Yesterday, we wrote about the Columbus Dispatch’s story that indicated that there are seven Republican Senators on the fence on SB 7, enough that if they don’t support the bill could defeat it.  Well, I failed to note another key aspect.  If the GOP doesn’t get these members on board, they may not even be able to pass SB 5 out of committee.

The Republicans have an 8-4 majority on the Senate Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee.  However, three of the Republicans on the Committee are Senators Bill Seitz, Bill Beagle, and Jim Hughes.

These just happen to be three of the seven Senators the Dispatch identified as saying that SB 5, as it currently stands, goes too far and they are on the fence over supporting.

So if the GOP cannot get one of these three on board (either by partisan arm twisting or amending the bill), the GOP doesn’t have the votes to approve the bill out of committee.

In other news, we have two more GOP Senators announcing that they will join Senator Scott Oeslager as officially opposing SB 5 as drafted.

Senator Tim GrendellAs Joseph mentioned yesterday, Senator Tim Grendell’s office was indicating that he opposed the bill.  Today, the Morning Journal reported that Grendell personally confirmed his opposition:

“I believe in general the bill goes too far,” Grendell said. “When talking about labor situations, you need to have a balance. If problems with the current system are too costly to taxpayers and too favorable to employers we need to address those issues.

“As written, Senate Bill 5 essentially tips the balance in a way that eliminates any protections for people who work as public employees.”

(How odd would it be if Grendell’s decision to stay in the Senate and not take his House seat lead to him being the deciding “no” vote on SB 5?)

Senator Karen GillmorIn other news, Senator Karen Gilmor (R-Tiffin) is reportedly a definite “no” vote on SB 5.  I must admit that this was an unexpected “no” vote and not one that was on a lot of people’s radar.  The indications are that Gilmor may not even support the bill even if it’s amended.

One of the members I’ve been watching is freshman Senator David Daniels (R-Greenfield).  According to this Jackson County Times-Journal article, he and State Rep. John Carey recently held a town hall meeting in their district in which they were besieged by public union members asking them on SB 5:

“On Senate Bill 5, I will support reform in some fashion. Having said that, I hope that parties from all sides will come together and work to find a common ground. Otherwise, with or without changes, I am going to support Senate Bill 5,” Daniels told the crowd. He also added, “Is Senate Bill 5 the answer? I don’t know. But, I do know that some changes need made, and these decisions aren’t going to be easy ones.”

So, it looks like Daniels needs more persuading.  You never know what kind of impact meeting your constituents have, and standing there looking them in the eye, and tell them I’m voting against you… only to have your House colleague take one step away from you and stand with them.  (Going first on a question like that can really suck sometimes.)

If you know of  your Senate member having a town hall or constituent meeting in their district: GO! And tells us what you’re seeing and hearing.  Ask them to commit on SB 5, and if they say they don’t support it in its present form ask them what “form” could they see them supporting it.

Because right now we have the ability to defeat SB 5 entirely… but we’re still several votes shy:

SB 5 GOP Scorecard

As you can see we need to keep the votes we’ve got and pick up three out of the six officially “on the fence” folks to defeat SB 5. We might even be able to defeat the bill in Committee.  If you are represented by Sietz (Cincinnati area) or Beagle (Dayton area) be sure that you have everyone you know contact them over between now and Tuesday via e-mail, fax, or phone and let them know how you feel about SB 5!  If they and Hughes vote no in committee, the bill is defeated.

Second, get yourself to the Statehouse at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22nd and stand with the opponents of SB 5 in what may be the last rally before the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee votes on the bill.  There are sure to be late-breaking developments on Tuesday, and the Republicans want to get the committee hearings over with and get this bill back on a fast track.  Do not fool yourself and say they will be a next time to go to Columbus.

If you want to stop SB 5:

  1. Be at the Statehouse, Tues. Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. (Cleveland folks, there’s a bus for you.)
  2. Attend your local event as found on this calendar of events (or attend any town hall or constituent event your State Senator is holding between now and Tuesday)  There’s also a rally in Dayton on Monday.
  3. Contact your local party organizations and encourage them to organize an event in the community.
  4. Call/E-mail/Fax your State Senator and then call up everyone you know to do the same.
  5. Sign up to phone bank.
  6. Print up fliers from OCSEA’s website and pass them out (also has a bus schedule for other Ohio cities for Tuesday’s rally, may need to call ahead to see if they’ll let non-members ride, too.)

The supporters of SB 5 are banking on your apathy and the feeling that passage of this bill is inevitable.  It isn’t.  When this bill was introduced, they thought they could jam this through like they did with RobsOhio, they were wrong.  And now nearly half of the GOP’s caucus is up for grabs to vote to defeat the bill.  We need to let them know that we will be heard either next Tuesday or the next Tuesday in November when they are on ballot.

Fox News is coming to Columbus to set up Monday to be here all of Tuesday.  On Tuesday morning, they’re going to have Sen. Kevin Bacon, the Chairman of the Senate Insurance, Labor, and Commerce Committee on their morning show.  They’re supposed to be taping throughout the day.  The committee has already heard from representatives from Americans for Prosperity; let them here from Americans for the Middle Class on Tuesday!

We cannot give up.  We cannot quit.  We cannot let up now.  We can win.

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  • Anonymous

    OCSEA has a list of some upcoming town halls on its website (, including one with Senator Lehner (R) on Monday morning. Anyone in Dayton should try to get there.

    It’s a great idea to keep the heat on these guys everywhere they go.

  • Rjmoore

    This is a great update and summary of what’s going on with SB5 right now. Thanks for this! I am bookmarking your blog, as I have never seen it before.

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  • Fotogirlcb2002

    thanks for your hard work on this — I have sent so many e-mails I am cross eyed —
    seems this is a political agenda item for most of the republican governors– an ambush — a payback for what the pubs call a ramming of the healthcare down their throats — difference is ramming this down the middle class throats ( busting unions ) will only cause more unemployment , more bankruptcys , really what they want is for the democrats to be gone — a one party goverment plain and simple

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    thanks for your hard work on this — I have sent so many e-mails I am cross eyed —
    seems this is a political agenda item for most of the republican governors– an ambush — a payback for what the pubs call a ramming of the healthcare down their throats — difference is ramming this down the middle class throats ( busting unions ) will only cause more unemployment , more bankruptcys , really what they want is for the democrats to be gone — a one party goverment plain and simple

  • Anonymous

    Here’s another good one, from the Springfield paper:

    Two local state lawmakers are hosting a public forum Monday night on the state budget and possible looming cuts.

    Reps. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, and Robert Hackett, R-London, will be at the Clark County Heritage Center’s Discovery Hall Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

    They will give a presentation on the state budget process and field questions from the public about challenges in solutions as the state faces a projected $8 billion deficit.

  • Anonymous

    no, he could do that

  • Anonymous

    It’s actually not uncommon for either the majority or minority to change the membership of the committeees. It can be pretty fluid, unlike in Congress. However, it would be unusual to see such a change AFTER the member of the Committee has heard so much testimony.

  • Anastasjoy

    Sure, he campaigned on the issue, as much as he campaigned on anything. I specifically recall that he said he would “break the back'” of the teachers union. What is that other than a threat to end all their input into any matters whatsoever?

  • Anastasjoy

    They are flat out lying when they say health care reform was “rammed down their throats.” The debate health care was dragged out more than a year, thanks to their duplicity and lies. They got a total hearing on all of their issues — more of a hearing that the single payer advocates got. Democrats gave them concession after concession after concession, until they had conceded 90 percent and ended up with a modest bill with some nice trinkets but nothing truly transformational. Now the Republicans want to wrest away those trinkets. They got almost EVERYTHING they wanted, including NO public option, the only thing that will truly keep down health care cost. These people are sneaks and liars and unfortunately, the media obediently regurgitates their crap and never asks questions or points out truths.

  • Adrienne

    Thanks, excellent rallying cry, Modernesquire!

  • Mike

    Let me as you all a question….Take a slight pay cut or lose more jobs because there is no money to pay for it? Getting rid of collective bargaining will save more jobs…yes there will be a decrease in pay…but look at our economy, everyone has been hit….Obama wants to share the wealth…well the unions should listen to him and stop taking money from the tax payers…take a cut and save your jobs

  • Anonymous

    Spoken like a true ignorant Tea Party idiot. Newsflash, public unions have taken cuts for the past fours years in both pay AND personnel. Ohio would have gained even more jobs last year than it did if it weren’t for the massive loss of government jobs in the State.

  • Anonymous

    Spoken like a true ignorant Tea Party idiot. Newsflash, public unions have taken cuts for the past fours years in both pay AND personnel. Ohio would have gained even more jobs last year than it did if it weren’t for the massive loss of government jobs in the State.

  • Mike

    There’s no need for name calling…I’m not against unions, there is a place for them. I just believe they have gotten to powerful and are asking too much…I never said there haven’t been pay cuts…I’m just suggesting that it hasn’t been enough. In 2010 government employees who were in public unions made 25% more than those in private. I’m fine with there being a higher percentage but does it really need to be that high?

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  • Dianeballard

    A cut….sure, I’m on board to do my share, but when you ask me to support giving up all access to negotiating my working conditions- IT IS TOO MUCH.

  • Anonymous

    . . . In 2010 government employees who were in public unions made 25% more than those in private.

    Not in Ohio. The most recent reports state that Ohio public employees are undercompensated compared to the private sector.

    My final salary as an internal auditor for the State of Ohio with 10 years of experience was approximately $58,000. Auditors in the private sector (KPMG, Schneider Downs) with less that half my experience make over $75,000.

    Do the math.

    I chose to work in the public sector for employment stability. Take away collective bargaining from state employees, and all of the competent employees will flee to the private sector and start pushing people out of their private sector jobs because the former public sector employees with demonstrated knowledge and experience will be willing to work for less money, pushing down private sector wages.

  • JB

    Mike, where did you get your 25% statistic. I disagree.

  • buckeyekelly

    I attempted to use this soundbite with a conservative friend (apparently 160 or fewer characters is the only way these people can comprehend anything):

    Collective bargaining is not a guarantee of anything other than a voice at the table helping decide a worker’s fate.

    Additionally, unless you’re an Ohio or Wisconsin taxpayer, STFU (directed in Ms. Palin’s direction).

  • JB

    Good point. I am a math teacher that chooses to teach for the kids. With my education and background I make $50,000. As an engineer, project manager, soft ware designer… How much more could I make in the private sector?

  • buckeyekelly

    We have taken paycuts and will continue to do so.
    We have lost jobs or not filled retirees’ positions, and will continue to do so.
    We have done more with less.

    “stop taking money from the tax payers…”

    Dude, we ARE tax payers, And we provide key services that no matter how many cuts we take, are not going to be done FOR FREE.

    Stop reading your talking points and actually LOOK AT THE FACTS. When compared to the private sector and controlled for education, we make LESS.

    Collective bargaining is not a guarantee for better-than-yours salaries. It’s a place at the table to talk about what gets cut, who gets less, and what we can do as a group to help everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Those of us who have worked for the State of Ohio within the past 15 years know that cronyism is still alive and well, despite union protection. Some managers act as if they are feudal lords, employing and promoting their friends for those jobs which are not strictly controlled by seniority (i.e., higher bargaining unit classifications and supervisors).

    I can only imagine that cronyism (and resulting less-qualified workers) will become the norm for the State of Ohio if SB 5 passes.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    yes they are sneaks ( hence the tea party people cutting in on call in lines etc. )
    liars yes and perverse in propaganda
    they are all cloned from one another — stepford governors
    what they say about clones has got to be true
    the more you clone the more is lost –like — brains !

  • Anonymous

    You just cited the Buckeye Institute. You’ve now lost all credibility here.

  • prgmatic_one

    State workers pay a significantly higher percentage of their pay into their pension than private workers do into social security. State workers do not get matching 401(k).

    It sounds like workers in private companies need to fight to bring back pension systems, except this time make them immune from being stolen by some corporate shenanigans. Or something else needs to be done on a national level to augment social security. The answer is not to drag down yet another group of people to pave the way for more tax cuts at the top….and that is what this really all about. If you think the billionaires running the Republican party are really concerned at all about the middle class then you have to be living in a fantasy world.

  • pragmatic_one

    The Buckeye Instistute has zero credibility. They are a libertarian propoganda group with a very clear agenda. It is a bias factory that spews out mountains of lies and has no shame about it. The Dispatch should be ridiculed for quoting them those clowns so much.

    The study you refer to compares pay in gov to pay of all private sector employees including minimum wage fat food workers, people who work in retail, etc. The government does not employee minimum wage workers, as most gov jobs require skills and college degrees. You see, this is like saying the people who work at Google make 200% more than their private sector peers if “peers’ includes people who work at Wendy’s.

    When you compare apples to apples, you will find that gov employees are slightly less compensated than their private sector peers.

    If you want to turn over our policies to the Buckeye Institute then I will promise you Ohio will look like Mississippi within 2 years.

  • pragmatic_one

    There is actually plenty of money. But I can understand that from the perspective of many, if not most, that there is “no money”. But then, why would that be? Why is that there is “no money”? Is it because it all went to pay for public employees? Or is there an actual real and much larger and obvious problem?

  • The unions have shown they are willing to work with the state and to make sacrifices when necessary. Governor Strickland brought them to the table and let them help work on solutions for the budget crisis. As a result they agreed to take 20 unpaid “cost-savings” days over the biennium resulting in hundred of millions in cost savings for the state.

    That’s the kind of solution a good leader pursues.

  • Ron6774

    Great. (sarcasm)

  • Ron6774

    Thanks for the opinion!

  • DanLewis

    In my school district, the teachers all took a pay freeze last year, and it looks like we will take another one this year. We are likely going to agree to start paying A LOT more for our health care (probably another $1,ooo out of my annual pay), and I have already accepted the fact that there will be no pension money left for me by the time I retire.

    We are not deaf. We are not rich. We are not lazy. We work hard every day and we hear that everyone is struggling. But don’t buy their brilliant propaganda. It’s a way to divide and conquer. This is class warfare. It has very little to do with union versus non-union, nothing to do with budget-balancing (Republicans, fiscally responsible? Come on!), and MUCH to do with the wealthy vs. the middle class.

    Don’t let this happen. Think big picture. To do otherwise is to let them frame the debate. Unions lift everyone, that’s why they hate us.

  • Anonymous

    Not only do public employees pay a portion of their wages into their pensions plans (8.5% for PERS, as I recall), those of us who paid into Social Security before and after public employment (and even during, for those of us with second jobs), will have our EARNED Social Security benefits reduced to $360/month to eliminate any ‘windfall.’

    I have well over 80 qualifying quarters, and if I had retired from the State of Ohio instead of quitting and cashing in my PERS funds, the SS benefits I EARNED by my contributions over the course of 20+ years would be reduced by two-thirds.

  • Jay

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  • Firefightermedic125

    I have called his office and sent several emails. All I receive are canned responses!

  • Joe

    Would the unions represented in this debate be willing to become apolitical; stay out of politics completely and not use ANY funds from dues or voluntary donations through the unions to support EITHER party. In other words, this would mean an end to political contributions. Money paid in as dues would only be used for union matters. If they and you as union members were willing to do that, I would support your right to collectively bargain for things that directly support your needs in doing your jobs effectively. If you continue to pour millions into the Democratic Party then, as President Obama put it after the 2008 election, “There are consequences to elections”. If you cast your lot with one party you should be ready to get what the other party may bring.

  • Anonymous

    Why should unions be prohibited from contribution to campaigns when corporations now can?

  • againstSB5

    How do you expect performance based raises/promotions to work for public servants such as police and fire. Do we impose quotas for tickets and arrests for officers to meet and exceed? What about fire, based that on how many heart attack victims they save per week? It isn’t a reasonable measure across the board.

  • Greywf2

    Tired of hearing from corporate interest and Republican big business interest telling the common citizens they need to sacrifice and then vote to give themselves raises and smuggly say they,ve earned it. In hard times all shoild pay in good all should prosper.

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  • Junkmailfilex

    Every job has criteria by which performance can be deemed good or substandard; physical fitness, knowledge, performance record, absenteeism, productivity on many levels – allowing people to keep a good paying job just because they have always had that good paying job or because the union says so is pure foolishness. In the private sector, one has to prove one’s value to the organization or one is cut. Why should a taxpayer based job be any different than the taxpayers who are supporting it?

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