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Reader Reaction: Your Comments on Heated Issue 2 Debate

A round-up of your thoughts on Ohio's Issue 2, which Patch will be covering through the November vote

The November election is a little more than a month away, and already Ohioans are clamoring at the chance to vote yes or no on Issue 2, also known as Senate Bill 5. The issue restricts collective bargaining rights for the state's roughly 360,000 public-sector employees. Not one Democrat voted for the bill when it passed the GOP-controlled legislature in March.

We ran our first article on on Sept. 17, and ever since, Patch readers have been debating the pros and cons.

We've received hundreds of comments, but here's a sample of some of the viewpoints our readers have been discussing.

Several people said they won't vote for Issue 2 because they say it will raise taxes, to which several commenters responded:

says: What makes you think that your taxes won't be going up? This is a bill to break the unions. They never promised that it will keep your taxes from going up. When I began teaching in the 60's, our salaries put us in the lower class financially. Nearly all of us came from middle class backgrounds. After teaching for 40 years, I was receiving a respectable salary thanks to union bargaining over the years. When I began teaching there was a nationwide severe shortage of teachers. If you reduce the total package for a teacher's salary, who is going to go through those 5 years of college with so little incentive to receive an income commesurate with their abilities?

says: Your taxes are going to go up reqardless (sic) at least with Issue 2 we protect those we need the most Police, Firefighters and Teachers (who are grossly underpaid, despite what someone said about $51.00 an hour) VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2.

Others want Issue 2 to pass because they say it will give power back to employers.

says: I'm voting to uphold SB5. The employees of the state of Ohio have no right to hold me hostage, and SB5 begins to restore balance to the employer/employee relationship.

In response, says: ...This will take away rights of not only firefighters, police and teachers, but also office workers and road crews and building custodians (just to name a few). Most of these workers had to face the economic realities of the recession back when the recesson started. It is untrue that public employees do not contribute to their pensions or healthcare costs. There are are also quite a few who have negotiated to pay more than the percentages quoted in the tv ads.

Others are simply looking for more information and asking questions before they vote:

says: If you have a position please offer some facts and support your argument. Take for example the claim by one side that SB5 is an attempt to destroy the middle-class and will result in minimum wages. Please explain how SB5 causes that to happen ? Where can we find those provisions in SB5 ? Make your case in an intelligent and civil manner.

answers: SB 5 doesn't prescribe wages. It allows cities to take at will from their employees. There is no unbiased third party protection from them doing this. Safety forces can't even strike like the private sector can, should they not like the terms of employment. It's illegal. Did you know that's why collective bargaining was instituted in the first place? A neutral third-party was given in exchange for the ability to strike. Now, they're taking the neutral third-party without giving back the ability to strike. Sound fair to you? Sounds like it's eliminating the rights of the workers and the middle class to me.

also responded: ...Keep in mind that the salary is only the beginning---in many districts the teachers pay nothing toward their retirement and health care----issue 2 would require that they pay 15% of their health care and 10% toward their pension. about 90% of the private sector would only dream about such low costs. In the private sector, failure to make a profit results in layoffs, or closure, while with public employees simply roll out the banners and propaganda machine, talk poor, and demand the taxpayer fork over---of course its for the children, nothing selfish here. The same with policemen and firefighters, they are not being asked to take cuts in salary or benefits, only that fairness be introduced to the argument. Issue 2[SB5} is the fair answer.

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Donald R. Thompson October 26, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Wrong all day long ...there is no binding arbitration in issue 2 as the remedy for impasse and you know it , impasse under issue 2 will be 100% given to by CITY COUNCIL (or the local govt. body...county commisioners etc.)....EVERY TIME. The fact finder (different statutory job than an arbitrator) will be spinning their wheels because in the end the CITY gets to pick THEIR OWN OFFER 100% OF THE TIME. Either you cannot comprehend the language of issue 2 or your just LYING
Donald R. Thompson October 26, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Straight from the PD's analysis of the BILL: Relevant legislative body, such as city council chooses one side's proposal. Employer's last offer takes effect automatically if legislators cannot decide.
Donald R. Thompson October 26, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Therefore BINDING ARBITRATION IS GONE!!!!
Donald R. Thompson October 26, 2011 at 02:42 PM
FROM 4117 THE CURRENT LAW PASSED IN 1983 and IN FORCE CURRENTLY, PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO (c): (6) The conciliator shall hear testimony from the parties and provide for a written record to be made of all statements at the hearing. The board shall submit for inclusion in the record and for consideration by the conciliator the written report and recommendation of the fact-finders. (7) After hearing, the conciliator shall resolve the dispute between the parties by selecting, on an issue-by-issue basis, from between each of the party’s final settlement offers, taking into consideration the following: (a) Past collectively bargained agreements, if any, between the parties; (b) Comparison of the issues submitted to final offer settlement relative to the employees in the bargaining unit involved with those issues related to other public and private employees doing comparable work, giving consideration to factors peculiar to the area and classification involved; (c) The interests and welfare of the public, the ability of the public employer to finance and administer the issues proposed, and the effect of the adjustments on the normal standard of public service; PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO (c)
Jake Racketch October 26, 2011 at 04:04 PM
to Dave D... for the same reason the wealthiest 1% contribute to the republican party.

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