFacts(3 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I will be voting NO. Ohio needs a solution and SB 5 is not it. Instead of working with "we the people", Kasich decided to act like a dictator and impose his own rules of law, which he is not required to follow. SB 5 is horribly written legislation.

NO = Issue 1
NO = Issue 2
NO = Future redistricting map.

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15AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

WRONG, I do not have a sign in my yard. I wil vote NO

FD post 17 great info showing how unneccesary issue 2 is. Lets get rid of it.


Vote NO on issue 2

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16nascar74(43 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Tired of seeing the scare tactic ads on TV. Even though my wife is a nurse, I will be voting Yes on 2.

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17pac1234(21 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It really doesnt matter if this issue should pass or fail. Does anyone really think that anything will change? One politician will not change anything good, bad or otherwise. Just another person in a long line of a "lotta talk" and do nothing and destroy everything in their path........

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18cambridge(4135 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

So if you're a non union teacher you will have no health benefits and make 1/4 of what your union husband "I haven't thought a whole lot about it" locksmith makes and at 46 thousand a year he wants to vote away his union rights.

I'm amazed at how little some people think of themselves. The governor and the top 1% love people like this guy.

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19300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I like how the Pro-SB5 talks about being Tea Party before it even existed, and how he's being "overtaxed". Really? Because his family is living very close to the poverty line.

A family that makes around 60k, with 6 dependents pays close to nothing in income taxes (I hope you enjoy being part of the 47% who pay no income tax, Kenneth). And with kids in college and high school, I'm willing to bet the American taxpayer is strongly subsidizing his kids' education.

What we have here is another example of the working poor who think that because they're not black and living in Youngstown, that they're middle class and well off. Wrong. It's family's like this guy's who suck up tax dollars because they don't make enough to pay for themselves. He's a hypocrite of the first order. He might try to mask is with some crazy religious beliefs and nonsensical Tea Party rhetoric, but someone as poor as his family is looks foolish talking about being overtaxed.

For the record, I support helping families like his. If we didn't they'd be living on the streets and without any education. But, a bit of gratitude would nice for all that the government has provided his family.

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20DwightK(1537 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Public employees aren't to blame if you don't make the money you want. Your taxes haven't been this low in decades.

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21doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

When nilson said he's in a "tea party frame of mind" I stopped reading his interview. And by the way vindicator -- maybe you can publish a two-sided article that doesn't start off with "vote yes" tea party side first...just b/c you are all miserable b/c you think you're being underpaid...doesn't mean you have to infect everybody else with your enthusiasm to win the race to the bottom.
And the losers on here who say "hey, i pay 650 a month for a family health plan..." Well you know what then, you suck. Go out and get a job where your employer doesn't treat you like dirt. You tea party freaks say you're all about personal responsibility and pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps...gimme a freaking break...YOU LIE...the only thing you're interested in is making sure everyone else has to eat the crap that's been shoved down your throats by the almighty corporations that you worship...Get a spine and stop whining...or get some self respect and get a better job instead of hating anyone who has anything you don't have.

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22anothermike(227 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Anyone who actually thinks voting "yes" will give the taxpayers "control" has another guess coming....your services will decline and your taxes will stay the same or increase shortly thereafter.....

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23lilgandee(103 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

My husband delivers gas and we have medical we pay for. So far since the beginning of 2011 we have paid $2,493.54 for insurance taken out of his pay. This doesn't include co pays, percentages for dental/vision that we cover (they cover 80% I believe) and then there is the $4,000 deductible we are also having to meet, and this is the worst plan chosen on accident. There is money put in for social security but not sure what percentage that is-I am not good at math. There are concessions we all have to make but where is the money going to keep up with what SB5/Issue 2 doesn't prevent? How much longer do you think we can all continue paying in taxes? Some of the tax payers make very little money and are exempt from hand outs from charities because they are above the poverty levels. I know we struggled for years and are now a bit better but not a lot and seeing that little bit back from the taxes has helped. I can only spend $60 a week on gas and $70-90 on groceries for 3 people. I use coupons and shop by adds. I know there are plenty other people who can't afford even what I have budgeted. New taxes mean a lot to us, gas prices mean a lot to us. I am voting yes on Issue 2.

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24peacelover(839 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Will someone please tell me how the unions' dollars going to someone's campaign is any different than corporations spending millions lobbying for their causes.

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25Ypboy(64 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Just look at what the unions have done to my birthplace, Youngstown. It is so sad. I have been out for decades but still feel so bad about Ytown. BTW I was a member of a union in my earlier days.....they have been so corrupt.

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26CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Do you consider step increases to be pay raises?

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27peacelover(839 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@Ypboy - don't you think the companies that have left Youngstown and all of Ohio to make more of a profit overseas have had the biggest negative impact on our area? No jobs, means no money to spend, etc.
@chico54 - I hope so but how do you make lobbying illegal since the Supreme Court ruled that a denying corporate donations is denying free speech?

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28DwightK(1537 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The vote 'yes' crowd certainly whines quite a bit. They have it rough so everyone else should too. How about you all go get better jobs and realize that you get good service for your tax dollars? Whining never helped anyone get a better job.

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29pjst81(7 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Not sure why people are even considering voting for SB5? The repubs have you all fooled into thinking that you will payless taxes, no! this is not the case! This is something you should want your tax dollars spent on. The teachers who are teaching our children, the police, the fire dept! I dont mind paying taxes for a teacher to help my daughter. What i dont like is the rich constantly wanting a tax break for thier mercedes, and third home. i dont like the government footing the medical bills for the abusers of the system who refuse to work. This is an attack on the hard working middle class! its ashame that anyone would side with this new horrible person we call the governer of Ohio. Lets see what his home, car, and health benefits look like! VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2, SUPPORT THE PEOPLE WHO WORK HARD FOR A LIVING!!!!!!!

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30doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

falconeddy -- you say ..."I think we all agree the public sector gets good health-care benefits. All should be paying a fair share. That includes all politicians, administration and employees. No one should be getting a free ride on the taxpayers back period."

Isn't that socialism??? You're a hypocrite tea bagger.

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31doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

That's right folks, you go on ahead and vote for SB5...I mean, there's no doubt that you MIGHT save a 100-200 a year in taxes (MAYBE) ...and just think how much stuff you can buy at wal-mart, target, kohls, dick's, penneys, etc, etc, etc....Isn't that more important than having good roads, protection from the bad guys, protection for all the other crap you've bought, ...Oh, and your childrens' education.....And if you think that all of the things we all use everyday that are provided by our local gov't aren't as important as the $100 dollars worth of junk you will be purchasing, then vote that way. And if you think your services won't suffer if sb5 takes affect, think again..human nature can never be conquered or tamed simply by a vote.

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32doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

No Chico, I mean socialism -- you know, where the gov't forces everybody to be the same, without any regard for the individual's accomplishments or hard work. You know, the kind of thing that baggers have been crying about. Oh wait, that's only socialism when it works against the richest among us...but i guess it's ok with you to take away from the middle class to give to the middle class...After all, if your employer makes you pay 30% of your health care, you shouldn't demand a better benefit from your employer, you should just put all of your energy into making sure everyone else has to pay 30%, right??? IS THAT HOW IT WORKS FOR YOUR KIND. Don't worry though, in the race to the bottom, you're in the lead.

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33Philo(99 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

If SB5 is recalled, the end result may be worse for public sector workers than if it is upheld. Having seen their opportunity to limit out of control spending at least to some degree, the voters are not likely to pass any more levies. The end result will be mass layoffs of the less senior (although not necessarily less qualified or less productive) teachers, firemen, policemen etc. because everyone knows the union eat their own young. Once they are gone the number of union workers who are left will have to pay even higher union dues to feed the democratic machine that they are beholden to. Businesses will leave the valley at an even greater rate than they are already are because of the pro union anti-business mentality that permeates the area and the tax base will erode even further. More levies will be voted down and more layoffs will occur until there aren't enough public sector union members left to pay enough money to line the pockets of the Democrats. Oh, there will be a handful of the very most senior public sector union members who kick, claw, and hang on just long enough to draw their fat government pensions, but by then it will be too late for your kids and mine. They will have already relocated to areas where this outdated union mentality has not destroyed the local economy and driven out nearly every business that might have been worth working for with their giant rats and their regressive demands. The last one out, please turn off the lights!

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34AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The scare tactics are getting real old.

Go ahead and support the teapubs who do not care for you. All they want is less workers making less money, and they continue to get rich. No health care for anyone. No retirement for any one. No vacation for anyone. No good working conditions for anyone. All except the politician and administration, they still get everything for free according to BS5. Yes that is way it is written. BS5 protects themselves from the rules they want to impose on the middle class. kasick way of ruling. Do as I say NOT AS I DO.


Vote NO on issue 2

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35doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

eddy -- A week ago you said you were done posting about sb5. Since then, I think you've posted another dozen comments about your support for sb5. So now you're ignorant and a liar. And for the tenth time, b/c i could probably buy and sell you, i obviously don't work at the trough, I they don't make that kind of cash.

Gotta get to work now...You should try it sometime, instead of putting all your energies into tearing down those of us who actually have businesses to run and jobs to do.

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36doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Constructor -- awesome comment...what a complete prick and coward mr. nascar must be to vote against protecting the safety of his own wife. What is wrong with some of you people. Is your envy of people that have decent jobs and provide valuable services so overwhelming that you would sell out your own wife. Kasich has never once said with specificity that sb5 will save you even one nickle in taxes. NOT ONCE has he promised that. Do you know why, b/c sb5 won't save you taxes. You'll still be paying the same amounts, but getting a lot worse service. And still, you act like sb5 will benefit you as members of the community. I think there's more motivation to take away from your neighbors than there is to put a few extra bucks a year...and honestly, that's just pathetic.

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37PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Apparently, SB5 is anti union. Interestingly, a great part of state tax dollars go to non union state employees. Also, interestingly, according to a recent local radio show interview with a economist, the Youngstown-Warren area is currently the fastest growing area in Ohio.

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38Oop81269(16 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

SB5 creates a 12 member board selected by the Gov. Pres of the Senate, etc, and they get to decide the health care of the the teachers. Each one of these is paid out of the teachers health care fund including any incurred expenses, and the are able to make as high as $32.00 straight time for this. There is also appointed an 18 member board to over look the first 12 members all of which stand to make the same amount from out of the teachers health care fund.( Ponzi scheme?) They also have a provision to pay the insurance rep out of the health care fund ( Kick back) then they make all the teacher retirement funds be invested in the stock market and the broker also gets paid out of all this. Same for Police and fire. And no one gets to vote for any of these "representatives"

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39Phil_EngAmer(32 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It’s too bad people need to be afraid or ashamed to support a fair compensation model. However, it seems as though there’s been a very successful movement to steer the debate away from fair compensation and toward a rhetoric filled partisan politics power play.

You look at that compensation disparity between public sector and private sector employees in the state and you wonder how this 43% gap can come to be (http://eng.am/pFPawi). Ultimately a lot of it is created through the lobbying power these forced dues help fund. It essentially compromises the objectivity of the collective bargaining process because unions can negotiate with the officials they help elect. It’s the reason FDR said, “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service” (http://eng.am/o2vxdp).

While that’s obviously not a problem for some workers, it certainly is for many others. Seeing as we’ve had unions in other states voting to plunder their own workforce so that those at the top might get better compensation (http://eng.am/pEXFBf), it’s no wonder many workers are uncomfortable having to pay into a system that won’t protect them.

Ultimately what you want is fair compensation for all workers, and ultimately that’s’ what these provisions in SB5 aim to achieve.

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40doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Phil -- you said..."Ultimately what you want is fair compensation for all workers, and ultimately that’s’ what these provisions in SB5 aim to achieve."

Now that's communism. I guess you don't have any problem with a CEO earning 12 million per year for laying off half the employees and then filing for Chapter 11. But all workers should just be paid the same, no matter their skill, experience, productivity, etc, etc, etc. If you supporters of SB5 were ever in charge of a business it would dissolve in a year or two, b/c you wouldn't be able to keep your productive employees. You want gov't to be run like a private sector company only when it comes to layoffs and pay cuts....but when gov't is productive and efficient and provides a valuable service to your local community, you still refuse to see any value in the small amount of taxes you actually pay for those services. You are freaking clueless

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41vienna44473(3 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I wish the middle-class would quit turning on each other due to this sick rich governor pitting us against one another! Ka-sick has his own agenda for the "haves", and none of the middle class will be anything but "have nots" when he is finished!

I am a proud, union state employee of 13 + years. The following are the actual numbers from my paystub dated 10-21-11. I paid 15% of my single-coverage (not family) health insurance; I paid $31.20, the state contributed $175.76. I paid 41% of my PERS (pension); I paid $192.55, the state contributed $269.57. In addition, I pay Local, State, and Federal taxes as a SINGLE person. I am married, but we have no children for those wonderful tax breaks/kickbacks. My husband, a union member who works for a private company, has health insurance for his son and himself through that company; he does not pay ANY percentage of his benefits.

As a public employee, everyone is my customer. I provide a public service to you for which I am being compensated. I am courteous and professional. I EARN my money; no tax payer is giving me a handout. I do NOT have an extravagant lifestyle. I use my money to pay my mortgage and bills ON TIME, and I fuel the economy by patronizing your businesses (restaurants, stores, car dealerships, etc.). I do not feel that I am giving you a handout by purchasing your goods/services...why do you feel that way about me?

Union or not, we are all the middle class. WE ALL WORK, WE ALL PAY TAXES. The dissention among us will be our downfall. If we destroy ourselves, I just hope that there will be enough "haves" to support us on welfare...if that doesn't get taken away next.

I support our middle class, and my family will be voting NO on issue 2.

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42rocky14(838 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Well said Vienna

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43AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


I agree. Excellent info about all the inaccuracies about sb5.

kasich has attacked the middle class.
kasich is a middle class union buster.
He will continue his sb5 lies and manipulation as long as the teapubs continue to drink his koolaid.

Turn Out the lights the TEAparty is over.

Vote NO on issue 2

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44fd6636(288 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

So I opened the peoples paper today, the vindicator, and I see that our Govenor has stated that with all the hub bub about SB5, he so cleverly used SB5 as interference so he could get his state destructive budget thru. And you people who support this jerk still cant see that he uses his followers ( that would be some of you goats) for his evil doing? Kasich could care if this bill passes, its already done what he wanted it to do anyways and thats to slip his ponzi scheme budget thru! I love when some of you illiterates think that they were gonna save on their taxes if this passes. I think santa is gonna come down from the moon and give some of you brains to think for yourselves!! ( and we all know that won't happen!) Same theory, right? when are you Kasich supporting, brain dead tea baggers gonna wake up and see he doesn't care if you live, die, are rich, or dirt poor, he justs wants your support so he can keep hurting Ohio, and bloster his future chances for higher political office.Chico will be one of his first employees that he fires Nov. 9th. Your gonna sacrifice your teachers, safety forces, nurses so you can retain your pact with devil Kasich? You will find out how your decisions to back this idiot will come back to bite you square on you asses. And you people who support this jerk will be left holding the bag in the future! Good luck with that, and also, good luck with getting public, and safety services for
that matter if this dangerous, state disaster of a bill passes next week. I will say I told you so!!!VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2!!!! BILL IS NOTHING MORE THAN WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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45jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I am the middle class and that is why I am voting Yes on Issue 2 next week. This isn't a republican or democratic issue and people need to see that.

I wish I only had to contribute $550 this year for medical for my wife and I. I make in the low 30s, and I will end up spending about $3k for my medical benefits. I would kill to pay just $550.

I also love it how people jump all over the governor for giving jobs to people he knows. Kind of the same thing Obama did when he got to DC. Kind of the same thing every politician has done for the entire life of politics. You guys act like Kasich is the 1st to do this, when he is actually about the millionth politician to do it.

Issue 2 is about equality. Plain and simple. Issue 2 does not mean that people are going to less safe. Issue 2 means people will have to pay their own way. No more free lunches. Vote yes on Issue 2!!

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46lilgandee(103 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

vienna-we made $50,000 so no tax breaks or kick backs but if not for my husband working 14-18 hour days we would be under $29,000. We barely get anything back with 1 child.
He has no sick days and if they offered them if you didn't use them you would lose them. Vacation pays only 8 hours per day not his average hours worked, but at least we get something. I wish people were paid on performance not time in.

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47wantedtobe(13 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

JASONINOHIO "Issue 2 is about equality. Plain and simple. Issue 2 does not mean that people are going to less safe. Issue 2 means people will have to pay their own way. No more free lunches. Vote yes on Issue 2!!"

The way SB5 is written this will never happen.
And if it passes the way it is there will never be an attempt to fix it.
It does not include any elected or appointed public positions, they are exempt from SB5.

Read! Learn!
No Kool Aid

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48jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Wantedtobe- I have read, and I have learned. Issue 2 is about equality. Plain and simple.

You are right that it will not affect elected or appointed positions, but there are just as many republicans as there are democrats when it comes to that.

Issue 2 is not a political issue, it is an Ohio issue. It is about making our current system a better one. If this issue fails, the fall out is going ripple in the pond for years. I myself will never again vote for a school levy, a fire levy or a police levy. The greedy unions need to see that the time has come for them to tighten their belt like the rest of us have!

Vote yes on Issue 2!!!!

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492muchtax(897 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Nurse in the vote no ad for issue 2, this is a joke maybe one nurse in a thousand is in a public union or working for county or state. The other 999 are working harder and longer to pay for the premium benefits of that one lucky nurse with then golden benefits. You could of picked a better candidate for the scare tactic

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50vienna44473(3 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

You seem to be confused. I am not sure why you are telling me this information about your husband. But, if you want to compare apples to apples, my husband works 50-60 hours per week doing manual labor loading trucks. He does not get any paid sick time, either. He is a juvenile diabetic (since he was age 12, he is now 40) and NEVER calls off work. If you know anything about diabetes and its complications, this information would be very impressive to you. He also gets vacation time in 8 hour increments. He has 21 years in, is a union representative for the Teamsters, and is highly regarded by management and co-workers for his work ethic, ability to problem-solve, interpersonal communication skills, and personality. I have 13 years in, but I was not promoted to what I am today by doing nothing. I was selected by management based on my work ethic and professionalism. Both my husband and I work in a 24 hour operation...I believe time in a profession should be honored for days off and schedule. We should have the choice of first shift with weekends off. If he chooses to work overtime, he should be offered it before less senior employees. I do not get overtime. We all started at the bottom on the seniority list, but dedication and hard work got us to where we are today. So, your wish that "people get paid by performance" is granted...that's how we made it to have all this "time in."

Issue 2 takes away the seniority we worked hard to earn. Please vote NO on issue 2.

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51jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Senority should have nothing to do with keeping an employee. Seniority is just a fancy word the unions like to use to keep their cronies employed. A real measure of an employee is their job performance. If you husband works harder than the next guy, then your husband deserves a raise based on that, not how long he has worked somewhere.


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52AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

======== ! ! A L E R T ! ! =======

kasick is "last minute" camouflaging and down playing the bill. We've
been well-informed, read between the lines, discern black and white.

Stick it to him on Tues. November 8th!


Vote NO on issue 2.

Reality sets in, his numbers
continue to deeply fall.

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53ytown11(2 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I will be voting YES on Issue 2.

Here in Youngstown, we pay one of the highest income tax rates in the state. (2.75%) This is in an economically depressed area. I asked my councilman why the taxes are so high, and he gave me crap about how binding arbitration has eliminated strikes, and how it's so wonderful that we can live without fear of anyone going on strike.

That's all well and good, but we are still killing the city with this idiotic tax rate.

Very few employers will move a business into the city if they have to pay 2.75% in income tax, when they can move a few miles away to Boardman, Austintown, and so on and pay nothing. We wind up giving away tax abatements to try and attract businesses, while the working man continues to shoulder the burden.

The city income tax rate cannot drop until such time as public employee contracts can be brought under control.

Anyone can go online to the Ohio Treasurer's website and see just how much local and state employees, and teachers make. The website is http://ohiotreasurer.gov/State_Salary

I would be interested to know, if anyone can tell me .... how many private sector employee taxpayers are there in the city of Youngstown, compared with the number of city and local public sector employees?

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54jfuze0905(82 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

So, I did a little research on a couple of local teachers on the site: http://tos.ohio.gov/Teacher_Salary, and you may be a littel shocked to see the results...

Teacher 1:
$69,080 - annual salary
7.33 hours worked per day
183 days worked per year
$45,592.80 - yearly pension estimate
$106,434.37 - pro-rated salary based upon 2080 hours per year
$28,152 - max social security payout

Teacher 2:
$91,000 - annual salary
8 hours worked per day
260 days worked per year
$60,060 - yearly pension estimate
$140,207.41 - pro-rated salary based upon 2080 hours per year
$28,152 - max social security payout

Now I'm not saying that teachers aren't worth every penny they make, but look at the difference between the pension and what Joe average citizen receives. This equates to a difference of approximately $17,500 per year. Add the fact that most private citizens not only pay into SS, but also dedicate between 10 and 20 percent of their gross income to a 401(k) to potentially receive $45,000 per year in retirement savings. Therefore, Joe average citizen is paying between 16 and 26 percent (plus the 6 percent the company pays) to equate the 10 percent that teachers are paying...which leaves a difference of 12 percent on the low end and 22 percent on the high end.

Also, do teachers retire after 30 years? If so, that makes the average retirement age 52, while the average citizen will retire between ages 65 and 72 which boasts a difference of 13 to 20 years...

Now let's perform a little calculation:

13 years X $45,000 = $585,000
13 years X $17,500 = $227,500

The difference being received by a teacher on the low end of the spectrum is $357,500 over 13 years or $27,500 per year. The difference alone is 86 percent of the Private Sector Yearly Wage in Mahoning county in 2009 (http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/bette...), and that's just the difference....

Now let's take a look at some other figures from http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/bette... the Median Household Income in Mahoning County in 2009 was $39,339. Going back to our low end of the spectrum teacher, $45,000 is the annual pension...this is a difference of $5,661 greater than the Median "Household" Income, as well as a difference of $13,550 greater than the average private sector wage in 2009...

Let's take a look at the what the state pension plan is paying over the course of retirement (now remember, this is only for the low end of the spectrum teacher). The average life expectancy in Ohio (http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/us...) is 76.2 years.

Let's subtract the average retirement age of 52 from the average life expectancy of 76.2 years (we'll round to 76 for this example).

76 - 52 = 24 years
24 years X $45,000 = $1,080,000

$1,080,000!!! I've just retired at age 52 as a millionaire!!!

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55vienna44473(3 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


I don't think my benefit package is what you think it is. As I mentioned earlier, I pay 15% of my health insurance and 40% of my retirement. I am on the single plan (not family, which is more expensive) since my husband has his own insurance. My deductible that I must meet is $200 with an out of pocket max of $1500 (remember, this is single coverage). If I go to the hospital, it is paid at 80% AFTER I reach my deductible. Medical co-pays range from $20 to $75 depending on the service. Thankfully, I am hardly ever sick; but, unfortunately, I am always paying out of pocket because I can never reach my deductible. My prescription co-pays (I do the 3 month supply to save money) are $62.50 for name brand or $25.00 for generic. One of my medications is not available in generic form, and it is necessary for me so I have to pay the $62.50.

I am thankful to have benefits. But, please remember, my benefit package is also part of my pay. Benefits are figured into the inflated pay figures on the treasurer's website. My final GROSS earnings last year was $51,070.16 (that will be the number you see on the website), but my NET (what I actually saw after my health care, pension, and taxes came out) was only $33,758.28. As you can see, those numbers are very different. I bet no one has ever told you or anyone else this information because I keep seeing those GROSS pay figures referenced. I don't think that nearly $34,000 is an unreasonable amount for someone who has a bachelors degree from an actual accredited college (not an online "degree" that is so popular today), and who has worked hard for over 13 years. And remember, I am still responsible for all those co-pays and deductibles for my health coverage.

I didn't share this personal financial information to incite any argument from anyone; it is what it is. I just hope that once you see the actual numbers, you may see that I earn a fair wage which includes my benefit package.

The union is not putting the state under. If you really want to know where your tax dollars are going, here's a few answers for you. Kasich used tax dollars to install a state of the art security system in his private home, Kasich uses the state airplane to travel everywhere except downtown Columbus, Kasich hired his friends and increased the pay for these cronies, the director of DRC appointed by Kasich is double dipping into a state retirement pension and a hefty salary, and the list goes on...I said it before, we middleclass need to stop fighting among ourselves. King Ka-sick is only laughing at us.

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56honestman(33 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

ok, ok, i walked away from these pages for a week because the stupidity was killing me, pro sb5 people, come on, teachers retiring as millionairs, your kidding right, i know quite a few teachers and millworkers and firemen, i'm thinking most are at 30 to 35 a year. i know that i will get between 60 to 72 %, for the 72 i'd have to stay 33 years. that would make me 63 because i started later, hmmmm, 63 year old man figting fire and carrying people down stairs etc etc, most likely i'll get 60 %, my pay is 48,000 when i reach 8 years of service as paramedic and firefighter. lets be generous and say 3000 in ot, thats if someone got hurt or whatever, thats a big number but i'd rather err on a large scale to make a point, so if my three highest years at 51000, now thats gross, Thats approx 30000. out of that i'll pay 400 a month for ins covarage. i currently pay 160 a month for my benefits. i think someone threw out the 200 a month number. not to far off, we have a reopener for ins for the next two years. that means that the admin. can reopen negotions to raise our payments. wow, so much for union power there. and again i pay 10% for my retirement. which a statement was made that we are unaffected by wallstreet, not true, i get my statements with extra money i put in, and its bye bye just like anyone else. and people talk about taxes per year. do you really have any idea how much you pay towards police and fire out of your taxes. I got a breakdown of my taxes from the auditors page. I paid 2100 in property taxes. out of that 8% went to fire, 10% went to police. thats 168 bucks for fire, and 210 for cops. wow, saving that money will def make a difference. and keep in mind with that wage, i've got about 3 years of school under my belt. i do 50 hours of cont education to keep my certifications. wake up, people, this is crazy, we will all be making 12000 a year. no benifits, and what kind of jobs are everyone gonna get. lets all make 9 bucks an hour, then the only people with anything are the rich. its becoming 1890 all over again. labor has no rights, lets get our kids back to work in the factories, read your history books folks, there is a reason there are unions. yes some unions have been corrupt in the past so have some govt officials, funny you dont hear anyone saying get rid of the govt. you dont cut off an arm for a broken thumb. if union reform needs to happen, address the problems, not remove the whole union. that proves its union busting.

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57honestman(33 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

kasich's the wall street guy, the guy who worked for leahman brothers. yeah toycannon, he's great for the state, if you want to fix double dipping fix it, why not address specific problems instead of cutting off the head of the unions.

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58Oop81269(16 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Let me give you some info directly from SB5. If an employee is SUSPECTED of taking part in a strike he forfits TWICE his daily pay for those days that he is SUSPECTED of having taken part in the strike, but, it is up to the employee to PROVE that he did not take part in the strike (what if he was in the hospital) and has to sign a sworn affidavit and go to court to get his money back. 12 People APPOINTED by the Governor, President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the house; all of these get paid out of THE SCHOOL EMPLOYEES HEALTH CARE FUND and reimbursed for all "operating expenses paid for out of THE SCHOOL EMPLOYEES HEALTH CARE FUND and according to Ohio Revised Code 124.15 which means that the can make as much as $32.00 per hour for a 40 hour week and they don't pay for their health care because they are state appointees and get it for FREE! (2) Members shall receive compensation fixed pursuant to division
(J)(A) of section 124.15 of the Revised Code and shall be reimbursed from
the school employees health care fund for actual and necessary expenses
incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the board. THEN there are another 18 bureaucrats appointed to watch over these 12, all with the same free ride. Oh and I almost forgot, They also get to hire their own aides and these get paid for out of the SCHOOL EMPLOYEES HEALTH CARE FUND. For each and every profession listed in these adds they are going to add more bureaucrats that will cost even more tax payer money. How does any of this sound right to you? Don't beleive me?
OK, here is something to actually read.
At the very least make an educated vote and don't be one of the "sheepeople" blindly following a political party. Here is a link to all 304 pages.
Project Vote Smart condensed version.

And this page will link you to all the ballot issues in Ohio.

This page allows you to look up all the Ohio Revised Codes that the are talking about.

Copy and paste these links into your browser. Get informed. Make an informed vote!

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59honestman(33 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

oh yeah and for the guy who posted the roundtable web links, they are pro sb5, of course they skew thier numbers. blah blah blah, chico how much do you actually pay for your safety services.. give me a dollar amount, no one seems to want to do that, greece, europe, . america, corporate greed put us here, people on wall street making millions and millions, with cadillac benifits put us here. politicians put us here. well i've read where service people are being compared to safety services... guess what , there wont be any service jobs cuase the middle class wont have any money to spend, that'll be great for the economy, vote yes on issue 2 that way we can speed up the destruction of the backbone of america. the real tax base, the people that dont get all the loopholes.

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60rustybucket55(7 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

People still spreading lies about the bill! It isn't just the teachers! They can still negotiate! Sure! Only it is a one sided negotiation! Take it or leave it! Also, it is a bill that will allow cities and schools to fire older, higher paid, and sicker workers. They can fire a teacher who's tenure demands more money and higher younger, cheaper teachers. Cities can fire police or firemen without having to arbitrate it.

Instead of people wanting to drag everyone else down to their standard of living, they should try to raise their's. They blame the unions? Only if you work for someone else. Ever hear of th A B A (lawyers union), the ADA ( dentist union)the AMA ( dr's union) the american assn of auto mfg's? the assn of american railroad, or even the chamber of commerce (union of local businessmen)?

They have these professional unions to create laws and rules that will benifit them.

Evertime the UAW gets a raise or benifit for it's workers, Honda and Toyota have to raise the benifits of their workers to keep the union out! Evertime the UAW gives a concession Hona and Toyota take something away. I am drawing a Honda pension, a good one. But two years ago Honda just simply did away with it's pension for all future hires. No negotiations.

The GOP has been trying to break the middle class workers union for years. It's almost done.

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61bikerdadbmw(12 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

As a voter and taxpayer I have to decide who will run my Government, an elected official or some Union Official.
If you doubt this look around you this week-end at the out of state monies being spent to change SB5, an Ohio law. Those dollars are union dollars to affect an state issue no matter the view point of the union member who was used to pay for it.
Unions have their place but this isn't where it should be. Without viable business and solvent Government the union halls would be more empty buildings on the real estate list.

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62honestman(33 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

hey biker the pro sb5 people spent more than twice the money the dems did, are you that uninformed, or just trying to spin more rhetoric, 19mill the rebs spent vs the 7.something that the dems spent. the ignorance of pro 5 people kill me, from rushing the bill thru in the first place, to manipulating the people who got it thru the first time, to calling it issue 2 to confuse the public, for taking a chainsaw to unions when a scalpel is needed. to drowing so much crap into a 300 page legaleze document to choke out the avg person without a law degree can figure out. shame on you, unions are not perfect and there is some room for improvement, but we are not the monsters that we are made out to be. ive already stated in multiple posts about all the consessions we've taken so i wont repeat myself. pro 5 people are not intersted in facts anyway

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63TrustNo1(4 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

If this was only about Pension and Healthcare cost it would have a chance of passing, but it far over-reaches and singles-out one group of working Ohioans. Welfare reform would save this state heaps of money.

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64uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Not in a union, not a public employee and voting no on 2. The governor, the elected officials, and nonunion public employees should not be exempt from the provisions of this law. By voting yes, you are allowing the elected officials in Ohio to roll over the voters and set up their own little monarchy. Yes there should be reforms but they should apply to everyone in public service whether elected, appointed or represented by a union.

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65honestman(33 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

well said uptown

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