In today’s Columbus Dispatch:

Joseph W. Uecker"I and several of my fellow colleagues are in favor of a right-to-work state. Unfortunately, that’s not what this bill does, but it sets the framework for conversations later on."-  House Commerce and Labor Chairman Joe Uecker (R-Loveland)

Chairman Uecker finally admitted what the Republicans have long denied, that SB 5 is not about the State budget, it’s not about giving local government more flexibility, it’s about setting the stage to end organized labor in Ohio entirely.  And this comes from Joe Uecker, a former police officer.

A political gaffe has been said to be when a politician says something publicly that they privately believed to be true.   It’s a political Freudian slip, when you meant to say one thing, but said your mother.

In one quote, Joe Uecker confirmed everything that the Republicans for months have been adamantly denying, including Governor Kasich.  On the eve of his own committee’s vote and a contentious debate, what Chairman Uecker did was throw gasoline on what was already a political explosive matter.

And then there are the changes the Dispatch says Uecker’s committee is expected to make today.

First, there’s the good changes:

  • Ensuring that workers who strike illegally are not subject to jail time;
  • Clarifying that safety forces can bargain for equipment;
  • Eliminating the bill’s current prohibition against employees speaking to public officials during negotiations. Some lawmakers raised First Amendment concerns about the issue;
  • Specifying that traffic-ticket quotas cannot be part of merit reviews for law enforcement.
  • Ensuring the bill does not negatively impact death benefits for family members of those killed in the line of duty.

Now, the bad changes:

  • In addition to keeping the Senate’s provision that would allow the government to decide whether to take it’s last best offer or the unions, the bill adds a limited voter veto power that would only give them“the ability to reject the contract if elected leaders pick an option that could not be paid for without a tax increase;”
  • The bill will prohibit collective bargaining agreements from having any provision that requirement the collection of “fair share” dues, money that is collected from non-union employees who benefit from the collective bargaining agreement but are not members of the union.  The amount collected only goes to cover the costs of the negotiation and enforcement of the contract.
  • [UPDATE:]  The Legislative Service Commission has indicated that the new SB 5 bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements to allow for the payroll deduction to labor’s political action committees.  Nuclear clause.

This last provision has nothing to do with budgets or giving local government’s flexibility to bend over easier for John Kasich’s budget cuts.  And the basis the Republicans are using to justify it is laughably pathetic:

Uecker said his committee heard from at least one public worker who objected to how the union was spending dues in the political arena. "There is a lot to this concept of not being required to have money confiscated for purposes you don’t believe in," he said.

Rep. Louis Blessing, R-Cincinnati, said existing law already says that no employee can be forced to join a union. "If that’s true, why should they be forced to pay anything?"

I have to pay taxes which goes to fund Uecker and Blessing and everything in John Kasich’s budget for things I don’t believe in.  Where’s my opt-out protection.  By the way, the money, again, doesn’t fund labor’s political activities, just the collective bargaining agreement that the non-union employee benefits from.   Why are they forced to pay?  Because it’s call freeloading.  You don’t get to benefit from the system without being expected to help cover the costs of obtaining those benefits for you.

(In other news, in GOPland, apparently one person is persuasive enough to change a bill but thousands are not persuasive enough to kill it.)

The House GOP managed to make a bad bill and make it worse.  I cannot imagine how Bill Seitz or Tim Grendell could vote for this bill now.  Nor can I believe how a Frank LaRose or Karen Gillmor could possible continue to support this bill.

The House GOP just made the referendum easier, not harder.  Their alternative to binding arbitration turns collective bargaining into collective begging.

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  • Tpiteo65

    wow what a two faced piece of sh=t Joe Uecker is. he most likely received his union beni’s when he was cop. now he is the big kahoona House Commerce and Labor Chairman spunging off the working people of ohio. man the GOP is a bunch of turds that need to be flushed away starting in 2011.

  • Tpiteo65

    wow what a two faced piece of sh=t Joe Uecker is. he most likely received his union beni’s when he was cop. now he is the big kahoona House Commerce and Labor Chairman spunging off the working people of ohio. man the GOP is a bunch of turds that need to be flushed away starting in 2011.

  • Tpiteo65

    wow what a two faced piece of sh=t Joe Uecker is. he most likely received his union beni’s when he was cop. now he is the big kahoona House Commerce and Labor Chairman spunging off the working people of ohio. man the GOP is a bunch of turds that need to be flushed away starting in 2011.

  • Anastasjoy

    I object to my taxes being “confiscated” and spent on failing, for-profit charter school — or on vouchers for students to attend religious schools of faiths I don’t subscribe to. I also object to it being spent to defend Mike DeWine’s cruel, cynical and baseless lawsuit against the health-care bill. Where’s my opt-out?

  • buckeyekelly

    If he actually stands by what he said, he gets only a smaller rotten tomato thrown in his direction because he had the balls to say it.

  • guest

    King Kasich and his rookie republicans are graciously allowing police and fire to negotiate for their safety gear! Oh thank you good sir, send us off to do your dirty work, keeping crime at bay and rescuing the injured while outfitting us in cheap, unusable equipment. Thank you sirs for allowing us to negotiate for equipment that may actually work when needed.

  • Anonymous

    Speaker Batchelder’s press spokesman is quoted in today’s Plain Dealer denying that SB 5 is an assault on labor… Mixed messages lose.

  • Natasha

    The Ohio Republican Party is without question the most effective “union” in the land.

    By the measures that the O-GOP uses to criticize public sector and trade unions: keeping incompetent, lazy, overpaid, corrupt and generally worthless individuals on the job sucking inflated payrolls from their employers, the O-GOP is terrifically efficient.

    Their tactics: constant false hyperbole, confrontational dishonest rhetoric and lying scare tactics keep the nitwits in the electorate energized and fretting over issues beyond the scope, power and authority of the O-GOP and its incompetent public office holders.

    There’s by no measure any mandate or even a majority that justifies the all out war on the middle class by the privileged few, but the O-GOP legislature, and other elected continue abusing their offices to steal from the poor to further enrich themselves. It’s the Sheriff of Nottingham syndrome – power itself justifies the results.

    Where are cuts in legislator and officeholder pay?

  • I heard a snippet this morning on NPR that they are considering jailing strikers? I haven’t had time so far to verify this………………is this true, or did I hear it wrong?

  • leeseh

    Can we say “told ‘ya so” now?

  • Tarfam325

    So, public employees are still required to pay dues to their unions (I have no problem with that) BUT the Unions’ power will be extremely limited due to this legislation? ( I do have a problem with that). Our taxes will not go down. Our union dues will not go down. Our pay and benefits and livelihood will go down and this STILL WILL NOT help with the state’s budget woes AT ALL, but this will all happen just so Governor Kasich can HIJACK the LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUND which has been protected since 1935 under the disguise of “union busting”? Then our LOCAL governments WILL need to come to us to increase our taxes at a time when our STATE has pilfered our livelihood and we won’t be able to help them… and teachers, firefighters, police officers and public employees are the enemies?? Seriously, when are the PEOPLE going to call our Legislators on their shady, underhanded, lying tactics??? Where are their pay cuts? When can we design a SYSTEM to pay THEM based on merit? Every time you lie to your constituents, I’m sorry, you must be fined! Every time you back-pedal and try to cover up for your lying mess…another fine! Pretty soon, they would be drawing no salary at all and then, maybe, our State’s economic woes could begin o be fixed!

  • Something really does seem amiss here. Grendell and Seitz have both been quite adamant about keeping some form of binding arbitration. The house bill is less fair than the senate bill, because the only limit would always act to reduce the value of the contract if invoked. So that leaves it at 17-16. Eliminating fair-share and payroll deductions really seems like it should be enough to force another senate vote, and Gillmor for one is sitting in a real tough position if she votes for an even worse bill than one she called “bad.”

    Is Manning still a possible pick-up?

  • Anonymous

    No, Senate bill permitted jailing of strikes (which will become illegal under the bill) in violation of a court order. This removes that as a penalty.

  • Anonymous

    Does he think doing this will keep them for fighting against this bill and not supporting the teachers? NOT!!!I know firefighters in Canton and they said this does not fool them. They are still against the bill!

  • CDR Jan

    I really have a problem with fair share employees. Their fair share dues are supposed to cover the cost of collective bargaining and nothing else. However, when I was a steward for an AFSCME local in Summit County, we spent more of our time representing the fair share freeloaders in disciplinary hearings than we spent for our dues-paying members! Of course, the fair share members were usually politically-connected and thought 1) workplace rules did not apply to them and 2) their political connections would protect them.

    My niece worked in a bargaining unit job at Summa Health System and worked 39 hours every week. When asked why she did not work full time, she said that she would have to pay union dues and did not want to be a part of any dirty union! Of course, she took the wages and bennies (holiday pay and on-call pay) that the union negotiated, but OH, NO! Can’t be part of any dirty union!

    I say to Rep. Uecker: if you want to make Ohio a right-to-work state, then make it status quo ante: 6-day, 48-hour work weeks; no paid leave of any kind (vacation, sick, personal); straight-time only, no overtime; no employer-provided health care coverage; no workers compensation or unemployment compensation; no workplace safety rules.

    Let’s see how freeloading fair share employees or non-union employees would like that!

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  • Guest

    Right to work = right to work for slave wages, no benes and the right to be fired just cause your evil boss wants to with no recourse. Of course they want this because their evil constituents (evil rich people and evil big business want it) to make the bottom line better.

    I don’t want my taxes going to pay the fair for any of the evil richies support.

  • clambake

    I’d like to “like” this about 50 times. It pretty much sums it all up.

  • Anonymous

    These clowns have to go or American and the Middle Class, the ones that built this country will no longer be. REJECT REPEAL REPLACE ALL REPUBLICANS IN THE US OR WE WILL BE DOOMED

  • Tarfam325

    Replace all the Republicans who support this bill! This is BEYOND a party issue… and there are some Senators and Representatives who are Republicans who oppose this Bill. If we all vow to vote against ALL Republicans, then what will they have to lose if they vote for this bill and similar legislation and for Kasich’s budget? We have to support those legislators who are LISTENING to their constituents and NOT making decisions based on party loyalties and personal agendas. It just so happens that most, (but not all) of these legislators happen to be Democrats.

  • Anonymous

    You’re absolutely correct. All the bill does says is you can ask. You can ask for a new firetruck, but you can’t ask that it be fully staffed, either.

  • Anonymous

    You’re absolutely correct. All the bill does says is you can ask. You can ask for a new firetruck, but you can’t ask that it be fully staffed, either.

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