I have to admit I really thought the Republicans in the House would end up making some real changes to SB5 in an attempt to mollify the public safety unions. Nothing looks worse for Republicans than having a bunch of tough-looking police officers and fire fighters marching on the Statehouse with their drums and bagpipes blasting.

The teachers are certainly the loudest protesters and I’d argue they make the best (and most grammatically correct) signs – but when it comes down to images politicians absolutely don’t want to see on TV, it’s got to be a bunch of red-blooded American fire fighters and police officers chanting protest slogans.

It looks really bad.

So I figured the GOP would want to avoid seeing any more if these images on TV. And I also thought they would try to break up the coalition of labor groups fighting SB5 by trying to carve out an agreement for some of the groups. Police and Fire seemed like the obvious target. But I guess the Republicans in the House figured their carve-out amendments would have been too little, too late anyway, or maybe they realized that it would have completely discredited their already flimsy argument that SB5 is about the budget. Either way, they didn’t bother.

The only change they did make was to allow public safety unions to collectively bargain for safety equipment, but they still are unable to bargain for staffing levels. According to one fire fighter I met at the Statehouse today, this change means they can now bargain for an additional fire engine, but they’ll end up sending it out the door with one guy manning it. He made it clear that fire fighters are even more angry and fired up now and they are ready to start working on a referendum.

FOP President Jim Gilbert had even harsher words to say about the revised bill. “These changes are not good changes and don’t address our concerns,” said Gilbert. “They have added a few flowers to the pile of garbage called SB5”

The Republicans may have enough votes to push this legislation through the General Assembly, but labor groups are standing together and they are fired up. At today’s rally I saw teachers, nurses, fire fighters, police officers and corrections officers standing side-by-side with members the Teamsters, the UAW and SEIU – and every single one of them was talking about a referendum on SB5.

John Kasich may end up signing SB5, but if Ohioans have their say – and it seems very likely they will – the bill will never become law.

 
  • Jen

    If Ohio educators can get 1,840,390 public students to show up to school, turn in homework, and learn, we can get 231,000 voters to sign their name. No question about it.

    And yes, if you want a grammatically correct protest sign, definitely ask a teacher. We’ve got mad skills.

  • Jen

    If Ohio educators can get 1,840,390 public students to show up to school, turn in homework, and learn, we can get 231,000 voters to sign their name. No question about it.

    And yes, if you want a grammatically correct protest sign, definitely ask a teacher. We’ve got mad skills.

  • Jen

    If Ohio educators can get 1,840,390 public students to show up to school, turn in homework, and learn, we can get 231,000 voters to sign their name. No question about it.

    And yes, if you want a grammatically correct protest sign, definitely ask a teacher. We’ve got mad skills.

  • Victoria

    Unions lost power when Ronnie fired the air traffic controllers because there was no solidarity from other unions or public support. This will be different. The IAFF told you guys that they would maintian solidarity even if the General Assembly gave them a carve out in SB5. Solidarity will make the difference in the referendum and the Republicans are making that easy.

  • MissGov

    How many people were at the rally? Sorry I couldn’t make it due to a death.

  • Anonymous

    The bill that just passed to the full house pretty much ends what the purpose of a union is for. It allows employers to start the process to decerify a union, prohibits collecting dues through paychecks (I guess United Way is over too), and doesn’t allow for fair negotiations since the govt entity has final say on the contract and if the public is mad they can get it on the ballot to turn it down… WTF!

  • Anonymous

    Simply put, I “prefer to end’um” by “referendum”.

    We will move forward as the people. Ya gotta use democracy while ya still got it and more Ohioans realize every day how easily that can be taken away.

  • Anonymous

    Not many. We’ve moved on from trying to get huge crowds at rallies at this point and focused more on organizing and planning for the referendum.

  • Slapshot

    Wouldn’t have mattered if they excluded us firefighters and policemen from the bill, we would still be protesting against it and work to end it by referendum. An attack against one is an attack against all. We all know that we would be next on the chopping block. Besides, teachers are my heroes and I would stand up for them any day.

  • Tarfam325

    We ALL need to stick together if this horrible Bill is passed and get RIGHT ON the referendum. However, many Republican legislators will still be getting what they want if we deplete our funds to campaign this referendum in 2011. This is their MAIN goal and the reason they are pushing this devious Bill through so quickly. So, I say…we ALL agree to VOLUNTEER our time and talent for the referendum, so we can still save our funds to campaign in the Presidential Election Year of 2012. Then they will REALLY be burnt and THEY WON’T WIN!!! We have all volunteered countless hours to fight this Bill, demonstrate, contact our legislators and provide testimony. All to NO AVAIL if Senate Bill 5 passes. But if we all agree to CONTINUE to volunteer to help get this REFERENDUM going… to the best of our ability… Then we can still save $$$ for 2012… Because it is OBVIOUS, WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!!!

  • Stacey A. Brackett-Adkins

    Great article!

  • Just an idea, but having the Firefighters and Police out in front in the push for a referendum might work pretty well. I completely agree that it’s really bad news for Republicans when the public believes these two groups are being ill treated. They have much more public sympathy than teachers (unfortunately).

  • Anonymous

    Can we please avoid Nazi references to Kasich? It just discredits us. And is frankly, trivializes Nazis and insults those who were killed in the war and Holocust.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the point of submitting amendments in a process when you never get to have a vote on them. Remember the amendments were what to put into the new, NEW SB 5… which was determined solely by the GOP majority without any vote. It was a waste of time for the Democrats to offer amendments when there would be no record of them except that for whatever reason they never made it in the bill. You offer amendments when the process allows for a recorded vote.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the point of submitting amendments in a process when you never get to have a vote on them. Remember the amendments were what to put into the new, NEW SB 5… which was determined solely by the GOP majority without any vote. It was a waste of time for the Democrats to offer amendments when there would be no record of them except that for whatever reason they never made it in the bill. You offer amendments when the process allows for a recorded vote.

  • Guest

    He lied.

  • Anonymous

    Make sure your son is registered and has his SS card so he can vote and his signature is can be used on the petitions that are soon to come.

  • Anonymous

    Amen

  • Anonymous

    Modern- say the Gov signs the bill into law. Referendum signatures need to be collected within 90 days (correct me if I have this all wrong). If this stays the effect of SB5, should we be expecting language to be placed in the budget bill to do what the Governor wants? Will there then need to be ANOTHER referendum? I know that the Governor threatened to put his wants in the budget bill if the GA could not get SB 5 passed. I just am not sure if there are two bites of the apple if SB 5 is stayed, and we know the budget bill must be passed.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with this. I will give to the cause the money it would have cost me to get to Columbus which is more than our teachers group is asking for us to contribute to combat this ill conceived bill.I will check the list of Demarcates who are registered to vote. I will put on my walking shoes and hit everyone of the houses in my community and others. I will do my share and your share to get this to vote and then I will continue. I will provide rides for those with no way to get to the vote and anything else that is asked of me. At this point rallies are nice but they wont change the minds in Columbus. We have already seen that. I need to be with my kindys at school. And while I am there the PTA will get information our parents need to understand just what this bill is about. I will also ask the PTA president to help make all parents aware of what is at stake. Every one who are on these boards should be ready to do the same. All this crap has made me so much more politically aware than I have ever been. I am contacting my local Democratic party and offering my services for anything they need from now on. Thank you Gov. Kasich this is the best thing you have done for me.

  • Anonymous

    When is the budget voted on? Is it before we need to turn in the signatures for the Referendum? I Know that April 6th is the date for something but I don’t remember what. I think that was the time table of when to put this on the ballet before the 6th this Nov. and after Nov. 2012.

  • They have to pass the bill by April 5th or else the referendum will be on the ballot in 2012 – which the Republicans don’t want because it coincides with the presidential elections year as well as the election of the state reps and 1/3 of the state senators.

  • CDR Jan

    Thanks for pointing that out. Whenever I hear so-called liberals use the Nazi references, I think they are just as intolerant as the wingnuttiest teahdists. Hence the phrase ‘so-called liberals.’

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