The Sexy Senate Seduction of S.B.5: An introduction to collective bargaining reform in Ohio

What’s better than sex?  I’m talking about the kind of sex that people fantasize about in their deepest darkest secrets. It’s Senate Bill 5 otherwise known as SB5

Oh yes, SB5 is one of the most exotic, sexy pieces of legislation ever to grace paper and to come from the lips of a State Senator Shannon Jones. The dialogue and beauty of the text is enough to turn the coldest heart into a lavish, promiscuous, insidious romantic.

So what is this salacious document that I’m speaking so highly of? It’s the first, most aggressive legislation since the infamous 1983 act in favor of collective bargaining implementation, to be enacted in an attempt to stop the bleeding that public employees represented by unions are imposing on tax payers. For more than 27 years this law has remained unchanged and has strangled the State of Ohio in being able to create a positive business atmosphere that will attract business and bring jobs to Ohio. The organizations that stand behind the collective bargaining law of 1983 have little understanding of business and have over those 27 years helped create a complex puzzle that is straining the states pension system and a host of other labor related issues.

This bill is proposed by Senator Shannon Jones of Clearcreek Twp of the 7th District has the direct support of Governor Kasich and will take a major step in the direction of solving that puzzle by taking off the shackles that are draining the tax revenue flowing to the state from the caretakers of Ohio, the tax payers.

Listen to this guy. He’s why we need SB5. It’s people like him that go to those collective bargining rallies.

Among the many items in the bill the primary reforms are:

• Eliminates collective bargaining for state employees and employees of higher education institutions
• Existing collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) covering those employees expire according to their terms
• Eliminates salary schedules and step increases and replaces them with a merit pay system
• Eliminates continuing contracts for teachers after the bill’s effective date
• Eliminates teacher leave policies in statute and requires local school boards to determine leave time
• Eliminates seniority as a sole criterion for Reductions In Force (RIFs)
• Removes healthcare from bargaining and instead permits school boards to govern healthcare benefit plans for employees
• Requires employees to pay at least 20% of their healthcare costs
• Allows public employers to hire permanent replacement workers during a strike
• Limits bargaining for local government employees (including school districts) to issues of wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment
• Eliminates binding arbitration for police and fire
• Abolishes the School Employee Healthcare Board
• Prohibits school districts from picking up any portion of the employee’s contribution to the pension system
• Allows a public employer in “fiscal emergency” to serve notice to terminate, modify or negotiate a CBA
While much of this bill will focus on the state, it will immediately bring transparency to localities. No longer will local school boards be able to blame the state for policies created and imposed on the districts. Step increases by teachers will now be considered raises, as they should be and school boards will be given much more independence on solving their own problems. Immediately SB5 will make changes to teacher’s contracts and benefits:
• S.B.5 eliminates new continuing, contracts after the bill’s effective date.
• The bill eliminates teacher leave polices from statute and instead requires local boards of education to establish general leave policies for employees who are not covered by a CBA.
• The bill abolishes the School Employee Health Care board and instead permits boards of education to govern health care benefits for employees.

For all these reasons and more SB5 is a bold bill that has the kind of power to seduce business back to Ohio and once again make attractive enterprise not only in bringing jobs back to the state, but to reduce the impact of the syndicate style unions that feed directly off tax payer funds, particularly in education, and allows the money to go where it’s needed. Such a step has been needed for many years but lacked legislators and a governor with the kind of courage needed to implement it.

But like any great romance, there is always a jealous lover, the overly dependent jealous spouse that lives like a leech off the life it professes to love. Below is the press release from just such a jealous, over imposing leech of the state, the OEA. They quickly seek support from their members to attempt to strong arm the bold legislative movement occurring in Columbus. Read for yourself their words and bullet points below.

OHIO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION OPPOSES SENATE BILL FIVE

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michele Prater
614-227-3071; cell 614-378-0469
Ohio Education Association opposes Senate Bill Five
Legislation will weaken public service to Ohio’s children
February 9, 2011
(Columbus) – The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is gravely concerned that the Ohio Senate is not making Ohio’s children a priority. In a tough economy and facing a major budget deficit, Ohio must focus on the essentials, and nothing is more essential than giving our children a quality education that prepares them for good jobs.
Sen. Shannon Jones’ legislation, Senate Bill 5 (SB 5), proposes to drastically curtail collective bargaining rights, ban public employee strikes, end collectively bargained salary schedules for public employees. SB 5 targets all state workers and all Ohio higher education employees, including OEA members at Columbus State, Youngstown State and other public colleges and community colleges, as well as OEA’s State Council of Professional Educators (SCOPE) bargaining unit whose members educate incarcerated adults and youths.
OEA believes collective bargaining helps educators pursue the classroom conditions, tools and support that contribute to the kind of high quality 21st century education essential to preparing students for jobs and successful careers.
Collective bargaining is a problem solving tool that shapes working conditions and improves learning conditions. Since 1983, Ohio’s collective bargaining law has created a framework that has made strikes rare and short in duration. OEA affiliates negotiate effectively to avoid strikes and disruption for student learning.
Senate Bill 5 serves to weaken Ohio’s entire middle class. Rather than creating jobs in Ohio, this legislation will hurt local communities stifling job growth.

OEA’s asks you to remember that:
• Collective bargaining allows educators a voice in improving opportunities for Ohio’s students, better classroom resources and improved teaching and learning conditions
• Teachers know best what’s needed to improve student learning , and collective bargaining gives them the opportunity to focus on teaching rather than time consuming employment issues
• Educators, like all public employees, are an integral part of the fabric of Ohio’s communities. Senate Bill 5 weakens Ohio. Rather than creating jobs, this legislation will hurt local communities, reversing Ohio’s positive economic outlook
• Ohio’s collective bargaining law has created a framework for problem-solving that has made strikes rare. OEA affiliates negotiate effectively to avoid disruption for student learning
• In a tough economy, with Ohio facing a major budget deficit, we must focus on the essentials. Nothing is more essential than giving our children a quality education that prepares them for good jobs.

I have heard in the course of my involvement in education reform virtually every one of those bullet points provided above. They use words like “weaken” and “children” and “hurt” as an attempt to stir up the thoughtless escapades of their followers who will repeat those same lines to the papers and other news organizations. However, the architects of those words have zero experience in creating jobs and creating prosperity. All they have experience in is feeding off society and convincing them that their services are so central to the jobs they are employed by that their reality can’t see the truth. But they have to believe it before they can convince taxpayers how important they are. What they don’t understand is that the regulations they have brought to the State of Ohio have only increased in the last 27 years and the monster they’ve created shows no sign of getting smaller. Under the path of collective bargaining, that monster will require more and more tax money until the system will collapse under the weight of their impositions.

There isn’t a successful formula for collective bargaining in the entire world that has sustained itself over time. The attempts tried have everywhere proved dismal failures, and under SB5 our state government has taken the first bold step to get the state healthy again. The rhetoric of the shallow rooted, selfish protectionists of the status quo will continue to rant the statements similar to the OEA Press Release. But none of them have a real plan. They are scrambling instead to find a way to keep the ponzi schemes going just a little longer because the tragedy for them is that they built their whole lives around those ponzi schemes, and it’s evident now that they won’t get out of the scheme what they invested.

For the rest of us, that chose to work outside that insidious system, and work for ourselves, or companies not tied to collective bargaining, our investment in long term longevity over short term gain proved the wise path. And it is our strategy that must be passed on to the rest of the state for the state’s health and future fortune.

Like all good love-making, sex is best when not rooted in selfish aims, but the mutual benefit of both partners. And the good lover knows what their partner needs even if the partner is obscure to the fact. So the sex is best when not done for the benefit of the giver, but for the receiver.

And that’s why this bill is so sexy. It’s what’s needed even when all parties aren’t aware that they need it. When the bill SB5 is thrust forward into the canvas of Ohio History much to the dismay of the intended object, the real impact will be felt only when selfishness flees the proceedings and both parties work together for mutual bliss.

They’ll thank you later………………..

But as many of you reading this know, sex is not good when third parties are involved and act as agents and matchmakers. That has been the role of collective bargaining in the State of Ohio. And that’s why we need to bypass the matchmakers and head straight for the bed.

Rich Hoffman
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com