This morning the Columbus Dispatch breathlessly reported “Hint of Progress Amid the Protests Over Senate Bill 5:”
A key Senate Republican said at least one public union has shown a willingness to go beyond the "kill the bill" chants heard repeatedly from the estimated 5,200 protesters who swarmed the Statehouse yesterday to fight an overhaul of Ohio’s collective-bargaining law.
"They are remaining pragmatic and so are we," Sen. Kevin Bacon, R-Minerva Park, said yesterday after a meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio. "We have some things that maybe we can come together on."
Jay McDonald, president of the union, said his organization can agree with parts of the bill, such as more transparency in the bargaining process. But he said eliminating binding arbitration – a provision Bacon says is key to the bill – goes way too far, giving police and firefighters no power to negotiate.
As you know, we’ve been watching the F.O.P. closely because we believe that the GOP believes if they carve them out, they’ll drop their opposition to the bill or go neutral and that’ll be enough for them into get the support they need in their own caucus to pass SB 5.
Many of you may have thought tonight’s announcement of a new SB 5 might be based on yesterday’s meeting between the Senate GOP and SB 5. One problem. We’ve received a copy of the list of demands the F.O.P. gave the Senate G.O.P., and we’re producing here for everyone to see.
That’s a two-page document that basically says:
Kill the bill.
This is the starting off point in negotiations Chairman Kevin Beacon (R-A Few Good Men) said to the Dispatch was “pragmatic.”
Seriously, thank you Ohio F.O.P. for telling the Senate GOP that you want all state employees to continue to have the right to collective bargaining.
They told the Senate GOP, we want all state employees to keep their right to collectively bargain, including university employees;
Keep binding arbitration;
Gets rid of caps and bans on negotiating health care benefits;
Keep pension contributions a subject permitted in collective bargaining agreements
Pretty much said you can get rid of step increases, and really what else?
Thank you, Fraternal Order of Police!