|They are at it again. Despite the fact that 62 percent of Ohioans rejected the Senate Bill 5 attack on public workers nearly a year and a half ago, the extreme right-wing politicians in Columbus want to pursue similar attacks. Earlier today, State Representatives Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) each introduced so-called “right-to-work” bills. Roegner’s bill deals with the private sector, while Maag’s bill deals with the public sector. There was also a third bill introduced that would put the issue on the state ballot for Ohio voters to decide. The bills are being called “Ohio Workplace Freedom” legislation, but the name could not be more misleading. This is yet another attempt by corporate interests – many of the same ones who backed Senate Bill 5 – to end unions as we know them so that they can tip the balance in their favor at the expense of the middle class. The corporate interests want to fool us by calling it “workplace freedom,” because what it really means is less freedom for workers. These types of laws have already proven to have harmful effects on all citizens in the states where they have been implemented: lower wages, fewer benefits, higher poverty rates, and more workplace fatalities. We do not yet know if House Republican leadership intends on moving these bills forward. House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina) has been evasive on the subject. However, it is widely believed that Gov. Kasich did not want to pursue such legislation ahead of his re-election campaign. As always, we will continue to update our members as new information becomes available. For more information about so-called “right-to-work,” visit the toolkit on our website|
The Good News:
AAUP Continues to Build Strength in Ohio
There are two success stories to report out of northwest Ohio: BGSU-FAOn April 12, the Bowling Green State University Faculty Association (BGSU-FA), a chapter of the AAUP, announced that 97 percent of its membership ratified their first contract. This is no small accomplishment, as the first organizing card was signed over four years ago, and the chapter spent about two and a half years in contract negotiations – largely the result of the administration stalling during the Senate Bill 5 battle. It is expected that the BGSU Board of Trustees will ratify the contract at their May 3 meeting. Congratulations, BGSU-FA!
UT Nursing Faculty On April 23, the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) held a vote tally, which revealed that 70 percent of the nursing faculty at the University of Toledo voted in favor of collective bargaining. This vote means that about 34 nursing faculty will be joining the existing UT-AAUP chapter. Our congratulations to the nursing faculty and our UT chapter for their hard work in accomplishing this goal!
Ohio Conference AAUP Communications Committee