Legislators Exempted 9/28/11

The e-mail I got from “Building a Better Ohio” had more lies; I just wrote about the worst one in my previous post. The e-mail clamed there were three myths about SB5. The first “myth” they mentioned was: “MYTH #1: Issue 2 doesn't allow public safety forces to ask for safety gear or staff support.” Their reply was that safety services can demand safety equipment. This is an enormous lie. All the relevant amendment (put into SB5 at the last minute) permitted was for the employees to collectively bargain for safety equipment—not demand it. Even the bargaining is questionable since if the administrators refuse there is no arbitration the last offer of the administrators is the contract. That’s not collective bargaining, that’s collective begging. Staffing levels, says their reply, will be set by the administrators “based on the best interests of the community.” That means police and firemen have no say in the matter. Myth #2 I talked about in my previous talking point. The ludicrous “study” which found 43% better pay and benefits in the public sector than the private sector. Of course the “study” compared pay rates without taking into account education, experience or anything else. It gave us the shocking information that surgeons make a lot more than salesclerks. Surgeons? I thought you were comparing public to private pay. Oh that’s right, I haven’t mentioned that the “study” was done in Great Britain where most doctors work for the British Health Service. The fact is in Ohio public workers make 3.5% less than their counterparts in private jobs. MYTH #3: Issue 2 exempts politicians. Their reply is that legislators are not exempted in SB5. Their evidence for this is that legislators have to pay 15% of health care and 10% of salary for retirement. While that part is true, the interesting point is why they have to. It’s because they are required by existing law to pay what union members have to pay in the state-wide collective bargaining agreement. So state workers already pay those amounts. That is not why SB5 is being resisted. It is the no strike, no arbitration, take whatever we give no with no recourse provisions in SB5. It is also the so-called performance pay provisions which sound good but no such standards exist and are probably going to be the subjective evaluation of the boss. Are politicians subject to performance pay? I’ll quote from SB5: “Sec. 124.14. (B) Division (A) of this section and sections 124.15 and 124.152 of the Revised Code do not apply to the following persons, positions, offices, and employments: (1) Elected officials; (2) Legislative employees, employees of the legislative service commission, employees in the office of the governor, employees who are in the unclassified civil service and exempt from collective bargaining coverage in the office of the secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, and attorney general, and employees of the supreme court; “ As you can guess, Sections 124.15 and 124.152 are the sections concerning performance pay. Politicians are exempted just as We are Ohio says they are.