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:
- Remove any impact on police, highway patrolmen, and firefighters
- 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.