05/02/13 UPDATE: Ohio right-to-work bills were considered “dead-on-arrival” as Senate Republic President Keith Faber rejected the bills last night in an after-hours press conference.
“We have an ambitious agenda focused on job creation and economic recovery, and Right to Work legislation is not on that list. After discussions with other leaders and my caucus, I don’t believe there is current support for this issue in the General Assembly,” Faber said. “The only purpose this discussion serves right now is to generate a bunch of breathless fundraising appeals from the Ohio Democratic Party.”
Ohio has joined Pa. and Mo. in the fight against right-to-work bills. Today, two Republican Ohio Representatives Kristina Roegner and Ron Maag submitted bills seeking to take away rights from unions and their members in Ohio.
Roegner’s bill goes after private-sector unions such as UTU-SMART while Maag’s bill focuses on unions of the public sector.
Ohioans are clearly against this type of legislation with 60 percent of Ohio voters having voted down similar legislation in Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) that was introduced in 2011. SB 5 almost cost Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich his job when he sought to make SB 5 law without allowing Ohioans to vote on it. Petitions and outcries were heard loud and clear in Ohio’s government and SB 5 went to the people to be voted on in November 2011 and was voted down.
Ohioans are still working on getting an amendment passed that would allow the people of Ohio to vote to remove a governor from office as a result of the SB 5 fiasco.
Kasich has refused to support any right-to-work bill since SB 5 failed and has instead remained focused on other legislation. Kasich has yet to weigh in on the new legislation that was introduced today.
Pennsylvania and Missouri are also facing similar bills in their respective Houses. Recently, the state of Maine rejected right-to-work bills in both the state House and Senate, effectively killing those bills.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s official. The Ohio House and Senate have passed anti-union legislation that limits public-employee collective bargaining.
Gov. John Kasich intends to sign the bill into law.
The legislation bars strikes by public employees and limits collective bargaining to wages — but only if the public body chooses to bargain collectively. Otherwise, wages — as well as health care benefits, pensions and outsourcing — will be set unilaterally by public bodies.
The bill also limits payroll deduction for union political action committees and eliminates the use of seniority in determining layoffs.
In the works is a voter referendum for the fall that would overturn the legislation. The UTU, through the newly created UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund, will help in that effort.
A labor-law professor at Ohio State University told The New York Times, “The essence of collective bargaining is when you can’t agree on terms of a contract, you have a dispute resolution mechanism, by strikes or perhaps binding arbitration. Here, you have none of that. That’s not collective bargaining. I’d call it collective begging. It’s a conversation that ends whenever an employer decides that it ends.”
Said the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees: “[The legislation] undermines our basic American values by attacking the right of Ohio workers to have a voice on the job.””
In Wisconsin, similar legislation was passed without Democrats voting; and is now being challenged in state courts.
Other states, where right-wing extremists control the legislature — as in Ohio and Wisconsin — are also considering Ohio- and Wisconsin-like anti-union legislation.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the legislative standoff continues in Wisconsin, Ohio takes center stage Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the battle to preserve collective-bargaining rights for state workers.
The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reports that as many as 20,000 pro collective-bargaining rights demonstrators will be on the front steps of the legislature at 1 p.m., three hours before the Senate Labor Committee hears witness testimony on SB 5, which would revoke collective-bargaining rights for state workers.
State Republican Sen. Kevin Bacon, the Labor Committee chairman, told the newspaper, there would not be a vote on the bill Tuesday afternoon, nor would amendments be offered.
UTU Ohio State Legislative Director Glenn Newsom said that tens of thousands of telephone calls, emails and protest rallies are having an impact on Republican supporters of SB 5. For more information on how to help in Ohio, click on the link at the bottom of this article.
Were SB 5 to move out of committee and eventually become law in Ohio, state workers would no longer be permitted to engage in collective bargaining, through their unions, for health care or working conditions. Even binding arbitration would be scrapped.
Click on the following link to learn how you might help preserve collective-bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio: