Sunday, February 20, 2011

This IS Payback

To Republicans wary about Senate Bill 5 and hesitant to offend unions crying over "payback" for years of campaign spending, let me offer the following: Senate Bill 5 is payback.

SB 5 pays back the Ohioans who voted for a more fiscally-responsible Senate. It's payback to the hypocrites at the AFSCME and OEA who pay themselves millions of dollars every year to fight Ohio's local governments, school districts, and state agencies. It's payback for parents, teachers, and taxpayers whose voices are muted by the bullhorns of national organizations dedicated to failed Progressive policies.

GOP Senators, please review Matt Mayer's testimony from the Feb. 15th SB 5 hearing and consider my humble suggestions:

  1. Remove any impact on police, highway patrolmen, and firefighters
  2. Revoke collective bargaining rights from all other state and local government employees

These changes would leave room to debate pay, insurance, and pension policies, undermining union rhetoric by creating a distinction between unionization and other rights. The 1983 law allowing government employees to unionize was a mistake, and only by removing the largest unions from the equation can Ohio hope to find a fair, sustainable middle ground. As I said last fall:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.

Wait, that was another detestable small-government conservative - Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Academics hot for unionization should be challenged to list the protections a union offers which couldn't be extended through legislative means. Leftists quick to foist higher taxes on "the rich" should be asked to explain why union bosses - whose businesses chiefly produce lobbying, higher labor costs, and their own salaries - deserve taxpayer support. Government employees should explain why their benefits should remain insulated amid $8 billion in deficits and an unemployment rate above 9%.

If they're demanding even more of our tax dollars, shouldn't government unions be able to justify why they exist in the first place?

Cross-posted at that hero.


  1. I would like to add a few humble comments to this blog.

    I agree completely and Yes, Yes, and Yes!!!

    Definitely! Do this without fail. It is long past time to strip public employees unions of their strangle holds and return control of Ohio's state offices and public schools to the Ohio tax payers.

    If you are a Republican legislator and don't comprehend that obvious fact -- or worse you don't agree with it why aren't you a Democrat?

    What is more fundamentally wrong with State government then the fact the the voters have been circumvented and rendered irrelevant?

    For Pete's sake! Buck up GOP and get a spine!

    This is a time for boldness and brave and action not compromise.

    Did you happen to notice Obama/Pelosi/Reid et al. COMPROMISE on a Health Care and the rest of their socialist agenda?

    Now the shoe is on the other foot so FIX THIS MESS NOW!

    And THANK YOU Senator Shannon Jones -- so proud I voted for you!!!

  2. It's funny because I knew this day was coming. Someone would step up and say that unions for police, fire etc. are good, but not for teachers. Your logic is flawed.

    What needs to happen is a reasonable conversation between reasonable people about the changes that need to be made. HB 5 is a sweeping legislation that is not needed. We can balance our budget by talking to both sides and coming up with mutually agreeable solutions. There are plenty of union members who agree that healthcare benefit payments should increase and that
    paying more for our pensions is reasonable. What is unreasonable is sweeping legislation being pushed through
    our legislature without discussion. That is unreasonable.

    There are two sides to every story. All unions are not alike, all union members are not alike and all negotiated agreements are not like.

    Wisconsin arguing about paying more an .2% for healthcare is unreasonable as is New Jersey who pays 0%. I can tell you that we pay way more than that in our District.

    When I balance my budget at home, I don't take out all of the grocery money. I take a little bit out of every pot. Why is it that to balance our budget in Ohio, we are taking from one pot? Why is it that there are at least five new
    proposals against teachers and education in the first two months of Kasich's term?

    I voted for Kasich. I did not like the direction Strickland
    was taking our state and agreed that he needed to go. We also all know that changes need to be made in education. However, we do not need our legislature to tell us what
    those changes should be.

    Come to my classroom and I will show you what needs to change.

  3. This is a great article!

  4. Exempt police and firefighters? Is collective bargaining for public employees bad or isn't it? Picking and choosing which employees should be able to do so is laughable.

  5. I respect your opinion Maria but I think you are not seeing the real issues from the State budget point of view. Governor Kasich does see them and he is trying to prevent a catastrophic outcome down the road.

    Ohio's proposed legislation, unlike Wisconsin, does include police and fire so I do not see your point on that. And you mean Senate Bill 5 (not House).

    No, collective bargaining cannot be retained for public workers. Sorry it cannot.

    Collective bargaining is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. As long as public employees have it the state and local government officials really have no control over the salaries/benefits of their employees -- it is as simple as that. No company can run that way.

    In the private sector a union cannot ask for unreasonable salaries and benefits because the company will be rendered uncompetitive and then go out of business.

    There are no competitors for public worker jobs so the unions can ask for anything -- and that is exactly what they have done. The unions have just about killed the golden goose.

    And the public employee unions have brought you to the situation you find yourself in. The State if Ohio is not the guilty party.

    They traded away your salaries, supposedly for benefits and retirement plans down the road.

    Maybe some of these deals were sincere bargains but many were not. Problem is these agreements were totally unreasonable from a cost/benefit point of view now can not be met and to some extent I am afraid the State will default on you and other hard working public employees. I am sorry to say.

    I really hope that does not happen.

    But here is a certainty. If the current collective bargaining procedures continue WITHOUT A DOUBT Ohio will be forced to default on the promises to its public workers. The money will not be there -- end of story.

    What do the unions care if the deal does not work between the teachers and Ohio? Regardless of how bad the deal was for you and your family or what you get paid you will still have to pay your dues -- won't you? That's all they care about.

    Get rid of collective bargaining and mandatory union dues, let public workers manage/take control of their own retirements (that is what the federal workers do now and they do not have any unions setting wages --NONE!)

    And Maria please -- Paul Krugman? Do you read him on a regular basis? He is a pathological lair and as dishonest as they come. I heard at least one person today call that editorial hysterical. I agree.

    Good luck to you.

  6. @Fargo44-
    Thank you for your points. The reason I posted about separating fire etc. from teachers is because those were suggested on this blog. I agree that it's all or nothing. Either we have unions or we don't. The point I was trying to make is that not all unions are behaving or acting without conscience. My union is not. We took major concessions during our last negotiation. We use interest-based bargaining which is not confrontational and we believe leads to better results.

    Anyway, being at the beginning of my career and being the breadwinner of my family, I am very concerned as I am sure you can imagine.

  7. Maria, the argument FOR excluding police and firefights (and any other safety personnel) is that their lives can depend on having proper equipment (guns, vests, respirators, ladders with no-slip rungs etc.) -- likewise shifts. Police should not be made to rotate day shift to night shift so that they are not able so function in their families or to get proper rest.

    So the argument is they should be allowed to collectively bargain because office managers might not be cognizant of the safety issues.

    I'll admit I have a lot of sympathy for the police and fire fighters in this regard.

    Two things I am concerned about in this bill:

    1) how will they handle to the seniority issue? - I understand the concerns about it but I want some credit/consideration for seniority retained.

    2) What I am starting to sense as a lack of coordination between GOP legislatures -- this needs leadership! Is Gov. Kasich in the making sure the GOP does not end up with egg on its face?

    If you do not live in Columbus you get almost no useful information on the State House!!! Worthless local media IMO!


No profanity, keep it clean.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.