Senate Bill 5: What It Is, And Isn't

We take a look at Senate Bill 5 to drill down to the facts of how Ohio's new collective bargaining law would affect public employees

Senate Bill 5 In A Nutshell: Right now, public employees have a wide range of things they can bargain for with their employers: wages, benefits, working conditions, staffing levels and much more. Senate Bill 5 restricts the range of topics that can be haggled over.

Who is Affected: State employees, public university employees, school district employees and local government workers. The law does not apply to private sector union members.

What Stays: According to the law, collective bargaining is still permitted on wages, hours and "terms and conditions" of employment.

But it's not so simple as that, of course. According to Politifact Ohio, the law "effectively wipes out salary schedules in past labor contracts and directs cities and unions to agree to new salary structures that assign pay raises based on job performance."

The law also says employers are not required to bargain on "any subject reserved to the management and direction of the governmental unit" even if it applies to wages, hours and terms of employment.

Major Restrictions: There are numerous topics that can't be bargained over. Health-care costs are now non-negotiable, and employees have to chip in a minimum of 15 percent of the cost of their coverage. Staffing levels can no longer be negotiated, as well as an employer's decision to subcontract work or eliminate or privatize  a department or work unit.

Can Public Employees Strike?: No. Employers can obtain a court order to halt a strike and punish striking employees up to and including termination.

Do Provisions from Previous Deals Carry Over?: Unless they concern wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment, the answer is no.

If Issue 2 Passes, When Does the Law Take Effect?: Once the election results are certified, SB5 would become the law of the land.

Joseph Dittmer November 09, 2011 at 05:20 AM
Too bad you weren't working in the 1960s when unions were the norm. You would have enjoyed it. Now that private bosses have whittled away at your rights to bargain like human beings, you don't have a clue what a reasonable workplace is like. Too bad. It would be better if you younger guys could get a whiff of what it felt like to be treated like a person and not a number and how it could be if you only stood up and worked for what your parents won as a right.
Joseph Dittmer November 09, 2011 at 05:25 AM
Whomever suggested the Buckeye Institute as a source of facts has got to be kidding. They have a lot of data but they are hardly facts. They have not gotten one year of my salary correct on that lisrt. I have heard others say the same thing. When I contact them about the inaccuracies, I was told to find the real data and give it to them but they weren' interested in in what I had to say about their totally inaccurate data. They claim to get the information from employers but make no distinctions between regular pay and one time payouts, vacation etc so you have no idea what a regular salary is. Please DO NOT USE BUCKEYE INSTITUTE FOR ANY COMPARISONS. They are bogus.
Joseph Dittmer November 09, 2011 at 05:28 AM
When you have total political supremacy in all branches of state government you might as well say he is king kasick. There hasn't been one bill yet this year that wasn't passed that he didn't want'.
Joseph Dittmer November 09, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Our reps in Columbus may be covered by some of the changes in SB5 but not many. They exempted themselves from most including giving themselves raises as they see fit. They are part time employees but they define that status in such a political way that they are not really legally emplpoyees of the state so these laws often do not apply to them. Look up the ORC definitions.
Joseph Dittmer November 09, 2011 at 05:36 AM
I agree that most contracts with public employees have an agreement clause that bars strikes as long as the contract is ineffect and has for the past 28 years--at least all the state level union contracts have had this. Having negotiated the first state contract with unions in 1986, it was acceptable as long as the binding arbitration was in place that gave the unions a shot at an objective outcome. SB5 does away with that, bans strikes and also limites any so called bargaining to wages and that is almost it. Without arbitration there may as well be no bargianing at all as the employer will simply offer as little as they want and then authorize their own offer as final. No one in their right mind woudl accept such an arrangement unless they simply have given up their rights as human beings.


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