As Brian reported on Friday, SB5 is scheduled for amendments and a possible committee vote in the House on Tuesday. We don’t have a list of the proposed amendments yet – most likely there will be some kind of concessions to the police and fire unions and a reworking of the binding arbitration replacement proposed in the senate bill – but I can guarantee you this: teacher will still be getting screwed in this bill.

John Kasich promised “to break the backs of organized labor in the schools” during the campaign. And so far he’s doing his damnedest to keep that promise.

With a House vote right around the corner, I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the opposition testimony to SB5.

Greg Mild, the educator from Columbus whose writing I reprinted last week, agreed to rework some of his very informative (and very long) testimony specifically for Plunderbund and I’ve included a section of it below. His full testimony is available here and is definitely worth reading.

Thanks to Senate Bill 5, House Bill 69, and the Governor’s proposed budget, Ohio’s public employees are experiencing a unique confluence of events will end in a significant decrease in take home pay and disposable income. I’ll detail a teacher’s situation (my own), though all public employees will experience their own version of this scenario.

As I talk about dollar amounts, I’ll use them as they presently exist — I’m not going to include changes in tax rates or any projected increase in the overall cost of medical coverage.

To begin, I already contribute to health benefits and my employer has negotiated wisely, so the change in SB5 to me, the employee, covering 15% will result in a modest decrease of 1% of my take home pay. This is the explicit SB5 effect. Layer on the 3% increase coming via House Bill 69 in my STRS contributions, and my take home pay drops by a cumulative total of 4.4%. Finally, I wanted to factor in the rhetoric of reducing pay through this bill and the projections of a 15% cut in education funding at the state level. Since Columbus receives only 32% of its funding from the state, a 15% reduction equates to a 5% salary reduction.

The combined effect of these 3 simple changes result in a 9.3% decrease in my take home pay, my “disposable” income. To put some numbers on this, a person with annual take home pay of $30,000 will experience a decrease of $2,789 per year, or $232 per month. Annual take home of $40,000 means a loss of disposable income of $3,719 per year and $310 per month. Of course, if both a husband and a wife are in the public sector, these amounts will be doubled. What would you cut back on to the tune of $600 per month? I’ve had people tell me they are worried about keeping their homes with these numbers. And this would be considered a conservative estimate.

And when Senate Bill 5 cuts disposable income deep for public sector employees, it does nothing to increase income for other Ohioans. Senate Bill 5 does not decrease sales tax, state income tax or local property taxes. Public sector employees will be spending less in private businesses, so the reality is that Ohio’s private businesses will suffer, too. When consumer spending decreases, private business income decreases, resulting in a cycle of cuts in that sector, too, meaning that private sector workers will also experience even more layoffs and reductions to income.

The domino effects of these cuts are not partisan. We will see decreased donations to community organizations; churches can expect to experience a drop in contributions from parishioners and will be unable to maintain their present level of outreach and charity for those in need; their local benevolence ministries will suffer, as will the recipients.

And as the public sector workers begin to second jobs, their participation as volunteers in our communities will decline. Tutors, parishioners who help in food banks, scoutmasters, big brothers and sisters, science fairs, PTAs, marching bands, kids’ sporting events, organizers and fundraisers for schools — these are all valuable things that will suffer.

Receiving an award for Legislator of the Year doesn’t make a person an educator any more than an Educator of the Year award makes one an expert legislator.

Specialization exists in this world for a reason. This quote from the Technical Employment Services, Inc [Rep. Ron Young’s business] website expresses it well. “If you have heart problems you look for a good physician specializing in cardiovascular medicine. If you have legal problems dealing with real estate issues you look for a good Title Dispute Attorney. If you need assistance to quickly recruit the best engineers available you look up a good engineering recruiting firm. The right firm can save you huge blocks of time.”

Writing legislation about education? Then consulting an educator would be a prudent idea.

Ohio is not prepared for this bill. If we think the use of education and experience are outdated compensation models, then we should be working together to research better ways to solve them instead of adopting a method that has been demonstrated to be ineffective.

I have an outstanding union president in Rhonda Johnson of the Columbus Education Association. Rhonda is not a thug. She works hard at maintaining the collaborative environment that exists in our district. Does my union agree with every decision the district makes? Of course not. And is the district always happy with the union? Probably not. The fact is, we won’t always agree on everything, but it is the relationships that make it work.

So instead of annihilating the relationship between management and unions, we should be embracing it. We should be recommending marriage counselors, not divorce attorneys. We should be providing more assistance to those involved in contentious negotiations, not less. And instead of rebuilding the walls between us, we should be tearing down what few walls exist.

I don’t want Ohio to be like Wisconsin where the entire state is being ripped apart over partisan politics. How long is it going to take them to restore any level of trust in one another? Passing Senate Bill 5 will irreparably divide Ohioans in the same way. So I say to ALL of the Ohio Legislature: If you are going to pass this bill as has been stated publicly, so be it. But let’s get it fixed in order to truthfully help local governments instead of leaving them drifting in the wind. I don’t support this bill, but know that I am 100% willing to assist in improving its inconsistencies and some of the unmanageable components. If you’re going to hang me, at least let me properly tie the noose.

 
  • “And as the public sector workers begin to second jobs, their participation as volunteers in our communities will decline”

    In addition to this, unemployed and underemployed will suddenly find the number of jobs even worth applying for will diminish as people who ALREADY HAVE JOBS are forced to take on second and third jobs just to make a house payment. Disgusting.. the ripple effects of this legislation will be felt for who knows how long. One-term-Kasich is going to destroy Ohio.

  • Guest

    She’s too nice. This is not about making things better but making things worse for the have less. The radical TGOP have no interest in an electorate that is educated. This is the big problem. They are making education a privilege and not a right. It is another form of disenfranchisement for us.

  • Guest

    One party rule here we come. Wage slavery here we come.

  • Tarfam325

    Yes, Brian!!! You are right on the money!!! What’s the HURRY about this bill? Does it, in its current form do ANYTHING to truly reduce the state’s debt? No! Does it provide substantial savings that will benefit our state’s economy? No! does it break the backs of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other Public Employees and their families? Yes! And the HURRY would be… to avoid a referendum for Republican candidates falling in a Presidential Election year? SERIOUSLY… this bill NEEDS to be DELAYED and improved with the input of the people it will be affecting. Unlike Governor Kasich who is urging all Ohioans to make “reasonable sacrifices” while increasing his staff budget by 8% and creating new staff positions to the tune of $300,00+, we ARE willing to negotiate to do our part. However, this Bill is asking us to do more than what is “reasonable” under the auspices of “union busting” to get some Republican and private sector support. But this bill WILL be exposed for what it is if it is passed. And even if they agree to help firefighters and police and remove them from the limitations of this bill, I am hopeful that these fellow Public Employees will continue to support a referendum for the rest of those affected. We will NOT REST until everyone associated with this Bill is removed from office if these pieces of legislation are passed.

  • guest

    as a police officer I will never forget what they tried to do to us and will never vote republican again in my lifetime, and the same for my family and co-workers. I doubt any concession to police and fire will amount to much really.

  • Rgtmwlly

    Of course, nothing in SB 5 reduces take home pay. Wages are still bargained under SB5. Spreading misconceptions and outright lies about what SB5 does is irresponsible – but not surprising. To unions, facts don’t really matter – and no Democrat is about to call them on it – they control the message, true or untrue.

    The Unions have instructed every Democrat in America to refer to these bills as “attacks on the middle class”, even though it is the middle class that has been getting pistol whipped by public employee unions, having to carry the tax burden of unfair benefit packages that they don’t get themselves – and are finally getting some systematic relief. Yet refer to them thusly they do.

    The Unions and their mouthpieces spread lies and vitriol to carry the fight at any cost. See the – ehem – “sontaneous” protests in state capitals, typical hecotring and verbal abuse of anyone on the other side, the chicken shit manuevers like the Wisconsin Senate D’s fleeing the state so as to forestall a vote as examples. And not a single Democrat even speaks up against the tactics, much less the policy positions.

    It is truly amazing what power the Unions have demonstrated they have over the Democratic party. Not a single Democrat in Ohio, New Jersey, Wisconsin, the US Congress, White House, etc sees the benefit of the relief to local governments from measures like SB5? I don’t believe that. In fact, I happen to know it not to be so. But dare a single Democrat break ranks. They can’t. They are told what they are allowed to say/think and they stay in line.

    If you listen to liberals who decry our agenda, the right is at the mercy of evangelical christians. Yet there are plenty of examples of Republicans who are openly pro gay marriage and pro abortion rights – not to mention openly practice a different religion. They’re the minority to be sure, but at least there are SOME. But not a single Democrat is allowed to disagree with unions. No free thinkers allowed in this lot. How sad.

    The stranglehold one interest has over one half of our political system in this country is not only terrifying, but is in and of itself, is a good enough reason to support these reforms.

  • SB5 removes state minimum salaries for teachers, it increases the amount they have to pay for benefits, removes their ability to negotiate over benefits and it puts makes school boards and/or city council the final decision maker in disagreements over pay scale.

    Kasich has made it clear his goal with these ‘reforms’ is to give locals control over negotiating contracts with employees specifically because his budget would be making HUGE cuts in their state funding.

    Yes, SB5 doesn’t require cuts to teacher salaries but that is absolutely the intended goal.

  • Xx

    If you don’t like unions I’d suggest that you forgo your weekend, 8 hour work day and vacation.

  • buckeyekelly

    “The Unions have instructed every Democrat in America…They can’t. They are told what they are allowed to say/think and they stay in line…But not a single Democrat is allowed to disagree with unions. No free thinkers allowed in this lot.”

    You are part of neither group you outline in your post. No one has instructed me. No one has ever, ever told me what to think or how to act. The more legislation I read that has been sponsored by Republicans leads me to the conclusion that it is the “right” that believes they get to tell women, gays, the poor, teachers, police officers, and just near everyone who makes less than $500K per year how they should live their lives and what to think.

    “The stranglehold one interest has over one half of our political system in this country is not only terrifying, but is in and of itself, is a good enough reason to support these reforms.”

    I couldn’t have said it better in regards to the progressive agenda taking control over unregulated, big-business, neo-conservative, bloated spenders.

  • I admit Brian does write all the best pieces for Plunderbund but in this case Joseph – with the help of Greg Mild – actually wrote this one.

    Easy to understand the confusion though. 🙂

  • CDR Jan

    It’s in the teahadists’ interest to have a dumbed-down, poorly educated Ohio populace. Otherwise, Ohio voters may not blindly agree with what they hear on Faux News.

  • CDR Jan

    And employer-provided health insurance and paid sick leave and workers compensation and unemployment compensation and . . .

  • CDR Jan

    “even though it is the middle class that has been getting pistol whipped by public employee unions, having to carry the tax burden of unfair benefit packages that they don’t get themselves”

    Most, if not all, public employees are long-time members of the middle class for which you are advocating.

    All public employees are taxpayers.

    Collective bargaining is a two-sided process: employers (management) and employees (labor) MUTUALLY AGREEING TO wages, benefits, and conditions of employment. That’s right: MUTUALLY AGREEING TO. Public employee unions did not ‘pistol whip’ state and local governments into agreeing with contractual wages. To demonize one side of the process (labor) and give a pass to the other side (management) is very blind and ignorant.

    Employees in the private sector enjoyed the same sort of benefits as public employees do now until about 25 years ago, when you folks started busting private sector unions.

    I recently retired after 25 years of service as a State of Ohio employee. In each of those 25 years, I paid 8.5% of my gross wages towards my pension and for most of those years, I paid 20% of the premium for my employer-provided health insurance.

    Before working for the State of Ohio, I served on active duty in the US Navy for 11 years. With your attitude, you probably resent that I now use VA health care coverage.

  • CDR Jan

    Theoretically, people saying “Would you like fries with that?” could be making more than the educated people who make our communities safe, care for our parents, teach our children, regulate our commercial activities, and otherwise help us live safe, secure, and productive lives.

  • Anonymous

    Ten bucks says “Rgtmwlly” is a TeaBagger. He is also a troll, who did very well starting himself a little flame war.

    Fuck him. Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Anonymous

    Ten bucks says “Rgtmwlly” is a TeaBagger. He is also a troll, who did very well starting himself a little flame war.

    Fuck him. Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Tarfam325

    Thanks! If this stupid piece of legislation does pass, I hope at least you and your colleagues might be spared. Solidarity, though, is our best defense. We will ALL stick together to make sure NOT ONE person who voted for this legislation is re-elected and I believe we ALL will vote for a referendum!

  • CDR Jan

    Yeah, you’re right. Definitely a teahadist, or, as we used to say back in the day, uneducable. Sounds nicer than moron, idiot, or cretin.

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