Ohio, Handle Your Electoral Business

While we get busy in Houston in a few hours electing our mayor and city council members, the folks in Ohio will be going to the polls to vote on whether to kill SB5, the Republican created bill that bans collective bargaining for public employees among it’s other odious anti-worker provisions

In summary, here are the provisions of  SB 5:

  • Bargaining: Expands the topics that management
    can refuse to negotiate with public employees. Those topics include:
    employee qualifications, work assignments and staffing levels. According
    to reports, public employees can still bargain for wages and hours.
  • Strikes: Strikes would be banned, along with a
    deduction of “an amount equal to twice the employee’s daily rate of pay”
    for each day an employee is considered to be on strike.
  • Performance pay and sick/vacation leave:
    Currently, the minimum amount for a teacher to be paid is $17,300. This
    would be undone by the law, replacing this by implementing a pay by
    performance provision. Sick leave would be reduced from three weeks a
    year to two. Vacation leave would be capped to five weeks a year.
  • Union fees: Public employees would not have to
    pay union fees if they do not want to be become a union member. This
    was a condition of employment before Senate Bill 5.
  • Governing bodies and contract disputes: The
    governing body of a city, school, or township would have the final say
    on any contract disputes that initially become unresolved.
  • Charter schools: Employees of charter schools
    would not be allowed to collectively bargain. The only exception,
    according to reports, would be conversion charter schools.

The bill was bumrushed through a Republican majority Ohio legislature not long after they regained control of it after the 2010 midterm elections.  SB 5 so angered people in the Buckeye State that 1,298,301 signatures were collectedto place it on the ballot to be repealed when they were only required to collect 231,149 valid signatures

The repeal question is on the ballot as Ohio Question 2, and Ohio residents will have to vote NO to kill the odious SB 5.   In the last poll taken indications are that’s probably going to happen by a 59%-36% double digit margin despite the late flurry of corporate money , right wing cash and Faux News appearances by former employee and current Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) to turn the tide for the Greed Is Good Forces.

But the coalition working to repeal SB5 is not taking anything for granted and are still working hard on their GOTV efforts and making sure the hard work they did this summer to collect those signatures isn’t in vain.

Hoping we hear good news out of Ohio when the polls close later today.

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