Matt Mayer of the Buckeye Institute and I probably don’t agree on a lot of issues politically, but from our engagements on issues, I’ve grown to respect him.  But lately, the Koch money his organization receives has caused him to put out some pro-SB 5 material that wouldn’t be acceptable in a high school debate class.

Lately, he put out something called “Five More Myths About Collective Bargaining and SB 5.”  Perhaps I misunderstood the purpose.  Ordinarily, such documents suggest that something the other side says is a myth, and then the writer makes a factually-based argument why that statement isn’t really true.  He seemed to have gotten it backwards.  Here’s what he says:

Myth #11: Collective bargaining is a constitutional right.

Reality: Big Labor and their allies like to portray collective bargaining as a constitutional right and that the loss of it is akin to losing a right that is fundamental to America.  A careful reading of the U.S. Constitution and the Ohio Constitution easily refutes that notion, as such a right is nowhere to be found among the Bill of Rights.  In fact, you cannot even find a U.S. Supreme Court or Ohio Supreme Court case making such a claim (even among the penumbras and emanations.)

First, there’s the U.S. Constitutional provisions about the freedom of contract and the freedom association.  But hey, Matt didn’t say find a lawyer; he said find a U.S. Supreme Court case:

“That is a fundamental right. Employees have as clear a right to organize and select their representatives for lawful purposes as the respondent has to organize its business and select its own officers and agents. Discrimination and coercion to prevent the free exercise of the right of employees to self-organization and representation is a proper subject for condemnation by competent legislative authority. Long ago we stated the reason for labor organizations. We said that they were organized out of the necessities of the situation; that a single employee was helpless in dealing with an employer; that he was dependent ordinarily on his daily wage for the maintenance of himself and family; that, if the employer refused to pay him the wages that he thought fair, he was nevertheless unable to leave the employ and resist arbitrary and unfair treatment; that union was essential to give laborers opportunity to deal on an equality with their employer.”

NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. (1937), 301 U.S. 1, 33.

It took me less than a minute to find this U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion…. and I was on the phone at the time talking about a different matter.

Matt then engages in red-baiting McCarthyism that suggests that if you oppose unions you have Jefferson and Madison on your side.  If you support unions, you are on the side of Marx and Lenin.  You know what unions were called in colonial times?  Guilds, and they were hardly shunned in American colonial history, they were a vital part of the American colonial political system leading to the Revolution.  In fact, several unions still refer to themselves as Guild such as the Screenactors Guild or the Newspaper Guild.

Myth #12: Necessary cuts can be made within the collective bargaining scheme.

Mayer’s entire basis for claiming that this is a myth is he suggests there is no evidence that unions were willing to make cuts before SB 5.  He analogize this to slowing down when a police cruiser is seen.  But the Strickland Administration was able to obtain concessions well before SB 5.  Same thing at the local level.  Mayer is suffering from ideologically-induced amnesia.

Myth #13: Ohio has a revenue problem.

Matt’s entire argument is that Ohio’s spending has exploded, so there’s no revenue problem.  However, even if you accept everything Matt says about spending, it still doesn’t address the issue that our current budget problem is because the Republicans went on a careless tax cutting spree without making cuts in spending to pay for them.  In fact, Mayer’s facts just make what the GOP did sound even more irresponsible. 

Here’s a crazy thought, maybe Ohio had both a revenue and spending problem during GOP rule where it cut taxes and spent recklessly!  I don’t understand why conservatives say our energy policy needs an “all of the above response,” but our budgetary problems require only one side of the ledger response.

Myth #14: A majority of teachers work large numbers of uncompensated time.

Matt’s entire theory of why this is a “myth?”  He cannot believe that unions would allow their members to work without pay.  No facts to refute.  Just he can’t believe that teachers actually do work during the summer.

Myth #15: Big Labor and its allies would have agreed to minor reforms.

This is an academic exercise because the Kasich Administration never made any serious attempt to bring labor organizations and its allies to the table.  The entire process was done in a way to exclude them.  The bill was drafted in secret and largely revised in secret.

Sorry, Matt, but your “myths” is lazy, uninspired, and factually incorrect.  Better luck next time.

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  • Carrieee4

    Really some articles are not worthy of readinig.

  • Anonymous

    One of the biggest lies they pro SB5 crowd pushes is that unionized employees are living high off the hog and not taking any cuts. That is a huge, bold faced LIE. Not only have I gone years without a raise, I’ve given up numerous benefits that were given in lieu of raises, and have started paying out of pocket for my benefits package. 

    I have to say I am so sick of these pro SB5 people, every single one of them appears to be a overweight, balding 40ish white guy with a 1995 goatee and a cheap WalMart tie.

    I look at them on facebook and laugh at all the tea party crap from the fake patriots. I can say this because I served in the Army Infantry and I still serve my community everyday, while these clown cry about doing jury duty.  Pooh on them.

  • I can attest to the fact that teachers DO work in the summer. You can ask any of my friends and family — I have not stopped since school got out. Aside from a 2 day workshop and my part time job, I’ve spent at least 6 hours a day working on curriculum development for next school year. I also know a colleague of mine has been working on her plans for summer school (which is in August.)
    Our union does not object to use working “for free” because WE ARE the union, and we believe in what we do and we want to be the best we can. I cannot be the best teacher I can be without doing extra work outside of the school day. 42 minutes a day to plan and grade papers for  6 different classes (not just different classes, different COURSES) just isn’t enough time – not to mention meeting with parents, students, fellow staff, and administration. 
    Mayer’s idea that this is a myth just tells me that he does not know any teachers, nor has he apparently ever talked to one. I invite ANYONE who thinks we don’t work extra hours to seriously seek out a teacher in your school district and talk to them – and their family. See how much work they do outside of school. (By the way — attending plays, sporting events, spelling bees, math competitions, open houses, concerts, art shows, etc are EXTRA, outside of our time and unless you are a coach – you don’t get compensated for — but we do it to support our students – because sometimes we might be the only ones.) 

  • gmild

    Don’t stereotype, spug.  Not all “overweight, balding 40ish white guy[s] with a 1995 goatee and a cheap WalMart tie” are pro SB5.

    Just sayin’

  • Anonymous

    We’re broke… which is why Ohio is increasing GRF spending by billions.

    If you cut taxes to spur growth, then you have to cut spending under the growth occurs. And even then the growth that is caused by tax cuts never equals the revenue lost by the cuts. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. When you cut taxes, you have to cut spending, too.

  • Anonymous

    We’re broke… which is why Ohio is increasing GRF spending by billions.

    If you cut taxes to spur growth, then you have to cut spending under the growth occurs. And even then the growth that is caused by tax cuts never equals the revenue lost by the cuts. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. When you cut taxes, you have to cut spending, too.

  • Anonymous

    It’s obvious to me why you have such antipathy towards teachers:  your lack of command of written English demonstrates that at least some of your teachers failed you.

  • Rgtmwlly

    Nothing says “hard working public employees” like several thousand taxpayer funded workers taking vacation or comp time – assuredly paid for with, you guessed it, your tax money – so they could have a PARADE in the middle of the workday to file petitions which they hope will continue to require that other hard working ohioans keep having to pay for their health care, even though they have a tough enough time paying their own.

    Wow. That was the longest non run on sentence of all time.

    Anyway, having a tough time making ends meet? Well FUCK YOU! PAY MY HEALTH CARE!

    – sincerely,

    Public employee unions

  • Anonymous

    It’s a shame you have so much hatred in your heart. And think it’s outrageous that people take time off to exercise their constitutional rights to participate in the political process.

    You really are a tragic pathetic thing to watch.

  • My daughter’s music teacher has been at the school several times already this summer, that includes her being there for me to drop off my daughter’s borrowed instrument (she was there all day long to be available to parents to do this), her being there another day to lend out instruments to students wanting to borrow them over the summer (again, she was there all day long), then she had to be there to check each one of the instruments that were returned before they could be lent out again for the summer-so add that time in, she is there also for students that want to have practice time as well but can not afford to pay for private lessons-and she is NOT getting paid for this-she is doing it because she loves her students and she loves her job and she wants to see her students completely reaching for their maximum potential! She is going to be back again to get her room set up (trust me, that is not all going to magically happen the teacher workday that is scheduled the day before school starts) and make sure everything is ready.

    Anyone that would doubt this is living in Lalaland.  How the hell do you think all of those little desks get into the right place, how do you think the bulletin boards welcoming kids back to the first day of school get set up, how do you think the cubbies and desks and coathooks and mailboxes get your child’s name on them, how do you think the syllabus and piles of papers that come home the first day of school get formulated, typed out, copied and collated…If you believe that ALL of that happens in that single teacher workday, I guess along with the 35 copiers that every school building in Ohio is blessed with (what, your school does not have 35 copiers…hmmm, mine either) and the school fairies that wash your dishes in the middle of the night and scrub your toilet (what, you don’t have anyone that washes your dishes and your toilets are no cleaner when you wake up than they were when you went to bed…hmmm, me too.)

    It is just nuts.  Please, for the love of Pete, REMEMBER what we are going through, come November when it is time to cast your ballot…

    Oh, and WHERE ARE THE JOBS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!

  • Annekarima

    Why would anyone buy a tie from walmart?

  • gmild

    Falling prices, of course.

  • gmild

    You do know that not everyone works on Wednesday mornings, right?

  • eraser2005

     Good grief.

    Teachers are officially “off” for the summer…. they can be there on their own time, then.  After all, you claim they don’t have anything job-related they’re doing anyway, right?

    And I suppose all firefighters and police officers work just Monday-Friday, 9-5, right?  After all, that’s the only way that they could all fall under your ridiculous assumption that they should all have been at work.  Well, that, or that they should be working 24/7.  But that would undercut your ridiculous assumption that they’re underworked.

    Just truthin’ your lies.

  • umlungu

    Tell you what: stop by the civil service workers’ union hall any time next week and we can go over in detail the claims you make in your post.  Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME Local 11, 390 Worthington Rd., Westerville.

    I’ll tell Phyllis at the reception desk to page me when you arrive.

    Proud Employee of a Public Employee Union

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