Who's Who in the Fight Over the Future of Ohio's Public Unions

In March, Ohio GOP legislators passed Senate Bill 5, which drastically reduced the bargaining power of public employees' unions. Unionists and their Democratic allies gathered signatures to force a referendum on the law as Issue 2, on Nov. 8.

Read more Patch Issue 2 coverage:

Jack Musser October 06, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Ref: issue 2... How did we get here????? Dick Celeste was Governor in 1983, and had control of both state houses... They passed the bill that our now Governor repealed only part of it.... The cities need to have control of when & how much in benefits they receive... So. what goes round comes around...
James Thomas October 06, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Chas (No name in violation of Patch policy) How about if I come on your HOUSE and tell you what money you can keep and you have no say in the matter. This is what taxes do when the dispensers of tax money, politicians, are bought and paid for by the Firefighters Union.
James Thomas October 06, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Bill, (No name in violation of Patch policy) This is the new Democrat/Communist plan called divide and kill. Kill the Bourgeois/Middle Class who pay the taxes and the "Rich" who pay MORE of the taxes to support those who pay nothing.
Ed Kent October 06, 2011 at 05:40 PM
There are wealthy Democrats as well as Republicans. In fact, there are more ultra rich Democrats in Congress than there are Republicans. I don't see this as class warfare, but as one political group making corrections to the other groups tight connections to the public unions. One group has been financially supported by unions in a very powerful way. Is some of this correction too far? Probably. I think both sides have really messed things up in many ways. They both need corrected. We're just seeing one thing focused on right now. One thing for sure, I'll be voting for the issue that gives Ohioians back their healthcare rights because the federal government has no right to make me pay a private company for health insurance. The states do have a right to make drivers pay for liability insurance due to the fact you're driving a potential killing machine. But, the federal government does not have the constitutional right to make anyone pay a private company. It would be different if we were paying into a government program like Medicare, but the new healthcare mandate is wrong.
Robin Anderson October 06, 2011 at 07:23 PM
B(no last name???), wish in one hand and **** in the other and see which one gets filled first! You and your co-workers in the private sector, if hourly(non-exempt) employees, have the right, guaranteed by the Federal government, to decide whether or not you may form a bargaining unit. You'd still have to "justify" your demands in order to win the terms & conditions you desire or you may vote not to be represented by a bargaining unit...but at least you have the unfettered right to do so. EK, would you support socialized medicine then? IMO that's what President Obama should have pushed for but he made the same mistake as the Clintons. Anyone who's not self-insured today will surely wind up on the public dole through Medicare, once their personal funds have been drained in the case of a calamity. President Obama merely adopted the primary business model of the actuaries of the private insurance industry in creating his helath insurance plan; the larger the pool of participants the less of a risk to any one individual. Such a plan could quiite possibly lead to the phasing out of both Medicare & Medicade.
Gary Lane October 06, 2011 at 10:53 PM
The "Unions" and collective bargaining aren't what is wrecking this country or causing its financial/economic status. Having collective bargaining rights means that I am given the right to sit at a table and discuss the issues with my boss/city officials. Thats it. The right to have a discussion. Why would taking that away be a good thing?
Victor Mooney October 06, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Collective bargaining has not been changed in Issue2[SB5]---what has been changed is arbitration, which has always been used to take taxpayer money without fair negotiation---unions have failed to bargain in good faith knowing that arbitration almost always results in a increases in wages and benefits ---disregarding the taxpayers ability to pay---
Chas October 07, 2011 at 02:51 PM
RE Bill Thoma. LOL are you ever brainwashed. First of all THEY have gone into my investments and sucked out one third of the value. I HAVE lost well over 50% of the equity in my home. Despite never being late on a house payment in over 45 years. . Yet only a few minor peons were indicted. Recently two banks tried to charge me extra money for me to pay my own taxes and insurance on my house which I have being doing for the last 14 years. The reason a bank failed to keep my escrow current and then tried to almost double my house payment. I refused to agree to their payment and started making my own direct payments for these items. So you see they are in our house. Yes firefighters do have lobbies to ensure themselves of a decent wage, safety on the job, and good equipment to protect their communities. They are not the greedy self serving people that run the state capital.so you see they are in your house and in your pocket you just do not know it yet.
Chas October 07, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I agree that the Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans. The only thing that will stop this nonsense is if citizens unite to form groups with qutspoken voices. In no way do I agree with the Tea party but you have to give them credit that the were effective in making their voices and views heard.
Chas October 07, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Amen Gary Even with bargaining rights we were not getting the 100% wage increases, golden parachutes, and outlandish perks and benefits these corporate execs receive. Some years we were glad to get 0% increase and most of my increase were 1% to 3% per year, Wage bargaining is not limited to unions. Lastly union wages set the wage standards for many non-union jobs
Chas October 07, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Victor Have you researched and discovered the unions winning percentage in arbitration. Arbitration is brought to play we BOTH sides failed to reach and agreement. Many times cities will suddenly have deficits around contract time. Then after the first of the year boost about huge surplus. You people act like firemen and policemen and making huge salaries. What type of person do you want coming to rescue you in an emergency. THEY RISK THEIR LIVES> Take a look at the police offices and Firefighter killed in the line of duty including the 300 people killed during 911. Oh I guess they were over paid too.
Robin Anderson October 07, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Aw, yer full of beans, Vic! All one has to do is access the State Employee Relations Buraue's(SERB) web site and one can see the various issues taken to arbitration, whether by the union, the employer or an individual public employee AND their current status/outcome.
Victor Mooney October 07, 2011 at 10:39 PM
Are yo guys claiming that binding arbitration over the last 30 years has not benefited the union members lopsidedly? No one is attacking firefighters or policemen---and no one is taking care from newborns , as stated in the TV ads from your side---these are your stories--not mine. I spent 26 years as a firefighter and I am tired of the degrading use of patriots who died on 9/11/2001, and inocent babies and starving children, ad infinitum. --Issue 2[SB5] is designed to get control of unsustainable costs for pensions and healthcare for public employees, not doctors, not nurses, not children, not fireman, not policemen, not even the middle class. People making $100,000 plus cadillac benefits, working 8 hours a day, for 9 months, never on weekends, and under near ideal conditions---ARE NOT MIDDLE CLASS. Issue 2[SB5] isn`t asking that they give up the benefits, only that they contribute a small percentage to allow them to be aware of costs and help curtail those costs. When my two year old had 100 toys --he still set up a howl when I required him to share one with his brother---your arguments sound strikingly similar to his. No one needs more that 99 toys, to play with.-
Robin Anderson October 08, 2011 at 03:47 AM
The records available through SERB speak for themselves, Vic; there's certainly been no "lopsided" victory tally in favor of the unions! Sorry, don't belong to a union and don't watch as much tv as you, I guess; I try to stick to the facts. If anyone has a bone to pick with the terms & conditions of their local teachers agreements then they should be raising cain with their local school board, eh? Otherwise, the pathetic attempt to change the rules for arbiitration are aimed exactly at our safety forces and other hourly public employees. It seems the change was tailor maid for the disingenuous likes of the Mayor of Akron, in fact! 700 "funds" makes for one heck of a shell game and I'm glad the police union called him on it! The proposed changes to arbitration tilt it totally in favor of management and make it a useless alternative to either the lawyers or strikes.
Donald R. Thompson October 08, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Slick Vic, How exactly does issue #2 deal with pensions?? 94% of all public employees already pay the required 10% into their pensions.....is the 6% that have negotiated a pension pickup breaking the bank?? Vic you keep harping on teachers...this bill does the same to all public employees; teachers, fire, police, EMS, nurses. Why should people get union benefits when they do not pay in?? You don't get to tap into my cable TV??? do you??? YOU HAVE TO PAY. Let them opt out of the union...fine but you do not get any union benefits and no union lawyer when you get yer ass in a wringer. People like Vic who have benefitted from collective bargaining and have "gotten theirs" and are truly only worried about their pensions being affected make me sick...you are the ones that can help the pension system the most....keep eating 2 lbs. of bacon every morning and smoke three packs of grits a day
Victor Mooney October 08, 2011 at 03:08 PM
I haven`t had a fag for 44 years, I don`t draw a pension, what I eat----none of this is relevant or any of your business---in fact I find most of what you say, irrelevant. What happened to the issues----1] your 94% is bs, 2] You didn`t mention what percentage pays a share of their healthcare...3]Issue 2[SB5] isn`t asking for cuts in anything---only reductions in the projected increases....4] You still remind me of my son----and when the layoffs start because Issue2[SB5] doesn`t pass, it won`t be cadillac pensions and healthcare you will be whining about, it will be jobs!
Victor Mooney October 08, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Sorry Robin--I cannot answer you--you are too far off the reservation for me to try to coax you back to a realistic discussion---Victor
Chas October 08, 2011 at 10:57 PM
Victor what city do you work for? You should know that binding arbitration looks at both sides of an argument. The firefighters present their side of the argument as to why they should receive a certain amount for a raise. The city is going to argue why their raise is a fair amount and supply figures as to why the city cannot afford the raise. The arbitrator looks at the city's finances and what the firefighters in comparable positions earn. Many times the cities would submit bogus figures to the arbitrator. Then the union would have to go to court to get the city's real finances. Collective bargaining has also improved the on-the-job equipment, fire apparatus, and overall safe working condition for firemen. cont'd
Chas October 08, 2011 at 11:09 PM
Re Donald You are right Donald, he better not get too relaxed with his pension. These same politicians are trying to make it where cities and companies can opt out of their commitment to retirees. Foreign newspapers report that pension financing is in serious worldwide trouble. So let him encourage these people to prosper in this outrageous act. He might be the next target in their sights and lets see what he says when it directly affects him. Do a search for "Reuters: pensions in trouble" and you will see what I am talking about.
Chas October 08, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Victor The layoffs were here before Issue 2 and it will continue to be here whether or not Issue 2 passes or fails. Why have we had the widespread political corruption if thing were as bad as they say. I am sorry you do not have a pension. However, you should not be upset and begrudge the younger firefighters the right to a decent wage. I wish that I could have enjoyed some on these benefits yet I do not want the young men and women to be treated unfairly out of jealousy. It is you who appears to be childish.
Victor Mooney October 08, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Chas---you and Robin must belong to the same tribe---- We are talking about Teachers and Public Employees---some large cities have begun to lay off--but you ain`t seen nuthin yet!
Chas October 08, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Do you know that one year I paid more taxes than Ford Motors and IT&T combined. At the time IT&T was the largest corporation in the world. The richest people in America (The richest1%) pay a lower rate of taxes than you do. If you have second home for a family member you cannot deduct the costs but the rich can deduct the costs of their vacation homes. So you continue to be brainwashed. I hope it is not too late when you realize the middle class is being taken to the cleaners and that GREED and SELFISHNESS is killing this country.
Chas October 09, 2011 at 05:05 AM
Listen Victor there are some good measures to Issue 2. It is almost impossible to get rid of a non-performing worker. Yet to say that collective bargaining and arbitration are the reason for Ohio's economic woes is absurd. With the money we spent in the Iraq war, we could have educated every college age youth in our country. We need to pull together and start overseeing our state government, organizing our communities and making our voices heard for implementation of sound fiscal policies by law makers and government administrators. Don't you find it interesting they lumped nurses into this measure. I have has major illnesses and I dud not know which would take me first the illnesses or the inept billing of my hospital.department Again they are greedily trying to wring out every dime from their patients.
Robin Anderson October 10, 2011 at 03:09 PM
You can't answere the points of debate because you got no facts to back up your argument, Vic, just your anti-union rhetoric. Apparently, that's easier for you than actually searching for some facts, facts that are & have been available online through various websites such as the DOL & SERB.


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