No on Issue Two 8/29/11

We need to talk to our friends and neighbors to make sure they vote no on Issue 2. Some may just remember SB5 and be looking for an Issue 5. It’s simple: No on Issue Two. There is going to be a lot of money spent on TV ads trying to get a yes vote and we need to counter their lies. Lie One: SB5 just gives local officials more flexibility. Answer: In fact it takes power away from local officials. Under SB5 they are limited in what they can offer in health insurance and retirement. In the past public employees were offered better insurance and retirement if they would accept lower salaries. Lie Two: Public employees are making too much. Answer: In fact local officials got a good deal by offering better insurance and retirement. In a careful study done by Dr. Jeffrey Keefe of Rutgers University for the Economic Policy Institute, he matched education and training, experience, and hours of work in public vs. private employment. He found that salary was consistently considerably lower for comparable public employees however they had consistently better health insurance and retirement benefits. However when he added the costs of the benefits to get the total compensation, public employees were still getting three and one half percent less in total compensation than comparable private employees. Lie Three: Police and Firefighters can negotiate on safety and training. Answer: There was an amendment added to permit negotiation on safety equipment but the amendment didn’t cover training. Further SB5 takes away arbitration. Since safety services can’t strike, under sB5 with no arbitration they don’t have collective bargaining—they have collective begging. Lie Four: Police, firefighters, nurses, hospital and clinic workers can negotiate for reasonable safe staffing levels. Answer: According to the Legislative Service Commission, a non-partisan office of the General Assembly, SB5 makes in inappropriate for a collective bargaining agreement to determine “the number of employees required to be on duty or employed in any department, division, or facility of a public employer.” Tell your friends and neighbors. If you’re able, canvass for We are Ohio. They’re in the old bank building on the square and they’re doing canvassing ever Saturday and Sunday. They are also doing phone banking during the week.