Right To Work Is A Lie — It's No Rights At Work

More on "Right to work" being a lie.

Supporters of so-called “right to work” laws argue that they advocate for a cause whose noble aim is to advance personal liberty and promote economic growth. They wield buzz words like “freedom” and “choice” for their messaging. They opine that too many workers needlessly suffer because corporate America cannot free itself from the shackles of greedy labor unions. A non-critical eye may see a movement that champions freedom and offers hope. However, if you look just beneath the surface of the “right to work” cause, you will see a campaign that is built on distortions and predicated on lies and whose unstated purpose would undermine workers’ safety, economic security and well-being. The true goal of right to work is to put more money into the pockets of corporate shareholders. The consequence of these purposes, whether intended or unintended, is a diminished middle class.

right to work is wrong

Right to work (RTW) does not provide a financial benefit to workers. It hurts them – financially and physically. A viable labor movement is the best way to advance the wellbeing of the middle class. Here’s what the empirical research shows in terms of worker compensation and workplace safety:

  • The average worker in a RTW state earns about $1,500 less per year than a person working in a non-RTW state.
  • Unions raise worker pay by roughly 20 percent.
  • In Ohio, teachers working in non-union charter schools receive annual salaries that are about $16,000 less than those paid to traditional public school teachers. The gap is even larger when compared to what for-profit charter schools pay their teachers.
  • The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions is lower in RTW states.
  • Worker fatalities in the construction industry are 34 percent higher in RTW states.

Economic development is not enhanced by RTW legislation. In fact, the enactment of RTW laws almost certainly hinders growth and prosperity:

  • Research finds no relationship between the presence of a RTW law and state unemployment rates, per capita income or job growth.
  • When asked what influences their plant-location decision process, RTW is not an important criterion for small manufacturers.
  • Low-wage workers result in lower tax revenues, putting infrastructure needs and education and other publicly funded services at risk.
  • Lower wages also mean less spending by consumers, which stunts economic expansion.
  • States with the lowest percentage of workers in unions have relatively weak middle classes.

In addition to fewer, lower paying, less safe jobs and an erosion of infrastructure and decreased levels of public services, RTW robs our country of its democratic principles. Research shows that a weakened labor movement results in lower voter turnout and less participation by ordinary citizens in the political process. Maybe that is exactly what the RTW folks want; a means of keeping the political cronies of the richest in power so their interests will be forever served. Right to work is a carrot for a select few at the top of the economic food chain and a stick for everyone else.

Education News for 01-08-2013

State Education News

  • Disadvantaged on the report card (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • It’s a complicated business, telling people whether they are getting good value for their public schools and how well their students stack up against those across the street or the oceans…Read more...

  • Ohio’s education laws 10th-best, group says (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Ohio ranked 10th for state education laws that include performance pay for teachers, school choice for students and parents, and spending and governance flexibility for schools and districts…Read more...

  • Tax revenue from casino offsets lower home values for South-Western schools (Columbus Dispatch)
  • South-Western schools, Columbus and other government entities will get their first taste of property-tax revenue from Hollywood Casino Columbus this year…Read more...

  • State tax revenue beats December projection (Columbus Dispatch)
  • December was a good month for state tax revenue: It came in nearly 5 percent higher than projected, thanks largely to strong income-tax receipts…Read more...

  • GED test changes include rising price (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • Beginning in 2014, there will be significant changes in the content and procedures regarding the test for the General Educational Development diploma…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Reduction in Duke tax costs area schools $11M (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • School districts in Hamilton County have lost about $11 million in tax revenue from utility giant Duke Energy in three years…Read more...

  • Charter school sponsor rules in place for Cleveland (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • The Transformation Alliance, a new panel created through the Cleveland schools legislation passed by state legislators last year, has agreed on broad principles for evaluating charter schools and their sponsors…Read more...

  • Columbus schools on verge of hiring info officer (Columbus Dispatch)
  • As investigations continue into the accountability of Columbus City Schools student data, the Board of Education is ready to hire an executive…Read more...

  • New evidence delays trial in Ohio school killings (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Because “voluminous” new evidence has emerged, a judge agreed yesterday to indefinitely delay the murder trial of an 18-year-old charged in the high-school shooting…Read more...

  • Schools OK transfer (Marion Star)
  • A plan by the Boys and Girls Club of Marion County to open a youth center proceeded another step Monday…Read more...

  • Schools warned of threat (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • Local schools are being watchful after they were told of a potential threat on Monday. Youngstown police were notified of the threat Sunday, which was made in the form of an online message board post…Read more...

  • School Choice, Lottery Process Starts For Columbus City Schools (WBNS)
  • Columbus City Schools started its school choice/lottery process on Monday. Parents of 2013-2014 high school students have until Jan. 31 to return completed applications to put their children in the lottery process…Read more...


  • Uniformity across county could have life-saving impact (Canton Repository)
  • To say that Roger Wiandt is well-traveled when it comes to school buildings in Stark County is an understatement…Read more...

Vote Yes on Issue 2 - Had Enough Early Vote Tour

The Issue 2 campaign is about to kick off a Vote Yes on Issue 2 - Had Enough Early Vote Tour. You can see their list of stops, and get involved, here.

This comes on the heels of the Toledo Blade endorsing a YES on Issue 2

Issue 2 on this fall’s statewide ballot enables voters to start to reclaim Ohio’s election machinery from the partisan politicians and their special-interest allies who now control it. The reform proposal merits a strong YES vote.

The ballot proposal would amend the Ohio Constitution to change the way district boundaries are revised for the state’s U.S. House delegation and the General Assembly after every federal census. Such redistricting largely determines the level of party competition within Ohio, a battleground state in national elections.

That process now is dictated by the Republican Party, which dominates the legislature and state Apportionment Board — and thus, the drawing of political maps. Republicans have rigged the maps in their favor, giving themselves the edge to win as many as 12 of Ohio’s 16 U.S. House seats and to keep control of both legislative houses for another decade.

Read the entire endorsement here.

Losing Sway

If the Yes On 2 campaign is truly about anything, it is about who has the most sway over who represents us. Few would argue that it should be the voters themselves, little surpise then that the Yes On Issue 2 campaign calls itself Voters First.

In reality, voters have the least sway over who gets to represent them. This is demonstrated with 2 very simple examples.

Example 1, Jim Renacci: The 13 minute Man

We know that our Republican politicians gerrymandered state legislative and Congressional districts behind closed doors, in a hotel room nicknamed “the bunker,” intentionally hiding the process from the public. These actions make many citizens wonder what exactly occurred in that room to cause their legislators to be so secretive.

A member of Speaker Boehner’s staff, Tom Whatman, sent an e-mail to NRCC staffer Adam Kinciad, and others in charge of drawing the new districts, requesting a last minute change to District 16 by adding a large business. Then, within 13 minutes of the first e-mail, the NRCC staffers had already responded that Timken would now be in Renacci’s district, no problem, no questions asked.

In our second example, Urban Voters Lose Out in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District

So how can someone like Steve Chabot, so seemingly wrapped up in suburban identity politics, be the Congressional Rep for a district that includes a major city like Cincinnati? This happens through a combination of gerrymandering, overt discriminatory voting policies, the overall loss of 2 Congressional Districts statewide, and shrinking populations in Ohio’s cities. Check out what Ohio’s Republican state legislature and governor have done to Ohio’s First Congressional District over the years… the graphic below shows where in the congressional redistricting based on Census 2010, the Republican state legislature went completely out of their way to tack on the staunchly Republican Warren County to the 1st District, and in the process, further weakening the voice of Cincinnati’s residents in speaking up for their share of federally-funded projects (this boundary will go into effect beginning with the 113th Congress starting in 2013).

Clearly, just from these 2 example, of which there are many more, our redistricting process is broken. We have waited year after year for politicians in Columbus to fix this rigged system, but they have failed us. Now we have an opportunity to fix the system ourselves, by voting Yes On Issue 2.

Voters First’s proposal will create an Independent Citizens Commission. Politicians, lobbyists and political insiders are prohibited from serving on the commission. The Commission’s work will be open and it will be accountable to the public. The Commission will empower voters to choose their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters.

  • Citizens, Not Politicians. Instead of the current procedures (in which politicians draw district boundaries that unfairly favor their own party and/or protect incumbents), a 12-member Citizens Commission will create the districts. Any member of the public can submit a plan for consideration.
  • Openness and Transparency. All meetings, records, communications and draft plans of the Commission must be open to the public. No more backroom deals.
  • Balance and Impartiality. The Citizens Commission will include equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents, and the approval of at least seven of the twelve members of the commission will be required for the adoption of any plan. This will ensure that the final plan fairly represents all Ohioans, not just those currently in power.
  • Community Representation. Districts will be created that are geographically compact, and which minimize the division of counties, townships, municipalities and wards between different districts.
  • Accountability & Competitive Districts. Politically balanced districts will be created, rather than “safe districts” which make it difficult or impossible for voters to hold elected officials accountable.
  • Fairness. To the greatest extent possible, the share of districts leaning toward a party will reflect the political preferences of the voters of Ohio.

Click here to view the summary of the ballot language

DNC Convention Day 1 - Democrats Strike Back

Day one of the DNC convention in North Carolina included the release of the Democratic Party platform. The Washington Post has a rundown of all the education mentions, which include this section

Because there is no substitute for a great teacher at the head of a classroom, the President helped school districts save more than 400,000 educator jobs.

We Democrats honor our nation’s teachers, who do a heroic job for their students every day. If we want high-quality education for all our kids, we must listen to the people who are on the front lines. The President has laid out a plan to prevent more teacher layoffs while attracting and rewarding great teachers. This includes raising standards for the programs that prepare our teachers, recognizing and rewarding good teaching, and retaining good teachers. We also believe in carefully crafted evaluation systems that give struggling teachers a chance to succeed and protect due process if another teacher has to be put in the classroom. We also recognize there is no substitute for a parent’s involvement in their child’s education.

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland delivered a stemwinder of a speech

“Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed titled, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’ If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation,” Strickland told the crowd Tuesday night. “Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit from tearing it down. If Mitt was Santa Claus, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.”

Strickland led off by lambasting Romney’s opposition to the 2008 auto rescue, which was especially critical to Ohio’s industrial economy.

“If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation,” Strickland said.

But far more than a simple policy speech, Strickland portrayed Romney as a morally suspect and deeply un-American villain willing to do anything to make a dollar no matter who was hurt. His Caribbean holdings and past use of a Swiss bank account drew the toughest condemnation.

“Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport,” Strickland said. “It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America.”

The highlight of the evening for the gathered Democrats was a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama, that brought tears and applause from most in attendance

Here's the word cloud of her speech

Day one of the DNC convention then, saw the Democrats strike back at the Republicans, whose own convention has produced little bounce in the polls.

Education News for 08-23-2012

State Education News

  • Teach for America recruits get feet wet at local schools (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • As students across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky return to school this month, some will be taught by a new breed of teacher: graduates of the first-ever class of Teach for America-Southwest Ohio...Read more...

  • College freshmen perceive world differently (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Incoming U.S. college students have never seen a paper airline ticket, like to watch television on almost anything but a television...Read more...

  • Inmates facing long wait for a GED (Columbus Dispatch)
  • About 12 percent of Ohio prisoners are enrolled in education programs, with more than 2,100 receiving a high-school equivalence certificate...Read more...

  • School districts eye shared services to save money (Newark Advocate)
  • Licking Heights and Southwest Licking local schools are in the process of narrowing down a list of possible shared services, with an eye on saving money. Treasurers from the two neighboring school districts have been meeting...Read more...

  • Report says state knew of TPS practice on attendance (Toledo Blade)
  • State education officials were told directly by Toledo Public Schools staff at least four years ago about the district's policy to withdraw and then re-enroll habitually truant students...Read more...

  • Ohio students test better on ACT than national average (Willoughby News Herald)
  • Ohio students have once again tested above the national average on the ACT, according to results released Wednesday. Ohio’s class of 2012 had a composite score of 21.8 in English...Read more...

Local Education News

    Copley administrator takes on two roles (Akron Beacon Journal)

    Copley High School’s new acting principal is a familiar face in the district. Aaron Sable will greet students in a return role when students begin classes today. On Tuesday, the Copley- Fairlawn Board of Education announced his hiring...Read more...

  • Private-school parents sue Northridge schools over busing (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The bus wasn’t going to pick up his kids for their first day of school on Monday, not until Bill Jones fought back. It took a meeting with a Licking County judge yesterday to keep the wheels rolling...Read more...

  • Carey board buys computer system (Findlay Courier)
  • Carey school board recently approved the purchase of a new wireless computer system for the district, according to The Progressor-Times newspaper...Read more...

  • Tentative pact with teachers reached (Findlay Courier)
  • North Baltimore school officials and its teachers' union have reached a tentative contract agreement, the two sides announced Wednesday. Details of the offer were not released...Read more...

  • Amherst schools blame glitch for mass callings (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • Amherst schools got off to a rocky second day of the school year yesterday when parents and guardians for the roughly 4,000 youths students...Read more...

  • Early readers get a boost from donors (Marion Star)
  • Bedtime stories can do more than get a child off to sleep. Reading them to your children may give them the power later in life to learn and earn...Read more...

  • Local officials urge governor to restore funds (Toledo Blade)
  • Elected officials, police and fire union leaders, and public agency representatives called on Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday to restore funds that were cut from local government, schools, and libraries as part of Ohio's two-year budget...Read more...

  • Cleveland: A critical school year ahead (WKYC)
  • The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is facing a critical start to the school year. The district is grappling with layoffs, shorter school days and a mega-levy on the ballot in November...Read more...


  • Crescendo schools scandal shows why teachers need due process (Los Angeles Times)
  • The shameful cheating at the now-closed Crescendo charter schools shows why legislative attempts to strip teachers of due process before they can be fired...Read more...

  • Don’t Y’town residents realize clock’s ticking on city schools? (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • There’s a lot to chew on in the report by the Harwood Institute For Public Innovation on the community’s attitude toward the Youngstown City School District...Read more...