In 2011 Governor John Kasich helped lead the charge against public sector unions in Ohio.   He put the full force of his office behind the effort to protect the union-busting provisions of Senate Bill 5, sending key members of his team – including Chief-of-Staff Beth Hanson – over to the pro-SB5 group Building a Better Ohio.

His efforts failed and Ohio’s workers won a victory.  As a result, the Governor’s approval rating took a nose dive.   Kasich has since tried to distance himself from overtly anti-labor causes like a proposed Right to Work ballot initiative, but his budget priorities clearly show he has not lost his lust for damaging public sector unions in Ohio.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Industry Classification with the highest percentage of unionization is local government, at 45.2%.  State government comes in second with 34.9%.

The same data show that Education tops the list of most unionized Occupations at 39.2% (including both K-12 teachers and college professors).  And Protective Service Occupations, which include police, fire and corrections officers, comes in second at 36.5%.

It is no accident that the funding cuts in Kasich’s budget focus like a laser on these industries and occupations.


Kasich’s two budgets would cut nearly $1 Billion from the Local Government Fund (LGF) by 2015.  When you add in cuts to public utility tax reimbursements, tangible personal property tax reimbursements and the library fund,  local governments lost a billion dollars in Kasich’s first two-year budget and Policy Matters estimates local governments will lose another $1.4 billion in this budget.

The cuts have resulted in staff reductions around the state, including many in police and fire.


According to the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters (OAPFF), the ranks of professional fire fighters in Ohio have dropped 1.4% since 2010, including major staff reductions in cities like Akron (down 30 overall) and Sycamore Township (84 full and part time firefighters laid off).   Those numbers could quickly grow larger this May when federal SAFER grants expire putting additional fire fighter jobs in Loraine (12), Hamilton (18), Findlay (20)  and many other cities at risk.

The list of law enforcement positions either laid off or unfilled continues to grow with huge staffing shortages in East Cleveland (20), Garfield Heights (14) and the Summit County Sheriff’s office:  down 60 full and part time officers and staff.

The cuts in public safety should have been much worse, but many local governments and residents stepped up and passed levies to help keep public safety professionals on the job.   With Kasich’s current budget continuing these cuts, expect to see more levies and more layoffs.


Kasich’s first budget cut $128 Million from the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC) and the Department of Youth Services.   He also sold one state facility, the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, to private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America and privatized the North Shore Correctional Institution.

According to DRC Monthly Fact Sheets, the total number of Corrections Officers in public institutions has decreased by 749 since January 2011 – a drop of 10.6%!

Kasich’s latest budget continues those cuts, coming it at $117 Million below 2010/2011 levels.  He’s also hatched a new plan that would eliminate 500  jobs at Ohio’s prisons by privatizing food service operations.


Kasich’s latest budget proposal cuts another $150 Million from Higher Education compared to 2010.  His cuts have put pressure on universities like BGSU, which is planning to layoff 100 full time faculty positions this year.  The budget also includes a provision to micromanage faculty workload, urging universities to make each professor teach an additional class.

Reminder: Kasich and his assistant (now lobbyist) Don Thibaut were paid $70K/year – more than the average professor –  to give one lecture a month at OSU.  But, you know, those lazy professors don’t work hard enough.


The axe Kasich took to K-12 education in his first budget is widely known: $1.8 billion in effective cuts.  His latest budget continues those cuts to Ohio’s neediest school districts.   And he’s promised to gut school funding even further in his next budget, should he get reelected, by removing guarantee funds currently helping keep many poor districts afloat.

Kasich has publicly come out against school levies to make up the difference, instead telling districts to find alternatives that would likely decrease the number of teachers in classrooms.   For example, when asked by a Republican legislator how his already-struggling schools were supposed to afford teachers for basic art and music classes, Kasich’s education adviser told him to share teachers with another district or to consider “digital options”.


With his poll numbers improving, and the 2014 election just around the corner, Kasich is doing all he can to avoid discussing public sector labor in Ohio.  The last thing he wants is a repeat of the SB5 battle where he was forced to publicly admit his true feelings about Ohio’s police, fire, education and corrections professionals.

Kasich has so far refused to lend support to the Right to Work folks who are anxiously gathering signatures to get their anti-union issue on the ballot.  And we’ve heard he’s putting pressure on fellow Republicans not to the support the initiative either.  But don’t be fooled.  Just because the Governor isn’t out publicly slamming unions in every speech doesn’t mean he’s changed his mind about the rights of Ohio’s public sector workers.

John Kasich’s budget priorities show he’s just as anti-labor as he’s ever been.


  • John W.

    He is anti-labor and he is anti-growth.

    How are communities supposed to attract families when they cut police and fire? How are towns support to bring in new companies when they slash spending in local schools? How are cities supposed to get research and development contractors when they downgrade their universities?

  • dmoore2222

    Kasich is a documented cop and teacher hater.

  • We can only hope that this will haunt him. Kasich is a very vindictive person that will continue to go after teachers, fire fighters, police, and state workers that he considers beneath him.

  • eww3797

    When voters like the fireman, teachers, state and Federal workers, and policeman realize that the conservatives are not republicans but propagandists who have infiltrated the republican party and have led it to the situation the party is in today , and demand that the Republican party seek the good of the party and all Americans and get rid of the Conservatives and their agenda , we will have our country and the republican party back.
    Shawn Hannity has said several times:” I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN. I AM A CONSERVATIVE.’ THIS WEEK OR LAST HE HAS SAID:” I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN. I AM A REGISTERED CONSERVATIVE.’ This is the kind of people we are following. Muli-millionaires who want us to believe they are like the rest of America.
    The republican party is being propagandized to do the will of those who call themselves and have hidden behind the word conservative to make Americans believe they hold the same values. The conservatives made it clear before the last election they were against union members and union organizations as they claimed members were paid too much and unions wasted money supporting candidates etc.
    Now we can see clearly that the last election they made everyone believe they would win are now catering to all the people they mocked, made fun of and called names and insulted. and ignored. All we heard was not their mocking of America, but that we needed to balance our budget. We found out when the Republican governors came to power and their intentions to cut back and cut bargaining , that we woke uip. Have you policeman, teachers, fireman, medical workers, state workers noticed how the Conservatives programs have turned the public against your income, benefits . ? Never have so many people especially the younger generation been so turned against the public employess and schools as have they ,have in this era of time.
    The conservatives have suddenly when Bengazi died down have suddenly shited their propaganda to make us all seem like they loved all Americans all along. They are shifting their tactics to win the next election.
    I just heard this morning , Glenn Beck trying to pretend that Rand Paul’s fiibuster is because of all the tea party , liberals and democrats etc. etc. , uniting to start a new phase in government . An example of how they are changing subtly their losing propaganda of the past to fit everyone .into their agenda for the next election.

  • eww3797

    Kasick is anti-labor because they follow a Conservative agenda which is to degrade America. while praising our history and principles. FLATTERY1 . but until a conservative can run on a Conservative ticket, These Conservatives must run on the Republican ticket to get elected.
    Shawn Hannity said ;last year: “We are waiting for a Conservative to come along and run on the Conservative ticket. If the Conservatives are waiting for a Conservative to come along to run on the conservative ticket., Why are you Republicans listening to them convince the Republican party and representives we elect, to listen to the Conservative agenda when the Republican Party has its own platform. Your taking advice from outsiders who have no interest except to take control of our country through the Republican party.
    Shawn Hannity , a so-callled conservative on Fox Broadcasting has said several times he is NOT A REPUBLICAN, “I AM A CONSERVATIVE. ‘And the Republicans have been made to belive that the Conservatives hold the values of America and the Republicans go to their programs to cater to them because they are afraid of the power the Conservatives have to shame them out of money, influence, votes , support publicity., re-election etc. We must tell the Republican party we want them to follow their platform for America, not the conservative agenda. But as long as we allow the conservatives to make the Republicans representatives believe thaT THEY MUST FOLLOW THE cONSERVATIVES, THEY WILL BE AFRAID TO WORK TOGETHER abd we will have what we have had recently — the sequester. In the past, if I remember correctly, both parties always worked together to get a budget, even at the last minute.
    The Republican party is afraid of those who call themselves Conservatives.. Those who call themselves conservatives have made the Republicans afraid to cross them. Rand Paul is an example. He was on three conservative programs that I am aware of talking about his filabuster.
    All we have to do to know the Conservative agenda ids to see what they have done, want to do , and are trying to accomplish.
    Suddenly Kasick is for anything to get Federal money to spend .
    An example: Turn down 500 million for a rail system and then have the nerve to ask the Transportation Department for the money to use for highways. To suddenly love Obamacare to use the money from the Federal government with no guarantee after the money run out.
    How much more after 25 years of rush Limbaugh and now his co-horts do we have to know they are not for America.? They have an agenda and are using the Republican party to accomplish it.

  • Eugene

    Why wouldn’t this Catholic governor who kisses ass to his ex-Catholic friends at Fox Broadcasting hate education and to cut it back by withholding money, following their Conservative phoney values of patriotism, self-sufficiency, religion, gun ownership love of military anti- unionism—–etc—etc–.
    His Catholic Church hates public education as they feel the Catholic Church should be the sole educators especially of children.
    Kasick is just following the agenda that got him where he is,

  • Eugene

    Please vote for more of these Conservatives like John Kasich who hide behind the name conservative but run on the Republican ticket so they can sneak their communistic, theoracy agenda in and so they can finish, laying off our policeman, fireman, teachers, safety workers, sell our states assets and resources to “Big Business” like John Kasich is doing .
    It doesn’t matter that the people he despises and wants to hurt by taking their jobs and livihood away from them and their families: they cost too much money in Kasich’s eyes and they must be eliminated from the employment rolls.
    Vote for more of these secret conservatives who run on the Republican ticket and pretend to be American until they get into office and show their real colors.—— traitor.

  • Steven Brown

    get rid of the union

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