It’s hard to fault Shannon Jones for the many flaws in her bill, yet I can’t help but think that if she would have had some collaboration, then she could have gotten all of the contradictory parts corrected [heavy sarcasm intended].  Much has been made, both early on and recently, about the elimination of experience as a criteria for determining compensation and layoffs in SB5.  A quick scan of the bill will expose numerous instances where experience has been stricken from the language and replaced with some form of “based solely on performance.”  This served to put workers on notice that on-the-job experience is of no value to the (far right) Republican legislators and their Tea Party backer(s).

Except that SB5 states that experience IS vitally important.  Over and over again.

Section 9.901.
(B) The school employees health care board is hereby created. The school employees health care board shall consist of the following twelve members and shall include individuals with experience with public school district benefit programs, health care industry providers, and health care plan beneficiaries.

General language like that can be found in 30 unique instances throughout the bill.  Not particularly damning, but remember that we’ve been told repeatedly that performance is all that matters in the private sector, not experience, and that SB5 is “required” in order to correct this egregious imbalance.

Sec. 3781.07. There is hereby established in the department of commerce a board of building standards consisting of fifteen members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate…one shall be a person of recognized ability, broad training, and fifteen years experience in problems and practice…one shall be a person with at least ten years of experience and recognized expertise in building codes and standards…

Sec. 4730.05. (A) There is hereby created the physician assistant policy committee of the state medical board…
(1) …At all times, the physician membership of the committee shall include at least one physician who is a supervising physician of a physician assistant, preferably with at least two years’ experience as a supervising physician.

Sec. 4761.02. The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint the Ohio respiratory care board, consisting of nine residents of this state. Five members of the board shall be respiratory care professionals who were engaged in or actively associated with the practice of respiratory care in this state for at least five years immediately preceding appointment. Two members shall be home medical equipment services providers with not less than five years of management experience in home medical equipment services prior to appointment.

Haven't we been inundated with GOP talking points enlightening us with the "fact" that years of experience is unimportant and it is only the skill of the worker that should be considered?  I can't count the number of times I have heard it said that experienced public-sector workers have a sense of entitlement and that their experience is irrelevant to their job status.  In fact, SB5 specifically replaces experience with some form of a phrase including "performance " on 10 separate occasions.

In one overlooked component of the poorly written bill, the legislation actually mandates the use of training, experience, and education for the identification of employees:

Sec. 4117.02. (A) There is hereby created the state employment relations board, consisting of three members to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate...

(H) …The chairperson shall appoint all employees on the basis of training, practical experience, education, and character … special regard to the practical training and experience that employees have for the particular position involved.

And in my favorite section, not only must members of the board of embalmers have at least ten years of experience in preparing dead bodies, one member must be a sexagenarian.  We thought a class full of 30 first graders was tough – imagine a morgue full of immobile corpses.

Sec. 4717.02. (A) There is hereby created the board of embalmers and funeral directors consisting of seven members to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Five members shall be licensed embalmers and practicing funeral directors, each with at least ten consecutive years of experience in this state immediately preceding the date of the person’s appointment; one of these members shall be knowledgeable and experienced in operating a crematory. Two members shall represent the public; at least one of these members shall be at least sixty years of age.

While all of these scenarios help to illustrate the collective ignorance of those who oversaw the creation of SB5 (Jones, Bacon, Uecker, Niehaus, and Batchelder – remember, it’s not Kasich’s bill), the greatest hypocrisy is found when the bill actually recognizes that a teacher’s pay should be based on training and experience.

Sec. 124.15.

(K) The superintendent of the state school for the deaf and the superintendent of the state school for the blind shall, subject to the approval of the superintendent of public instruction, carry out both of the following:
(1) Annually, between the first day of April and the last day of June, establish for the ensuing fiscal year a schedule of hourly rate ranges for the compensation of each certificated employee on the instructional staff of that superintendent’s respective school.
(2) Annually, assign each certificated employee on the instructional staff of the superintendent’s respective school to an hourly rate on the schedule that is commensurate with the employee’s training, experience, and other professional qualifications.

I just wonder why the legislature can concede that the instructional staff at two state-operated schools who work with those children who are visually- or hearing-impaired deserve to be compensated for the knowledge they gain, not only through professional development, but also through their day-to-day work, year after year, but Jones, et. al, are unable to recognize the importance of that professional growth in educators throughout the rest of Ohio’s 3,500+ schools.

I do know that we can all sleep better knowing Ohio’s cadavers are valued more than our kindergartners.


Vote NO on Issue 2!

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