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Don’t be fooled by divide/conquer



Published: Mon, October 31, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Don’t be fooled by divide/conquer

I have received three pieces of junk mail recently telling me to vote yes on Issue 2. One piece was paid for by Building a Better Ohio (for billionaires), and the other two were paid for by the Alliance For America’s Future in Alexandria, Va. First, I find it incredibly offensive that an “Alliance” in Virginia is spending big bucks to try to manipulate voters in Ohio. Second, I also find it offensive that all three pieces of junk mail only mentioned teachers; they failed to mention all the unfair and unsafe provisions that would affect thousands of other public-service employees.

I will vote no on Issue 2. The only agenda that Gov. Kasich has is to “bust” unions. Issue 2 has nothing to do with balancing the budget. The Republicans have done a good job of turning the middle class against each other with rhetoric pitting the “haves” against the “have nots” and the “public” employees against the “private” sector.

Issue 2 is unsafe because it puts all of us at risk by not allowing firefighters, policemen, prison guards, and emergency responders to negotiate for critical safety equipment and training. Nurses, hospital staff and clinic workers will no longer be able to negotiate safe staffing levels. Teachers will no longer be able to negotiate for acceptable class sizes or about safety issues within their buildings.

The Republican politicians who jammed SB 5 through the Legislature created a loophole that would exempt themselves and upper management from certain provisions of the law. Gov. Kasich gave his staff very generous raises, and he has given hundreds of millions of dollars away in corporate tax breaks for his billionaire buddies. He obviously doesn’t care about balancing the budget; his agenda is to bust the unions apart.

It states in SB 5, if labor and management come to an impasse during the collective bargaining process, the impasse is to go to a “legislative body.” “If the legislative body fails to select a last best offer, the public employer’s last best offer [is] to become the agreement between the parties.”

Big business, highly-paid lobbyists and the Republican politicians that gladly take their campaign donations are blaming the middle class for a problem that they caused. Don’t fall for this ridiculous “divide and conquer” tactic that will destroy the middle class. Vote no on Issue 2.

Tesa Spletzer, Warren

Struggling communities need SB5

As a resident of Ohio, and a citizen, voter and taxpayer. I will vote yes on Issue 2 on Nov. 8.

Like most Ohio residents, I truly believe that public sector employees in Ohio, who get their job and salary at the expense of all Ohio taxpayers, should not be granted such special privileges private-sector employees across our state do not have.

I urge a yes vote for Issue 2 and SB 5 in these struggling times in communities across Ohio.

Willie James Richards, Youngstown


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