Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why SB5 is needed: Apples and oranges

For weeks, I've been making the point that collective bargaining privileges, (they aren't rights), for public-employee unions are completely different than for private-sector workers.

Why? Because unlike private-sector businesses, public employers (elected officials) have no skin in the game. It isn't their money they're dealing with. It's the public's money. The taxpayers.

They don't have to worry about making a profit, or worry about competition, or worry about making sure their business survives.  In the name of labor peace, or for the purpose of being reelected, public employers all too often make agreements that are not in the taxpayers' best interests.  They aren't coming to an agreement with the unions on a level playing field.  The unions have the advantage over the taxpayers, and they know it.

You also get instances where the elected officials are just plain incompetent, and end up agreeing to contracts that the taxpayers cannot afford. After all, being elected to a position of power requires far less talent and experience than getting to a position of such power in a private company. We only need to look at the current bumbling fool in the White House to realize that.

On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch echoed these points brilliantly.
By narrowing the scope of what can be bargained and establishing limits on provisions such as sick leave and health care, Senate Bill 5 limits the ability of politicians to give away the store.
The problem lies in the nature of public-sector collective bargaining.

In private-sector labor negotiations, the two sides have adversarial interests that balance each other: Unions want the highest wages and best benefits possible, and management wants the highest profit possible. Unions need the company to profit and thrive; the company needs a competent, loyal and motivated work force. Each needs to accommodate the other.

In public-sector negotiations, unions similarly want the highest wages and benefits possible. Management wants ... to be reelected. Government doesn't have to make a profit, and it faces no danger of its customers turning to a competitor.
Further, they illustrate the ability of the unions to corrupt the process.
The ability of unions to pool members' donations to make political contributions, as well as to organize members as a campaign force, gives them influence over their bosses that no private-sector union ever dreamed of.

In 1975, the leader of a New York City council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) expressed it memorably: "We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss."
Indeed, today's system in Ohio is a massive money laundering scheme in which the Democratic Party uses the unions to funnel huge amounts of taxpayer dollars into their own campaign accounts. The unions keep taking dues from their members to give to Democrats, while the Democrats keep rewarding them by ensuring that the laws are skewed to give the unions their power.

Go read the entire article, and then send it to your friends.  People need to be educated on this issue.  These are the facts of the debate, but the unions and Democrats will soon start airing commercials with non-sequiturs like "SB5 is an attack on the middle class".  They don't want people to learn the real facts of the issue, so that they can make an informed decision.  Their entire campaign will be based on emotion, and the notion that curbing some of these privileges will destroy people, even though SB5 will still leave them with privileges their private sector neighbors don't have.

Bytor on Twitter


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great post. But unfortunately, facts & figures weigh far less in the minds of the public than do images of teachers, police & fire. Hopefully the facts win the day.

    Or as Obama would say, win the future.

  3. Agreed. I don't think you'll find much sympathy for the teachers unions. But we will get a lot of police and firemen tugging at the heart strings.

  4. Speaking of massive political embezzlement schemes: White Hat Management.

    Anyways, this post is based on theory, not facts. The reality is that politicians want to be elected and that means keeping taxes low. The notion that politicians like Kasich or those before them want to give away the store also forgets that politicans want to have cost effective government and money that provides services to the people.

    When asked how SB 5's alternative to binding arbitration is fair, the Administration ITSELF says that the cities will be reasonable with the unions because they're answerable to the people. A self-contradiction that swallow this post and the entire argument for SB 5 whole

  5. The reality is that politicians want to be elected and that means keeping taxes low.

    This is true for the ones who are good at what they're doing, but not all cases, Modern. Hence, the limits on "giving away the store."

    Other states prohibit CB by public employees and are better off for it. This is not unexplored ground, and SB5 still allows CB for salary and conditions.

  6. Oh please modern, doesn't your side have an new material? or any proof of the tired trite nonsense you peddle as "fact" rather than "theory"?

    Your contention about low taxes is laughable. Just plain funny. Just look at fabulous cuyahoga county. Democrats in charge and the highest taxes imagineable. Do you really think that Russo and DiMora gave a darn about the tax payers?

    Here's a simple theory modern, see if you can wrap your head around it: Diffuse cost VS focused benefit. The teachers, to use one egregious example of taxpayer rape, are very focused on getting more money. On the other side the taxpayers are no where near as well organized. Therefore the taxpayers lose, every time.

    And the bleating about arbitration is straight from the Trumka song book. Do you just know the cords or can you pick out the melody on guitar?
    Rad about the Cincy firefighters. They got a raise because the arbiter decided that the city could always tax the citizens more to pay for the firemen. AGain, diffuse cost, focused benefit.

    The simple fact is the left is getting the drubbing it so clearly deserves. The WI losses are just the start of this avalanche. We proved that thugs and money cannot overcome angry tax payers who vote.

    Here's hoping you continue to lose modern.

  7. Although I’m not from Ohio, most of my family is. One of my family members, my cousin, lives in Medina and works in Brunswick as a public high school teacher.

    Like many Buckeyes, she is concerned about what SB5 will mean for public school teachers. The information that has been shared with her is that if SB5 is passed, starting salaries for teachers will be $17k/year and they will be required to have a Master’s degree which they will have to pay for entirely on their own.

    While I’m not a supporter of unions, if this information is true, it makes me incredibly concerned for Ohio’s teachers and students. If this information isn’t true, then it seems as though communications need to be improved so that the implications of SB5 are made clear to teachers and the public. It’s my impression the levy funding for schools has already created a significant divide between the public and the government. I would hate to see an even greater division grow between these two sectors because of SB5.

  8. Like many Buckeyes, she is concerned about what SB5 will mean for public school teachers. The information that has been shared with her is that if SB5 is passed, starting salaries for teachers will be $17k/year and they will be required to have a Master’s degree which they will have to pay for entirely on their own.

    Interesting. I have not heard that.

    MagsDC, is there a webpage or an email or some literature that you can share with us, that documents this information that was shared with the teachers?

  9. @Bytor - I'm assuming the information came from her teacher's union.

    I did some digging online and found a few articles that referenced the $17k salary, although now it looks as though that language has been removed from the bill and now there is no minimum for salaries and it caps off at $32,000.

    Here are the links where I found this information:




  10. Thanks for the links. Interesting. I am quite sure that information is being reported incorrectly. Looking into it, but my first impression from Mr. Wroten's other articles, is that he doesn't know his Ohio law very well. At all.

    For example, he seems to think that SB5 opponents have 60 days to turn in signatures to force a referendum. Wrong. They have 90. And he thinks if they get the sigs but MISS that deadline, it just means that the referendum will be on the 2012 ballot. Wrong again.

    If they don't get the required signatures in the 90 day window, SB5 becomes law, and that's that. At least, thats how I understand the Ohio Constitution when I read it.

    So, Mr. Wroten appears to be quite ill-educated on this issue.

  11. S.B. 5 is just another, Carl or Karl Rove republican hat trick for the 2012 electons. The Republicans know that they will not be able to put together a coalition of pro-life and anti-gay anti-gun control groups together for 2012, because 51% of the polled population supports same sex marriage, 81% of the population supports either pro- choice or some form of conditional abortion, and it is now legal to carry a concealed weapon inb 40 or more states. The logical solution is to split the independent or moderate voter by starting a class war between public anbd private sector workers, and union vs non- union workers. It is ironic, that republicans simultaneously accuse obama, as attempting the same manuever. with middle and lower class vs. upperclass or rich

  12. And yet another anti-SB5 person promotes class warfare, ignoring the facts of the post.

    We aren't fooled by your distractions or your non-sequiturs about "attacking the middle class" here.

    Tell us why government employees deserve legally granted privileges that their neighbors don't have.

    You can't do it.


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