Monday, February 28, 2011

SB 5 (continued)

The ZanesvilleTimesRecorder has an article that breaks down SB 5, the Ohio Republican legislation that ends collective bargaining in the state.  There were a few things I learned from the article.


...As of last June 30, 358,275 workers throughout Ohio state and local government were covered by 3,290 collective-bargaining contracts...

....The flip side, some teachers said, is schools might cut costs more often by dumping their highest paid teachers, who often are the most experienced, leaving more classrooms led by inexperienced teachers. They point to charter schools in Ohio, which are not unionized. Charter schools’ average teacher salaries, at $33,888 last year, were about 40 percent lower than traditional public school teachers in Ohio. Most charter schools performed the same or worse than their nearby public schools....

Really?  Charter schools perform the same or worse than public schools?????  That statement is just plain baloney.  Some of the charter schools don't even pay their teachers the equivalent of $20,000/yr and the teachers are working in the most horrible conditions, in buildings that are filthy, poorly furnished, and unsafe for students and teachers.

Personally, I'm tired of all the people who are criticizing teachers.  Most of those people who put down teachers wouldn't last a day in some of the schools I worked in over the years. Those who are the loudest in attacking teachers are those people who don't have a clue about how valuable teachers are to society.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chalking Up Ohio's Losses Under Kasich

Consider the disaster that Republican Gov. John Kasich has created in Ohio.  Despite the fact that the state faces a shortage of money for the coming budget, he made promises to cut taxes, including the estate tax.  This week, Ohioans found out Gov. John Kasich has been coordinating efforts with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a puppet of the Koch Brothers. Kasich, Walker, and their GOP buddies have declared war on working men and women.

John Kasich refused $400 million in rail funds that would have created 16,000 jobs and created new development, new industries (a rail road manufacturing company pulled out of the state after Kasich refused the money), and increased commerce.  Much to our dismay, Kasich doesn't believe in rail systems, even though other states and countries use rail systems and benefit financially.

Ohio Republicans and Kasich are pushing SB 5, which would eliminate collective bargaining, seniority rights, worker protections.  Now, as if he's not done enough damage, Republicans want to end the prevailing wage and allow small businesses to not pay time and a half for overtime. (see WKSU)

You must be saying to yourself that things in Ohio can't get much worse.

You are wrong!

Ohio could lose a significant portion of its $171 million in yearly federal transit money if state legislators adopt a proposal that would curtail collective bargaining powers for transit workers and other public employees. 

Federal law forbids the Federal Transit Administration from dispensing money for transit operation, acquisition or improvements without Department of Labor certification that the collective bargaining rights and work conditions of affected transit employees have not been diminished.....

....Ohio got $171.3 million in Federal Transit Administration money during fiscal 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.....

Are you figuring this out yet?  Under the phenomenal (not!) leadership of Kasich and the Ohio Republicans, our state could lose an additional couple hundred million dollars and even more jobs.

Why have Kasich and the Ohio Republicans gone down this route? They are motivated by  revenge and greed ---- they want to destroy unions, the middle class, while they reward their rich friends with lower or no taxes. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ohio Teachers

With what appears to be a grand conspiracy by Republican governors to destroy public employee unions, many citizens are downright disgusted.  It is time to do some real homework and examine what the Republicans in Ohio are trying to do.

This link               will take you to SB 5 as it appears on line.  If you have a chance to read the entire documentary, you will reach the same conclusion that I have----- this is a power grab and an attempt to manipulate public employees. 

Here are a few sections I'd like to highlight from SB 5:

...Sec. 3306.01....

...(3) Each city, exempted village, local, and joint vocational school district shall have on file, and shall pay in accordance with, a teachers' salary schedule which complies withsalaries based upon merit as required under section 3317.13 of the Revised Code... 

....Sec. 3317.13.  (A) As used in this section and section 3317.14 of the Revised Code:
(1) "Years of service" includes the following:
(a) All years of teaching service in the same school district or educational service center, regardless of training level, with each year consisting of at least one hundred twenty days under a teacher's contract;
(b) All years of teaching service in a chartered, nonpublic school located in Ohio as a teacher licensed pursuant to section 3319.22 of the Revised Code or in another public school, regardless of training level, with each year consisting of at least one hundred twenty days under a teacher's contract;
(c) All years of teaching service in a chartered school or institution or a school or institution that subsequently became chartered or a chartered special education program or a special education program that subsequently became chartered operated by the state or by a subdivision or other local governmental unit of this state as a teacher licensed pursuant to section 3319.22 of the Revised Code, regardless of training level, with each year consisting of at least one hundred twenty days; and
(d) All years of active military service in the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 3307.75 of the Revised Code, to a maximum of five years. For purposes of this calculation, a partial year of active military service of eight continuous months or more in the armed forces shall be counted as a full year.
(2) "Teacher", "teacher" means all teachers employed by the board of education of any school district, including any cooperative education or joint vocational school district and all teachers employed by any educational service center governing board.

... (B) No Each teacher shall be paid a salary.....

Ohio teachers need to read the entire documents and consult with their union leaders.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poll: Americans Don't Like It

CNN Politicalticker:

A majority of Americans say they oppose attempts to take away the collective bargaining rights of public unions, according to a new national poll. 

A USA Today/Gallup survey released Wednesday indicates that 61 percent of the public would oppose a move in their state to pass a bill that would take away some of the collective bargaining rights of union government workers, with one in three saying they'd support such a move.....

....According to the poll, 53 percent of Americans would also oppose a move to reduce pay and benefits the state provides for government workers to reduce the budget deficit, with 44 percent backing the idea.....

Republican Governors have gone after groups of people who did not support them.  Union members, teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, public employees overwhelmingly voted for the Democratic candidate, Ted Strickland, in the last Ohio election.  Gov. Kasich, his business cronies, and his overpaid staff members, are going after the middle class workers.

Kasich, who wants to make cuts and yet has promised to lower taxes, especially for the wealthy, has unfairly targeted public employees.  His demand to have managers control everything, sets up the possibilities for abuse.  Kasich and the Republicans want to end seniority rights on the job.  Usually, when there are layoffs, the most recently hired are given layoff notices before those with more time on the job.  If SB 5 passes, public employees who are close to retirement could be fired and thereby lose their retirement.  (Public employees do not contribute to Social Security, but only to employee retirement funds.)  In Kasich's world, managers would control your destiny and workers would lose rights.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Consequences of SB 5

Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Republicans are pushing for the passage of SB 5, a bill that ends collective bargaining, and strips workers of protections that they've enjoyed for years.  One of the areas that has been getting a lot of attention is the plan to eliminate seniority for all public employees.  This particular item could mean that workers close to retirement (30 years), could be fired in order to save on the budget of the school district, safety force, county, city, or state government.  A public employee who would be fired would lose their retirement and not be eligible for Social Security because they've not paid into it.  

Despite Kasich's claim that he is not targeting unions, all evidence shows that he is.  Polls show that the people of Ohio do not like the vindictive manner in which Kasich and the Ohio GOP have blamed unions and fire fighters, police officers, teachers, and public employees for the financial mess that Ohio is experiencing.  People have quit the Republican Party and vowed to never vote for another Republican ever again. If Lehman Brothers, investment firms, and banks had not risked our money and caused the near financial collapse of the country, Ohio and corporations would not be in such a mess.

Kasich and his Republican sheeple need to find another way to fix the state without doing it on the backs of the workers who give their lives, time, and dedication to their communities and state.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Special Distinction

Some of Ohio's elected officials belong to a special group because of their views.
The WonkRoom calls it "The Climate Zombie Caucus." (This was published before the 112th Congress was sworn into office.)


Rep.-elect Steve Chabot (R-OH-01): Climategate is “just another example of many in the press, and many in the academic/scientific community having bought into the whole global warming/climate change ‘religion,’ no matter what the facts are.” [source]

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH-08): George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide. [source]

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12): GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi of Genoa Township doesn’t think there is a consensus among scientists about whether global warming is proven. [source]

Rep.-elect Steve Stivers (R-OH-15): Disagrees with the statement: “Man-made global warming is a scientific fact.” [source]

Rep.-elect Bob Gibbs (R-OH-18): With the recent reports that the data used regarding climate change that data was based on faulty, biased and unsubstantiated science , it is clear that . Many scientists are on both sides of this issue and the proponents of climate change have not substantiated their findings based on sound science. [source]

Sen.-elect Rob Portman (R-OH): When you analyze all the data, there is a warming trend according to science. But the jury is out on the degree of how much is manmade. [source]

Isn't it comforting to know that these members of Congress would rather have pollution than clean air/water/environment?  Right now college students at Ohio State are wondering who voted for climate change denier, Steve Stivers (OH-15th), and the rest of the bunch.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ohio Workers Speak Out

Why are the Republicans and Kasich attacking public employees?  They didn't create the economic recession.  It was caused by the greed and mismanagement of those on Wall Street.

* Chilaborarts had an excerpt for the AAUP Member newsletter:

....In Ohio, 9  percent of the state budget is spent on public employees. Firing every state employee would result in a savings of $2 billion, and would still leave the citizens of Ohio with a $6 BILLION deficit and completely without the vital services that state employees provide.

In Wisconsin, Governor Walker’s attempt to ban collective bargaining has little to do with the budget. The budget deficit is estimated at roughly $3 billion, and the estimated savings from proposed cuts to public sector workers’ benefits amounts to only $300 million. Many of his proposals reduce workers’ rights without producing any savings at all....

* What will university professors, faculty, and employees lose if SB 5 passes in Ohio?

Here is just part of what they'll lose - AAUP:

...Substitute Senate Bill 5, sponsored by State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) proposes to end the right to bargain collectively for all public employees, faculty included. Gone would be the faculty right to negotiate wages and working conditions. Gone would be the faculty authority to assure fair due process in adjudicating grievances against the very administrators who imposed them. Gone would be the faculty role in defining merit. Gone would be negotiated rights to one’s own intellectual property. Gone would be historic guarantees of academic freedom. All this would be replaced by administrative fiat.

Substitute Senate Bill 5 should be of grave concern to all faculty members--whether they are in a collective bargaining unit or not, whether they would choose personally to be involved in a union. The issue is self-determination: whether faculty members and other public sector employees should have the democratic right to choose their own collective destiny....


Thousands of union members chanted "kill the bill,'' as hundreds of Tea Party activists who favor smaller government shouted "yes on 5'' - the number of the Senate Bill sponsored by Sen. Shannon Jones, who represents all of Warren County and northeastern Hamilton County.

Passage of Jones' bill would end union contracts for 34,000 state workers represented by the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association plus thousands of state troopers, nurses, psychiatrists, professors and public college employees represented by four other unions....

Is this Kasich's way of punishing people that did not support him in the last election?

If Kasich and the Republicans are successful in this legislation and other restrictions on public employees, communities, schools, and neighborhoods will suffer. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

At It Again

Gov. John Kasich, Republican and former Fox News TV host, has continued his verbal attacks on public employees.  A new video has surfaced of Kasich speaking to Ohio EPA employees:


The following is from the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) as posted at Chilaborarts:

....In Ohio, 9  percent of the state budget is spent on public employees. Firing every state employee would result in a savings of $2 billion, and would still leave the citizens of Ohio with a $6 BILLION deficit and completely without the vital services that state employees provide....

.....Governors Kasich in Ohio, Snyder in Michigan, Walker in Wisconsin, and many of their peers have tried to paint public employees as overpaid, unskilled, and unnecessary. The truth is that public employees provide a wide range of necessary services that states depend on, for an average salary that is 11 percent less than their private sector counterparts. They drive children to and from school safely. They patrol our streets, put out fires, provide transportation for disabled and elderly, safeguard our prisons, plow our streets, fix our busted waterlines in freezing weather, research life-saving developments, and teach our students. Allowing them to be scapegoated for state budget shortfalls does nothing to solve the real budget crisis and encourages those forces that are currently tearing at the fabric of our communities to continue.

The future of our communities and of quality public education in this country depends on our ability to unite and respond to these politically motivated attacks with facts. The time has come for us to rally to save our public institutions and the workers who maintain them.

John Kasich doesn't seem to appreciate the work, and dedication of public service employees.  He has unfairly targeted those who serve our communities and has attempted to blame them for our recent economic difficulties.  The horrible recession that we witnessed  started with the manipulation and greed of Wall Street bankers.  Public service employees do not deserve to be used as scapegoats or called idiots.

Reap What You Sow


Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he’s “astounded” by the partisanship he’s seen between African Americans and whites, and between Democrats and Republicans, since taking office in January.

His remarks came Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by a group of black state lawmakers who have criticized him for a lack of diversity in his Cabinet.

It was Kasich’s latest step to mend fences with the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. The two parties also met Monday to discuss the caucus’ legislative priorities.....

Kasich is "astounded"?  He created the partisanship, vitriol, and attacks on union workers.  What did he expect?  Doesn't he know that " reap what you sow..."?

Kasich said that he "...wanted to break the back of organized labor in schools..." (StarBeacon)

Kasich's continuous attacks on working people and the large salaries he has given his cronies, have helped increase partisanship.  His lack of diversity in his cabinet and obvious sexism have brought people opposed to his agenda.  Did he think no one would objects or speak up when he did these things? 

*** Make your plans for tomorrow (Thursday, February 17, 2011):  SB 5 hearings will continue tomorrow in the Ohio Senate at 10am in the South Hearing Room on the second floor.

Continue to contact members of the Ohio Senate @ toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-282-0253 (466-8842 in Columbus)  and for individual Ohio Senators.  Let them know that you oppose SB 5 and the attacks on the public employees.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kasich Creating Confusion, Chaos

A federal lawsuit has been filed. 


A member of the Ohio Board of Education has filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. John Kasich after she says she was illegally removed from the board.

Martha Harris, who began a four-year term in January, 2009, showed up for a board meeting Monday at the Ohio School for the Deaf only to be told she was no longer on the board.

"I have the right to due process as a citizen of the United States of America and it was not afforded to me," Harris said. "I learned about this like everybody else has learned about it, through the media."

Even though Kasich claims there was a problem with her paperwork, she did receive a paycheck. The paperwork must have been good enough to be paid (see previous post).  It must have been very embarrassing for Martha Harris to be told to leave the board meeting.  This is just typical of Kasich.

****  Big event today at the Ohio Senate on SB5.  The first hearing on the Kasich/Republican plan to revoke collective bargaining for teachers and all public employees will be held today in the Ohio Senate at 2pm, in the 2nd floor hearing room.  Get there early!  Supposedly, the righties are bringing in their supporters by the busload. 

Another hearing will be held on Thursday morning on SB 5.


....OSU law professor Charlie Wilson, a lawyer who has represented management in labor disputes, believes Kasich's push to ditch collective bargaining and strikes would not work.

"It would be a disaster for this state," Wilson said. "If you don't learn from your mistakes in the past, you're destined to repeat them. There are going to be walk outs. There's going to be working the rule. There are going to be strikes. There were before 1983 when it was still illegal to strike. Ot {sic} happens in states today where it's illegal to strike."

 Kasich's plan would create absolute chaos in the state. If you are unable to attend, please let the Republicans know of your oppositions to SB 5: 

toll free number: 1-800-282-0253 (466-8842 in Columbus).

Monday, February 14, 2011

No Paperwork?

John Kasich, Republican Governor and self-appointed king, has made it known that he is against collective bargaining, teachers unions, and unionized public employees.  When out-going governor, Ted Strickland, made appointments, as previous governors had done in their last days in office, the Republicans refused to confirm the candidates.  Kasich has placed his own people on boards even when some of the members were not officially finished with their terms of office. Now we have another case and this time it involves the Ohio Board of Education - - - - -

NBC 4:

...Martha Harris said she was never told by Gov. John Kasich that she was being replaced. She said she even received a confirmation phone call and Board of Education information packet this week.

Harris' replacement, Angela Thi Bennett, was also at the meeting....

.... Harris was appointed to a four-year term in January 2009. The newspaper article claimed that Gov. Kasich said Harris' paperwork was never filed.....

Even though Kasich claimed that the paperwork for Martha Harris was not in order, SHE DID GET PAID FOR HER WORK.  According to the Buckeye Institute website with state salaries listed, Martha Harris was paid for her time on the board:

Harris, Martha  . Board/Commission Member 4  . Education .  $7,389.00   .  2009..

Someone needs to ask Kasich if the "paperwork was never filed..." for Martha Harris, why was she paid?

Friday, February 11, 2011

In the news....

The world has been watching the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt. This has been an interesting time for the Egyptians, and people all over the world who treasure the ideals of democracy.  I hope that in the coming days, weeks, and months, the Egyptians will be able to embrace democracy and live peacefully with their neighbors.

**** Here in Ohio, Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, has declared war on the working people of Ohio, especially unionized teachers, firefighters, police officers, service workers, and state employees.  Kasich is pushing the blame on these people instead of the recession.  According to Kasich, unions are robbing the state.  Of course, he is wrong.

This study released Thursday found Ohio’s full-time state and local government workers are paid about 6 percent less than private-sector workers. Even adjusting for fewer hours worked per week or year, government and school employees still made 3 percent less than private-sector counterparts, according to Jeffrey H. Keefe, an associate professor in Labor and Employment Relations at Rutgers University.

Keefe’s research was provided to the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute,  part of a national study of wage and benefit compensation from 2006 to 2009. Other studies released Thursday found even wider disparity among public and private-sector employees for Indiana (7.5 percent margin) and Wisconsin (8.2 percent). Keefe found Ohio’ public work force is highly-educated, underscoring why the state’s average pay is reasonable.
EPI, a 25-year-old nonprofit policy research group, has this Internet site:
In Ohio, Keefe also found:

– 49% of full-time public-sector workers hold at least a four-year college degree, compared to 26% of full-time private-sector workers.
– state and local governments and school districts pay their college-educated workers an average of 25 percent less than do private employers.......

Well, that certainly destroys Kasich's theories. This article might be a good one to email or fax to state senators.  Here is the link for the article:

Here is the link for members of the Ohio Senate with contact information:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Neanderthals Among Us

Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, members of the far right wing of the Republican Party, appear to be having a little disagreement.

Chicago Tribune:

Sarah Palin is mixing it up with potential rival Rick Santorum, suggesting the former Pennsylvania senator and presidential hopeful is a “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.“

The eyebrow-raising slap came in response to Santorum's recent comments that Palin was likely skipping an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington this weekend because of other “business opportunities“ and her mothering responsibilities.

“I don't live in Alaska and I'm not the mother to all these kids and I don't have other responsibilities that she has,“ Santorum said in comments that some commentators called sexist....

Santorum, who has always been in favor of getting the government involved in reproductive freedom, is indeed a sexist.  Santorum has a very, very long history of hurtful, hateful remarks against gays, women, minorities, and so forth.  (Hint: Search the GoogleArchive for 'Santorum sexist' and you'll get a boatload of findings.)

On the other hand, Palin is not much better.

Here is what the Anchorage Daily News had to say about Palin in 2008:

..Sarah Palin is asking Americans to elect a vice president who is an extreme social conservative. She opposes abortion rights. She favors the teaching of creationism. She preaches abstinence-only sex education. She is open to the possibility of banning books from public libraries. She opposes gay marriage. She personally opposes benefits for gay partners of public employees....

  Palin has suggested that creationism be taught in public schools.  Does Palin even know the historical and anthropological context of "Neanderthal" or is this another example of someone supplying her words that she just doesn't understand?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


The Republicans had a little split in their vote this evening.

Nine freshmen and three inaugural members of the House Tea Party Caucus cast votes against a proposed extension of three Patriot Act provisions Tuesday night, helping block the measure from passage under fast-track rules.

The House clearly backed the measure, voting 277 to 148 to extend the provisions. But that still fell short of the two-thirds majority required under the fast-track procedure.

The House is likely to bring the extensions back up before the end of the month under regular procedures, when a simple majority would suffice to send it to the Senate....

It looks like Boehner and Cantor are having difficulty reining in those Tea Party freshman.

> > > > The Shriver Brief has the annual scorecard available for viewing:

Each year the Shriver Center publishes its Poverty Scorecard, which grades the performance of every Member of Congress on the fifteen or so most important poverty-related votes of the year. Experts in approximately twenty different subject areas help us identify which votes to use. The Scorecard’s purpose is to hold our Senators and Representatives accountable – every single one of them – for their efforts to fight poverty, or their failure to do so.....

(NOTE:  This is based on the last Congress.)
You might be interested in how Ohio's elected officials performed on the Poverty Scorecard:
The Poverty Scorecard rates every Member of Congress on how they voted on anti-poverty legislation....

Governor:  John Kasich
Capital:  Columbus
Population:  11,511,858
Poverty rate:  13.6%

= vote to fight poverty = vote against fighting poverty
Sherrod BrownYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes100A+
George VoinovichYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo21D                                   
Steve Driehaus1stYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes88A
Jean Schmidt2ndYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo6F
Mike Turner3rdYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes25D
Jim Jordan4thNo voteNo voteNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo0F-
Bob Latta5thYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo voteNoNoNoNoNoNoYes20D
Charlie Wilson6thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes94A
Steve Austria7thYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes19F
John Boehner8thYesNoNoNoNoNoNo voteYesNoNoNoNoNo voteNoNoYes21D
Marcy Kaptur9thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo88A
Dennis Kucinich10thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes100A+
Marcia Fudge11thYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo88A
Pat Tiberi12thYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes25D
Betty Sutton13thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes100A+
Steve LaTourette14thYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoYesNo voteNoNoYesNoYes40C
Mary Jo Kilroy15thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo94A
John Boccieri16thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes94A
Tim Ryan17thYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes100A+
Zack Space18thYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes81A
Those with the grade of "A" are the Democrats:  Brown, Driehaus, Wilson, Kaptur, Fudge, Sutton, Kilroy, Boccieri, Tim Ryan, Space.

Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican, should be ashamed of his grade of "F-" on poverty issues.