Ohio voters will have the chance this November to decide whether the state's contentious new collective bargaining law should be repealed.
The state's elections chief said Thursday that opponents had gathered enough valid signatures to put the question before voters. The measure is now suspended from taking effect until voters have their say.
The law signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in late March bans public employee strikes and restricts collective bargaining rights for more than 350,000 teachers, police officers and other public workers. While unions can continue to negotiate wages, they cannot bargain on health care, sick time or pension benefits.
The group We Are Ohio delivered more than 1.3 million signatures to Secretary of State Jon Husted, though the opponents needed roughly 231,000 valid signatures to get the question on the ballot.
This is excellent news for Ohio workers and the state overall. It's a chance to shove it back in the face of our pompous Governor and restore basic rights to our public employees.
The assault on workers and organized labor taking place in Wisconsin has been all the talk this week, but it looks like what we are seeing there will start popping up in more places. Here in the buckeye state yesterday, a similar protest broke out:
Hundreds of union protesters again packed the Statehouse in protest on Tuesday as government officials from around the state lined up in support of a bill that would wipe out Ohio's nearly 30-year-old collective bargaining law and make other union changes.
A crowd of firefighters, police officers and other public employees overflowed the hearing room, packing cat walks and filling the Statehouse Atrium and Rotunda to standing-room-only capacity for much of the afternoon. It was the second week that hearings on the bill drew such crowds.
The Senate bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Shannon Jones, would eliminate collective bargaining rights and salary schedules for public employees across the state. GOP Gov. John Kasich has expressed his support for the bill in concept, but he has also signaled he may bring forth his own plan that could go even further — including banning public employee strikes.
In Ohio it appears the only way to get a raise is to actually work for the Governor:
Strickland’s Communications Director Keith Dailey, for example, currently makes $89,003. While Kasich’s Scott Milburn is getting a bump to $120,000.
Press Secretary Amanda Wurst currently makes $69,992. Rob Nichols will get $90,000.00.