Tea Party Discovery #4:  Government Regulation

The stated belief of the Tea Party is to “end burdensome government regulation.”

The Tea Party members in Ohio apparently forgot about their opposition to goals of “less government” and “more economic freedom” as they rallied in support of the following items from Senate Bill 5 that limit the rights of local Boards of Education, elected by local citizens (The People), as they work to employ local citizens (The People) who are educating the children of local citizens (The People):

  • Prohibits public employees from striking.
  • Expands the list of subjects that are inappropriate for collective bargaining.
  • Prohibits an existing provision of a collective bargaining agreement that was modified, renewed, or extended that does not concern wages, hours, and terms and conditions from being a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.
  • Prohibits an agreement from containing a provision that requires as a condition of employment that the nonmembers of the employee organization pay to the employee organization a fair share fee.
  • Prohibits a collective bargaining agreement entered into or renewed on or after the bill’s effective date from containing provisions limiting a public employer’s ability to privatize operations.
  • Prohibits a collective bargaining agreement entered into or renewed on or after the bill’s effective date from containing provisions for certain types of leave to accrue above listed amounts or to pay out for sick leave at a rate higher than specified amounts.
  • Eliminates the ability of the parties to submit disputes to an agreed-upon dispute resolution procedure.
  • Eliminates the final offer settlement procedure.
  • Requires any agreement determined by the legislative body to be in effect for three years.
  • Requires, if the legislative body fails to select a last best offer, the public employer’s last best offer to become the agreement between the parties.
  • Eliminates statutory salary schedules and steps.
  • Requires performance-based pay for teachers based, in part, on evaluations conducted under a policy that is based on a framework for teacher evaluations that has been recommended by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and adopted by the State Board of Education.
  • Caps vacation leave for certain public employees at 7.7 hours per biweekly pay period and limits total accrual for those public employees currently accruing 9.2 hours per pay period.
  • Reduces sick leave accrual for most public employees from 4.6 hours to 3.1 hours per biweekly pay period.
  • Limits public employer contributions toward health care benefit costs to 85%.
  • Requires boards of education to adopt policies to provide leave with pay for school employees and abolishes statutorily provided leave for those employees.
  • Abolishes continuing contracts for teachers, except for those continuing contracts in existence prior to the effective date of the bill and revises the law relating to limited contracts.
  • Prohibits a public employer from paying employee contributions to the five public employee retirement systems.
  • Requires health care benefits provided through a jointly administered trust fund to be the same as the health care benefits provided to other public employees.  (http://www.lsc.state.osh.us/analyses129/s0005-rh-129.pdf)

The Ohio Liberty Council, “a coalition of over 70 liberty minded organizations throughout Ohio – yes, many are tea party groups,” should have gone ballistic over this bill as it directly contradicts their principles, including “Government should not favor one individual or group over others in an attempt to achieve equality.”  Yet what is their position?

February 28 – “Please join Americans for Prosperity, the Ohio Liberty Council member groups, and other liberty organizations from across Ohio this Wednesday at the Statehouse for a rally in support of Senate Bill 5”

March 2 – “The Ohio Liberty Council urges the Ohio Senate to pass Senate Bill 5”

March 28 – “The Ohio Liberty Council, a coalition of over 65 liberty minded organizations across Ohio, and Americans for Prosperity . . . urge the Ohio House of Representatives to strengthen the collective bargaining reform bill”

And in case SB5 wasn’t enough to raise the ire of the Tea Party members, then Kasich’s greater emphasis in his Jobs Budget on the use of standardized tests for students should really get them riled up.  The Governor will be using standardized statewide assessments to judge the performance of school districts and teachers who work in local communities, most of which actually provide the bulk of the funding.  Why would a local community allow a minority stakeholder, big government, to control the education of their children?

And why, exactly, is the Tea Party cheering on Governor Kasich?