With little news coverage and no fanfare John Kasich named Bob Blair as his choice for Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (ODAS) yesterday. He intentionally did it on a Friday afternoon to avoid pulling the appointment into last week’s news cycle. And it seems to have worked. The coverage so far has been tepid and limited to repeating the stuff included in Kasich’s press release.
But there’s one thing everyone left out. This appointment is vital to Kasich’s big plans for one very important reason: ODAS has a division called the Office of Collective Bargaining which “serves as the principle representative of the State as an employer and negotiates all of the State’s labor contracts.” And all of these labor contracts are set to expire in 2012 – right in the middle of Kasich’s term.
According to Kasich’s press release, Blair will ensure “that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth out of state government.”
And here’s Blair’s statement on his appointment:
“It is imperative that we critically examine how the State of Ohio administers services, manages its workforce, and eliminates waste, redundancies and inefficiencies throughout the system. Ohioans, state employees and businesses that work with the state all deserve agencies that operate professionally and responsively, and I look forward to bringing a business-like approach to the public sector.”
In case you can’t read between the lines here – and in case you aren’t aware of the John Kasich’s very public battle with, and outright disgust toward labor unions – here’s the translation:
If you work for the government – as a teacher or a trooper or in any classified position that belongs to a union – you are fucked. Period. End of story.