Why No Rights At Work Is Wrong

Borrowed totally from OEA.


Our out-of-touch opponents are trying to deceive voters again like they did last year. This is worse than SB 5. It doesn’t have to be this way. The so-called, trick-titled “right to work" is WRONG because it is an unsafe and unfair attack on workers' rights, good jobs, families and the middle class. We call it No Rights at Work is Wrong and we don’t need it.


If you work hard and play the rules, you should be treated fairly You should be able to earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work RTW is unfair because it degrades the value of hard work and the worker


RTW strips workers of their collective bargaining rights Voters have spoken on this issue: they support collective bargaining rights Workers should be able to speak up for themselves, their coworkers and their community on the job


RTW means lower wages and fewer benefits for you, me, all of us We need good paying jobs for working and middle-class Ohioans Communities thrive and grow when Ohioans have good paying jobs


It makes it harder to collectively bargain for life-saving equipment, staffing and other safety issues for the brave men and women that protect us, like police officers and firefighters It takes away the professional voices of those we trust to take care of our children and families, such as teachers and nurses It is wrong because it means less money, lower wages and fewer benefits for you, me and all of us in the middle class. Communities thrive and grow when Ohioans have good paying jobs. Let's stand up together and stick together for a decent standard of living.

We Deserve It.

Invest in Public Education

Think Tank, Policy Matters Ohio, recently released a report titled "State of Working Ohio 2012. The Report has many interesting findings, but we wanted to parse out 2 of the major ones, especially as it related to education and working people.

Education pays, but Ohio isn’t passing that test. Over the past generation Ohioans have dramatically increased their education levels. This is a good thing, because compensation at lower education levels is shrinking. But other states are investing much more and reaping bigger rewards. And in the most recent state budget, we cut both K-12 and universities, keeping our students back.

Instead we should invest in education, from pre-K through college and beyond.

The graph below highlights this findings and recommendation

This becomes especially important, given the news we reported on just a few days ago, namely, the new school year bringing yet more cuts. This short-sighted policy by the Governor was highlighted by an editorial in the Plain Dealer

Ohio's economic prospects depend on a well-educated work force -- hard to achieve when budget cuts force schools to lay off teachers and shorten the school day.
Gov. John Kasich, whose administration is working on a long-delayed revamp of the state's school-funding formula, should make sure his approach offers extra money and other incentives to superintendents and school boards willing to create efficiencies through radical restructuring, as in Cleveland, or via mergers or the sharing of services or personnel with other districts.

Which brings us to the second finding and recommendation that the Policy Matters report includes

Unions give workers leverage and a voice. Aggressive employer anti-union practices and public policy that discourages organizing have taken their toll. As unions have eroded, so have worker wages and benefits and family well being. States with the lowest levels of unionization have the worst wages, states that combine union friendliness and education investments do best. Ohio voters spoke loud and clear last year in retaining collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.

Ohio should retain and expand policies that help workers organize and preserve a collective voice.

The differences are quite stark

Destroying collective bargaining was another misguided policy choice made by the Governor. Unlike his radical defunding of education however, voters were able to overturn and repeal his union busting efforts.

The evidence is in abundance - we need to strengthen the middle class by investing in public education, the results will lead to a strong more vibrant Ohio.

Done deal in Cleveland?

Deal reached.

The compromise struck by the mayor and union after several weeks of marathon negotiations, will bring major changes to the contract rules governing teacher assignments, seniority, pay, evaluation, layoff and recall that give the district more flexibility as it tries to improve schools.
Jackson, district officials and CTU representatives all said today that they negotiated an agreement on the plan because it will provide a better education for students.

As CTU President, David Quolke said, "This agreement is a testament to the idea that when collective bargaining trumps conflict, progress can be made that helps the children of Cleveland."

Frank Jackson got into this mess because he didn't show respect to the teachers in his school district, and didn't trust the collective bargaining agreement. He famously avoided involving educators in his reform plan because

Mayor Jackson said he did not talk to the union before coming up with his latest plan because he wanted to avoid further delay.

"We need to get something done," he said. "We've been in perpetual discussion about a lot of things. Our sense of urgency is such that something has to happen in a systemic way and it has to happen now."

How much delay was caused? A week? Maybe 2? If he had of respected the teachers and the process, imagine the good will that would have been garnered, instead of the acrimony.

If the defeat of SB5 wasn't a strong enough message, maybe politicians will look at this example and finally realize that collective bargaining and collaboration will get you far further, much faster than a my way, or the highway approach.

This should cause some pause for thought however

The plan has also gained wide support from business and political leaders in the city, with Cleveland City Council voting this week to endorse the plan and the cities' charitable foundations and the chamber of commerce, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, helping to write it and sitting in on negotiations with CTU.

Under what statute does the Greater Cleveland Partnership get to sit in on negotiations between public employees and their government employer? The GCP was front and center supporting the Governor's efforts via SB5 to dismantle worker protections, and they were instrumental in adding the union busting measures into the "Cleveland plan" too. Now a deal is done - let's see them step up to the plate and fund efforts to pass a much needed levy. That, after all, is still the biggest crisis facing Cleveland Municipal Schools.

Frank Jackson's plan circa 1970

It's backwards

Cleveland Metropolitan Schools CEO Eric Gordon has been given the job of trying to sell everyone on Mayor Frank Jackson's plan for revitalizing Northeast Ohio's largest school system.

Gordon tells WTAM 1100 that the administration and teachers union both need to work together on what the mayor proposes, saying, "We have to be careful to modernize the work rules in a way that's respectful to adults."

The work rules, via collective bargaining, are modern and respect adults. Collective bargaining was brought to the education profession in Ohio in 1983. Before that it was the wild west of management whims. Collective bargaining modernized that system. Why Frank Jackson thinks going back to the old failed ways of doing things is the solution to Cleveland Schools is a mystery.

Mutual trust and respect involves collaborating with educators before you release your plan to send labor relations back to the 1970's.

Delivering lower costs, higher quality

Innovation Ohio recently published a study that showed that states, like Ohio, that had collective bargaining for educators produced lower costs and higher quality than states that had weaker collective bargaining laws.

In fact, research shows that eliminating or effectively crippling the state’s collective bargaining system will be as likely to add to state and local budget woes as cure the
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Ohio’s kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school teachers saw their salaries, on average, drop 3.8% between 2008 and 2009, the latest year BLS’s Occupational Employment Statistics are available. The national average was a 2% increase.
Even though states that limit teachers’ rights to collectively bargain make up less than one-third of all the states, they make up half of the top 10 salary increases in the contiguous 48 states, with reduced teachers’ rights states taking the top three spots (Wyoming at 11.2%, Texas at 7% and Louisiana at 5.9%).
In Education Week’s annual K-12 Student Achievement rankings, NO reduced teachers’ rights states scored in the top 10 states. In fact, the top 13 K-12 Achievement states were all states that require collective bargaining for its teachers. Meanwhile, Ohio scored better than 75% of the reduced teachers’ rights states on the K-12 Achievement measure.

While none of the top 10 achieving states were reduced teachers’ rights states, they did make up 7 of the bottom 10 K-12 Achievement states. That means that almost half of all reduced teachers’ rights states ranked in the bottom 10 states on their students’ achievement.

The results revealed by this report should come as no surprise to anyone who has been involved in, or observed, the collective bargaining process across Ohio's school districts. Teachers and education support professionals have consistently demonstrasted a commitment not only to delivering a quality education to their students, but to the communities they serve. Eliminating this important voice eliminates the ability to deliver these results.

Public Employees saved $1billion for tax payers

A new report has looked at collective bargaining compromises in Ohio and found that public employees have saved their employers and taxpayers a substantial amount of money (over $1 billion).

Among the findings:

  • Public union workers have saved taxpayers $1,059,881,500 billion through collective bargaining concessions since 2008.
  • Teachers and support staff accepted wage freezes in more than 90 percent of collective bargaining agreements this year – concessions not tallied in this report because they are not yet available.
  • Last year, at least 65 percent of public employee contracts included at least 1 year of wage freezes, some furlough days, reduced compensation, rollovers or economic re-openers.
  • Some of the lowest-paid public employees – non-teaching personnel such as custodians – have gone up to eight years without a pay increase in exchange for stable health care costs.
  • A Warren police officer blames cuts in safety forces for the injuries he sustained while rescuing people from a burning building in which one person died.
  • More than two-thirds of all teachers’ contracts increased employee insurance premium contributions or significantly changed their health plans, with the savings often used to improve educational opportunities for students.
  • More than 93 percent of public workers already pay for their own pension contribution, with no pick-up from their employers.
  • On average, county and state employees pay more than 15 percent for their health care plans.

Public Employees Shared Sacrifice Report