In their latest attempt to disguise their failed efforts at convincing us that a majority of Ohioans support the union-busting legislation in Ohio, John Kasich’s agent group, Building a Better Ohio has teamed up with some unhappy Tea Party teachers and filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against the Ohio Education Association and some of its affiliates, including a local association to which they have absolutely no connection.

On the day after Better Ohio lost their argument (presented by attorney Donald Brey) in front of the Ohio Ballot Board to try and have the Senate Bill 5 referendum (Issue 2) require a “yes” vote by voters in order to repeal the bill, the very same attorney, Donald Brey, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Columbus.  The suit lists 15 Ohio teachers as plaintiffs, but it won’t cost those teachers a dime since the sham case is being funded by The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, “a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by abuses of compulsory unionism.”

The central claim of the lawsuit is that the teachers’ Constitutional rights are being violated by Ohio Law.

1. This is a civil rights, class action seeking declaratory, monetary, and injunctive relief to redress and prevent the deprivation under color of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4117 of  rights, privileges, and immunities under the First  and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The law in question, ORC 4117.09, has been in place as written since 1990, and requires “that the employees in the unit who are not members of the employee organization pay to the employee organization a fair share fee.

Q. What is fair share fee?

A. The law states that the exclusive bargaining representative has the duty of fair representation. This means that the exclusive bargaining representative (the local) is charged with the duty to represent each member of its bargaining unit fairly and without discrimination. Since all employees in the bargaining unit, including non-members, have a right to be fairly represented, they have a corresponding duty to bear a proportionate share of the cost of such representation. The fair share fee for non-members is equal to the amount that members pay. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 4117.09 allows for fair share fee provisions if negotiated in the local association bargaining contract.

Q. Why should employees be required to support an organization against their will?

A. The support is not ideological; it is financial only. Fair share fee requires those whom the association must represent to help cover the costs of representing them.

This law (ORC 4117.09 C) would be changed under SB5 to allow teachers to be beneficiaries of the work of the unions while contributing $0 to the expenses, also known as freeloading:

“No agreement may contain a provision that requires as a condition of employment that the employees in the unit who are not members of the employee organization pay to the employee organization a fair share fee.”

And just in case the filing wasn’t frivolous enough, these teachers from Marietta City Schools (1) in Marietta; Green Local Schools (4) in Green; the Western Brown School District (9) in Mt. Orab; and the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School District (1) in Warren decided to include the Columbus Education Association, the local association for Columbus teachers with NO connection to these 15 Kasich patsies, while intentionally omitting their respective local associations (and co-workers).  We can only assume that Kasich insisted the suit include Columbus due to its geographic location, vocal opposition to his actions, and standing as the largest local association in Ohio.

The only surprising piece of this lawsuit is the emergence of Ohio GOP Representative Andy Thompson as a major tool for Kasich.  Thompson is a first-year Representative from Marietta who also serves on the House Education Committee.  While we might not find the word Tea Party on his campaign website, he uses all the right buzzwords:

Nowadays, I am spending more time rediscovering the writings of our founding fathers; promoting local economic development; and serving my community through the Rotary Club.

As your state representative I hope to keep government from offering you too many “fixes” because I believe that government is best when it governs least.

I support the notion of ordered liberty. Because the founders understood the fallen nature of man, they created a system of republican democracy characterized by checks and balances on each branch of government. Like Thomas Jefferson, I believe in a limited or “federalist” system of government that empowers citizens to solve problems at the state or community level rather than looking first to the federal government for assistance.

And what are this Education Committee member’s thoughts about education in Ohio?

Education appropriations in Ohio make up more than 30% of the state’s budget yet each year, second only to health and human services funds. At the local level, school funding is usually the single largest expense.  Yet, school districts throughout the state continue to hold their hands out for more taxpayer funds with few accomplishments to justify those requests.

I support a statewide education policy that has as its focus the needs of the student rather than the demands of the teacher’s unions or the education bureaucracy in Columbus. To this end, I support developing a statewide system of school choice in which educational dollars are tied to the individual student rather than to a specific school or district. Such a system would introduce competition into education as families seek out the school system they feel would best prepare them for an advanced education at the collegiate level.

As to curriculum, I would like to see less control over the content of that curriculum from Columbus and Washington, DC and more in the hands of the local school board.  What might work well in Cleveland, may not work in Caldwell.  If we give students the freedom to choose their school, we must give those schools the freedom to act as laboratories of innovation and excellence. The United States ranks first in per student spending for education. However, in most studies our country trails a number of Asian and European nations in terms of what we get for that money.

Allegedly, the OEA funded campaign ads against Thompson last fall as he ran for the first time.  Continue to read more about him and it’s easy to understand why – he is simply not a friend of public education.

Are you wondering why we are talking about Andy Thompson?  Look at the list of plaintiffs again.  See it?  The very last name; the one you’re not supposed to notice; Jade Thompson.  That’s right, Representative Thompson’s wife.  Apparently she’s been a fee payer for a few years and they’ve continued to hold a grudge over those anti-Thompson advertisements (no evidence supports Jade Thompson’s claim of direct OEA funding).  Ever since then, the Thompsons have been on a campaign against OEA, even appearing on Fox News in February to spread their hate.  Now, the Thompsons have found a way to turn their personal vendetta into gain as the GOP Representative will no doubt receive favor from the Governor in return for using his teacher wife as a mouthpiece to raise bogus claims.

Understand, this is NOT about Jade Thompson’s dues, this is pure politics.  The Ohio Education Association and state law already allows fee payers to opt out of any lobbying positions:

Fair share fee payers who timely object in writing to the association’s non-chargeable expenditures, will be entitled to an advance rebate check of the non-chargeable portion of their fair share fees. They will also be able to attend the arbitration hearing regarding this dispute. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) will select an arbitrator, and a hearing will be conducted in accordance with the AAA rules for an Impartial Determination of Union Fees.

The headline on the National Right to Work Foundation website reads “Ohio Teachers File Class-Action to Halt Compulsory Union Dues for Political Activism” because they want you to believe that this is case where teachers in Ohio are rising up against their union.  Don’t be fooled by this fraudulent attempt to mislead the public.

This is another brazen attempt by John Kasich to fulfill his desire for revenge; his desire to “break the back of organized labor in the schools.”

Vote NO on Issue 2.

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  • They hate people especially people who work. Have to have a multi-pronged strategy to destroy the American middle class. That started with people voting for R’s which is 100% for the interest of the rotten rich, ONLY.

    Then you lie about and blame the “people who work” for the problems that plague us, get us to fight over the moldy crumbs. Then you value money and the monied over everyone else so you sell your soul for an elected office oops I mean a job…..

    Lather, rinse repeat.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    ” teamed up with Tea Party Teachers ” says it all for me
    just like Boehner has seemingly teamed up with them in Washington– thats gone well also –hasnt it
    Honestly  I am sick of all of them !! no matter what party BUT do these Tea Party people really know what they believe…..

  • Oh yeah I forgot……. another frivolous lawsuit alert!! We need to rein in trial attorneys (who help people). Looks like a lawsuit is ok when the rotten R’s want it.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like Thompson and the tea baggers want to send our kids to Wal-Mart schools, the least expensive they can find with the lowest paid teachers they can get.
    If Andy wants to “rediscover” the founding fathers, he’d be better off reading some main line books rather than old copies of John Birch Society propaganda that he is clearly using for his moral compass.  He also should be told what his wealthy republican sponsors do with their old tea bags once they are finished with them.
    As for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, they can go out and play in the gravel with a rusty razor blade.  Now that I think about it, they can take Kasich with them.

  • Sounds like this was thought through long before now for a just in case scenario and a way for “them” to get “us” to waste our time and money over this frivolous lawsuit. Unfortunately they underestimate the many people who are not teachers who know what the ultimate goal is: Get rid of all unions. We as teachers know we are a stepping stone along with police, firefighters, and other pubic employees. But we are not the only people there are many many more who know what this is actually about. Just because a few disgruntled tea partners happen to be teachers, they will try to use this against us as a way to force their political agenda on the middle class.    

  • Give me a break those who want to blame our financial situation on the unions of public employees are just ignorant. Busting the unions will not fix the budget of our state our our country.

  • Anonymous

    Not everyone listed in the lawsuit is a current certificated/licensed teacher.  You can check the educator search section at the Ohio Dept. of Education.  These plaintiffs seem to be from Western Brown Local, Green Local, and a few other districts.  I think that they really must want to be paid as poorly as those teachers in charter schools.  Kasich is letting people do his dirty work. Surprise. Surprise.

  • Anonymous

    Hey RTGMWLLY, go back to your little mud hooch in back of the GOP headquarters.
    This IS about the future of the middle class, the respect of teachers, the unethical abuses of Lehman Brothers (the Koch Brothers, too) Tea baggers and Kasich and the pirates plundering the state that I was born in, and the country I helped to defend.  Can you see the “red herring” I am holding up to your computer screen for you now?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand how they can sue the Columbus Education Association if they are not even teachers!  What are “Tea Party Teachers”?  Are these teachers that want to hurt themselves?

  • Sluggo

    Pathetic troll. There are spambots that do better.

    Maybe you should have referred to the president as Barack Hussein Obama.

    Also you should have pointed out that FDR opposed public employee unions.

    Really though, as a troll, your post was boring, unimaginative, and not nearly inflammatory enough to be respectable.

  • Anonymous

    They are all currently certificated.  I checked before posting.  Names on the ODE site can be tricky.

  • You forget the economy crashed under Bush. Both of them. The people who make themselves wealthy in this country need to realize there is a price to pay for the system (economic, government, and military) that provides their ability to make their wealth. But the real problem isn’t too much spending, it’s that there is nobody left with a job to buy the crap that companies are making. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that with all the jobs we sent overseas the disposable income went with it. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree, Sluggo.  RTGMWLLY is

     is somewhat less original than Mitt Romney and not as charismatic as Newt, seems to be at the bottom dweller to me.  I wonder if he is a candidate for one of Kasich’s plumbs?

  • Anonymous

    The problem isn’t that they can’t sell the crap they make, it is that they are importing the crap that the unemployed can’t buy.  Your right, we are not dealing with rocket scientists, just greedy creeps who lurk in shadows.


    you need to get more educated…!!!


    hmm…. No child left behind….. go politco…

  • Anastasjoy

    Thompson’s “thoughts” about education are contradictory, ignorant garbage. He wants to see local school boards have more power — even as his governor is blustering about forced consolidation and wants to force local school systems to do things not in their best interests due to pressure from the state. Yet now he wants EACH INDIVIDUAL STUDENT to have the “choice” to override the school board, drain the local schools of money and go elsewhere – thus utterly dis-empowering them. And these schools they want students to be free to “choose” are clearly NOT “laboratories of innovation and excellence.” Ohio’s charter schools are a cesspool of failure and a national laughingstock. And there are not enough slots in non-public schools of quality to allow families much choice in “seeking out” these options. A vast majority of families looking to prepare their kids for advanced education, which will cost them an arm and a leg, move to places like Rocky River and Upper Arlington to get their kids a good, free PUBLIC education. THAT was their choice, and now many are angry that their money is being redirected at failing charters aimed at poor kids. They SHOULD be. So should the families of the poor kids.

    And he’s concerned that we trail countries in Asia and Europe? Try paying teachers like professionals, get the business amateurs off their backs, and give them some respect. We malign them and treat them like trash — something not done in those Asian and European countries, and then expect only ultra-outstanding teachers. How deluded is that?  Plus, by most measure, we are not trailing other countries and our public schools as a whole are NOT failing – that’s right-wing propaganda. Quality suburban schools systems, like Beachwood, that spend lots of money on their students, produce results equal to or better than any other country. Our problem in the U.S. is income disparity and widespread poverty, which doesn’t exist in countries like, say, Finland, where the schools are uniformly excellent. Oh and you know what else about Finland? Their teachers are 100 percent unionized.

    And before I go, let me give a little shout-out to the ODP (keep your “get over it” crap to yourself, OK?) for giving us state. rep. Andy Thompson. If they had not recruited Jennifer Garrison to run for SoS (stop lying, guys, we know you did), refused to listen to people’s concerns about her on the state ticket, and then finally took the complaints seriously and dumped her unceremoniously on a Saturday afternoon, pissing her off so much she refused to run for re-election, Andy Thompson would not be in the legislature in her old seat. And whatever our concerns about Garrison’s anti-choice and anti-gay positions being valid for a statewide candidate, she is a solid supporter of labor. Well done, ODP.

  • Anastasjoy

    It’s so sad to see the end results of poor education. Obsession with “getting spending under control” is a sad, simplistic obsession with an ideological idea that no connection with results in real life. Treating “spending” as if it were an evil in and of itself is a grotesque distortion of reality. We can be having discussions about WHAT we spend on – where our priorities are. But there is no question that to get ANY positive thing in life, you have to “spend” something. To eliminate all “spending”, you have to concede that we must accept the worst possible results and the worst possible society that benefits no one but the richest and most powerful.

    In addition, the idea that Democrats “spend” and Republicans are fiscally responsible hasn’t been remotely true for probably four decades. This has been thoroughly debunked over and over. Reagan and Bush ran up the deficit; Clinton cut it.  Obama started out with the idea that you must spend something to stoke your economy, and that happened with the stimulus, no matter how much Fox “News” lies that it did not. However, the extremist ideology of no spending being pushed by the right is destroying any hope of economy recovery. You simply cannot grow an economy by cutting. Never worked, never will.

    Educate yourself.

  • Anonymous

    quote ..”and the country I helped to defend.”  One of the worst aspects of all this, for all the chicken hawk phony patriotism the tea party spits out, it seems very few are actual veterans. A large percentage of state/city government employees are veterans, thanks to testing bonus points and other transition to civilian life programs. 

    I wonder how they are defending attacking this group of  people’s hard earned benefits.

    Might make a good angle for an anti-SB5 commercial.

  • John

    Sunday’s Dispatch editorial urges a “compromise” on SB5.  The idea seems to be that there are some “essential” and some “over-reaching” components in SB 5 and, if the opposing sides can “compromise,”  We Are Ohio could withdraw Issue 2 from the ballot, thereby avoiding “deep and long lasting wounds” in Ohio’s labor-management realtions.  Off hand, I don’t recollect the Dispatch previously admitting that there are bad aspects of SB 5.  I think this is a last-ditch attempt by the Dispatch to prevent the voter’s handing Kasich’s head to him in November.

  • Anastasjoy

    Repealing SB 5 IS the “compromise.” The Republicans in the legislature, led by Governor Kasich, mounted a full-scale, no-compromise, take-no-prisoners assault on labor and working people. They steamrolled over fellow Republicans like Bill Seitz who dared to speak up and suggest a less absolutist out-way-or-the-ighway approach. Where was the Columbus Disgrace then? Kasich bulldozed through a bill that involved NO input from anyone who disagreed with him and NOW they want “compromise”? You cannot “compromise” with people who are bound and determined to have everything their way all the time. The Repeal of SB 5 is working people taking back their right although not unfortunately their well-being. Kasich would have had to “compromise” and take outside input on the budget to do that, and that didn’t happen.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard that there are some younger teachers who are supporting SB 5 because they think they work harder than some of the other teachers at their schools and they will be rewarded with higher “merit pay”.  They don’t realize that there is a pot of money for teacher salaries and if there isn’t enough money, there won’t be any teachers getting rated “highly effective”; ie, no raises.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks.  What does everyone think about these teachers all being from pretty much the same districts?  Do you think that they were part of the small group of the teachers that had a “Teachers for Kasich” website during the election? 

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, some people will sometimes try to take advantage of another person, and some do not know what is in their own best interest.  We can’t always make people see the train that is about to roll over them, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t bother yelling at them to get off of the tracks.  These could be teachers who wish to pursue a different vocation than the one they are in now, you just don’t know.  There is no accounting for taste (or lack of good sense).

  • Anonymous

    “This law (ORC 4117.09 C) would be changed under SB5 to allow teachers
    to be beneficiaries of the work of the unions while contributing $0 to
    the expenses, also known as freeloading:”

    LOL!  When I was president and then chief steward of an AFSCME local in Summit County, we spent close to 70%  of our time representing fair-share payers in their disciplinary hearings.  I considered them freeloaders then and consider them freeloaders now.  It was laughable how these political hires were shocked, SHOCKED I tell ya, when they were written up for work performance.  Not a damn one ever joined the union if we managed to keep them employed.

  • orion89

    Good post.

    Don’t forget we also do better at educating the underprivileged and poor than other industrialized nations in our public school system. Other countries write them  off as a lost cause of money. We take the time to educate them.  In many countries, students do not go to the next level in education unless their test scores and academic achievement warrant it. Interestingly enough, those countries have very serious parents and students and some of the highest teen suicide rates. Not that I advocate this, but there is certainly something to be said about not placing all the blame on teachers.

    Also, Finland’s teachers make more money, and, I believe, work less hours.

  • orion89


    Obama gave Boehner and the House most of what they wanted. (Far too much in my opinion.) However, when asked to share the burden and close wasteful corporate loopholes so that everyone had a fair share of the burden, the talks broke down. Corporate welfare and fair trade deals are a huge drain on the system. Virtually no import tax on Chinese goods to America but over 20% on American goods to China. We wonder why we have no jobs in this country and a deficit. The problem was created by Republicans who want to suck more money out of the middle class who actually work.

    Which lobbyist firm are you employed by? Probably funded by the Koch Brothers.

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