Like the rest of the state, country and world, Toledo faced a budget crisis last year. To help save money, Mayor Mike Bell and the city council worked with the unions representing city workers to temporarily override existing, collectively-bargained union contracts.

One group, the Toledo Police command officers, was forced to accept SB5-like changes to their health and pension benefits. The union fought against the changes and took their case to the State Employment Relations Board, which ruled in favor of the city.

Under the “exigent circumstances” imposed by the city, command officers were required “to pay their 10 percent share of the pension contribution and make an increased payment towards health insurance costs.”

Mayor Bell announced today that revenues are up 7% this year – effectively saying the previous budget crisis is over – and he will recommend to the Council that they end the “exigent circumstances” and restore the officers to their original, collectively-bargained contract.

Despite the fact that Toledo Mayor Mike Bell is the only big-city mayor in Ohio to endorse Senate Bill 5, it seems like he has provided us two perfect examples of why SB5 is not required.

  1. Bell was able to get concessions from the unions to help save the city money in the middle of a financial crisis without the extreme, anti-union measures proposed in SB5. While I disagree with Bell’s choice to force these changes on the police union, he did prove the point that he already has “the tools” in his tool box to help handle potential budget crises.
  2. By reversing the changes – and admitting revenues are rising – Bell is adding to the growing pile of evidence that state and local budgets are not as bad off as SB5-supporters want you to believe providing further proof the budget problems are just an excuse to push through union-busting legislation.
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  • Fotogirlcb2002

    its this way with almost every city county township–they have all had the tools as far as I can remember — they have always had the right to say “no ” we cant afford that.
    How long was the agreement for ? Thats a plus for workers in a way — IF sb5 would happen to fail –then their contract is good until expires –I hope it was a 2 year one — that way Kasich cant do damage right off.

  • Anonymous

     excellent article, too bad the sb5 lovers will not read it. You made the point very well, that systems are already in place to deal with the issues sb5 pretends to deal with. 

  • Anonymous

    Mike Bell is an odd guy to figure out.  He seems bent on selling the Toledo water front to Chinese “investors” rather than consider U.S. offers for the property.  Now he’s off again to see if he can make another deal in China.  If he has recommended that the police commander’s contract be re-instated, there is probably an angle he is working.  He is definitely more anti-union than average.  

  • Walbridge Rocks

    I agree with you. He also seems to be “buddies” with kasich which makes me think he’s not on the up and up. 

  • dlw

    “the tools in his tool box”

    This phrase has come to irritate me to no end… it’s now worse than nails on a chalkboard. (Not dissing you guys here at PB, of course! The blame goes back to the nitwit who said it in the first place.)

    Find me the union in this state that refused to deal over the last few years and got to keep EVERYTHING, that made zero concessions, that kept every pay raise and every benefit! They all bargained away money and benefits because they knew the money wasn’t there. And it helped! It worked. So why throw out the process? Man these people  hurt my head.

  • Guest

    That is more evil rotten “1984” language. Hate him, hate the other elected R’s. They are using the tools of democracy to dismantle democracy and are the tools of the evil rich. Unions and collective bargaining are just another tool that they want to take away. 

    Why do the evil rich want to get rid of democracy? Don’t know, don’t care, we need to stop this.  May be too late since this has been going on for a while. 

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