Protesters In Ohio Ride the Pro-Union Wave
Matt | On 01, Mar 2011
The Midwest has been on fire in the past couple of weeks, thanks in large part to pro-union supporters who are pissed off. First it was Wisconsin, then Indiana, and now Ohio is heating things up.
Today, thousands of people crowded around the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest Senate Bill 5. The legislation would do some of the following:
- Remove collective bargaining and the right to strike for public employees. Police and firefighters are already prohibited from striking in Ohio. [THIS SUCKS]
- Eliminate binding arbitration (third-party out of court legal decisions) for police and firefighters. [THIS ALSO SUCKS]
- Enforce merit-based pay increases for teachers, firefighters, police, etc. No longer would seniority count toward raises. [I ACTUALLY LIKE THIS ONE]
- Impose a fine equal to two days worth of pay for any public employees that strike. [THIS IS SHITTY]
- Require public employees to pay 15 percent of health care costs. [I SUPPORT THIS]
It takes a lot of the teeth out of public unions in a state that has relied so heavily on them.
Supporters of the bill, mostly Republicans, say the bill will save taxpayers money and manage state funds better. Opponents say it’s an opportunity for the GOP and new Gov. John Kasich to shit all over unions like they have been itching to do for quite sometime. Needless to say, the two sides DO NOT agree.
Unofficial crowd estimates run at 8,500 for Tuesday’s demonstrations. Others put the crowd upward of 20,000 at the statehouse.
The bill is currently in committee in the Ohio Senate. Once it is voted out of committee, it will head to the Senate floor for a full vote. From there, it’s off to the Ohio House for a vote, then perhaps to the governor’s desk for a signature into law. Opponents are trying to kill the bill in the Senate with 17 votes against the measure.