So-called "right to work" Hot Potato

The House Manufacturing and Workforce Development Committee, chaired by Rep. Schuring (R) held the first reading of HB151 and HJR5 - the anti worker so-called "right to work" legislation. They heard from the bills sponsors, Rep. Roegner (R) and Rep. Maag (R).

The hearing room was packed to capacity by opponents of the bill, indeed so many people were in opposition to this bill that they filled two additional overflow rooms, and left some standing in the hallways listening over a speaker system.

Educators opposing so-called 'right to work'

As expected, Rep. Roegner and Rep. Maag gave misleading and highly selective testimony, that failed to stand up to questions from the committee. Often they had to fall back upon "feelings", "beliefs" and ad nauseam recitation of the word "freedom" like they were auditioning for the role of William Wallace in an off-Broad St. production of Braveheart.

Rep. Tom Letson (D-Warren) said Ohio law already allows employees to choose not to belong to unions and instead contribute "fair share" payments. "It seems as though the freedom you are espousing here is already in the body of the law," he said, suggesting the proposal was redundant.

The Democrat's statement drew a roar of applause from the audience, prompting Chairman Schuring to slam the gavel and warn spectators to observe proper decorum or be ejected from the room.

Rep. Roland Winburn (D-Dayton) questioned whether the measure would allow workers who choose not to pay union dues to benefit from the union's representation and called it "a right-to-freeload law more than the workplace freedom law."

Rep. Patterson said he believed allowing individual workers to "cut their own deals" with management effectively undermines the efficacy of collective bargaining and asked the sponsors if they thought the measure would weaken labor unions in the state.

The true facts regarding so-called "right to work" laws and their impact on working people and the economy are clear

right to work stats

The hearing was more notable for what didn't happen, rather than what did. Not a single Republican questioned their colleagues about their proposed bill, despite intense questioning by the Democrats on the committee. It was also apparent that there were few, if any supporters of the bill at the hearing.

The lack of a convincing case for the bill, a lack of support in the Republican caucus, and widespread opposition led the chairman to declare the bill dead in his committee

The chairman of a House panel that heard testimony on controversial right-to-work legislation Tuesday said there would be no further hearings on the matter in his committee.

Chairman Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) said after the hearing that members of the panel had unanimously agreed not to continue deliberations on the proposals.

"I've surveyed the committee and for a wide variety of reasons, the committee has determined that it would not be appropriate to have additional hearings on the legislation," he said in an interview.

"My individual thoughts are that I've been in the legislature now for 20 years and I have not had one union shop - an owner of a company that is a union shop or an executive from a company that is a union shop - has come to me and asked for this type of legislation," the chairman said.

"So I think it's something that does not need to be addressed at this point in time. There are a whole host of other issues regarding our economy and how we can improve the economic climate in this state that we need to address."

The chairman's comments reflect the radioactive nature of the issue currently for majority Republicans who saw an attempt to curb union collective bargaining thrown out by voters last session (SB5, 129th General Assembly).

With that, the Republicans in the Ohio House passed this hot potato to their Tea Party grassroots activists. Signature collection by right wing extremists now being the only route left for this legislation to move forward. With that signature collection deadline fast approaching, and reports that the Tea Party are struggling to collect those signatures, it is unlikely a so-called "right to work" amendment will find its way onto a ballot this year. This Leaves next year (when the governor and most of his legislative pals are up for reelection) as the next possible date, followed shortly afterwards by the lame duck session of 2014.

But for now, it doesn't look like anyone wants to be left holding this anti-worker, deceitful hot potato.

Education News for 08-10-2012

State Education News

  • Interim superintendent admits 2010 reprimand (Columbus Dispatch)
  • To his current and former bosses, Michael L. Sawyers' use of a school district's credit card for personal purchases a few years ago was a minor mistake...Read more...

  • Free meals for all (Marion Star)
  • All Marion City Schools students will be able to eat for free thanks to a new funding stream...Read more...

Local Education News

  • Olentangy school board OKs union deal (Columbus Dispatch)
  • ...

  • Westerville teacher will keep job after inquiry over text messages (Columbus Dispatch)
  • ...

  • Lockland schools hire acting head (Columbus Dispatch)
  • ...

  • Hot line taking tips on Columbus schools scandal (Columbus Dispatch)
  • State Auditor Dave Yost has created a temporary hot line for Columbus school employees who want to report wrongdoing related to student-data tampering...Read more...

  • Kirtland cuts teaching positions Willoughby (News Herald)
  • Kirtland Schools will enter the 2012-13 school year with fewer staff members than in the past. The board approved a reduction in force at a May board meeting totaling 8.75 positions...Read more...

  • Bedford schools working it out with teachers (WTVG)
  • Leaders in the Bedford School District say they expect to have a full contract with teachers in the next couple weeks...Read more...

  • Days of sitting are over, Youngstown teachers told (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • The days of students sitting in rows of desks while a teacher lectures are over. “Sit-and-get times are done for everybody,” Beverly Schumann, the city school district’s executive director of curriculum...Read more...


  • Squeeze on schools (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • It took 18 years and 13 tries, but the Buckeye School District in Medina County finally won voter approval on Tuesday for an increase in local property taxes to run the schools...Read more...

  • Doing the right thing (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The Columbus Board of Education faces a difficult road. Its chief executive has acknowledged that district employees manipulated attendance data...Read more...

Gahanna city council in the hot seat

Gahanna city council has put itself in the hot seat over SB5. A member of the council has placed a resolution on tonghts agenda, supporting issue 2. We are hearing that attendance at tonights meeting might break records as members of the community flock to denounce this resolution.

We have heard that council President Dave Samuel is opposed to the resolution, as is At Large council member Tim Pack. We have also heard that the Gahanna Mayor does not support this resolution and will not sign it.

If you live close by, or espeically live in Gahanna, you can attend in person
When: Tonight at 7pm
Where: Gahanna City Hall. 200 South Hamilton. Gahanna, OH 43230

If you can't make it at such short notice, please consider sending a message, before tomorrow nights meeting, in opposition to this resolution to your council representative.

At Large (President) Dave Samuel

Ward 3 (Vice President) Brian Larick

At Large Timothy W. Pack

At Large Nancy McGregor

Ward 1 John McAlister

Ward 2 Shane W. Ewald

Ward 3 Brian Larick

Ward 4 Beryl D. Anderson