Yesterday, a bill restricting the collective bargaining rights of unions passed in the Ohio House by a vote of 53 to 44 and the Ohio Senate by a vote of 17 to 16, with six Republican senators voting against the bill. Republican Governor John Kasich stated that he will sign the bill by the end of the week.
The bill will take away the rights from over 360,000 public employees, including teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, safety workers and other government workers, to negotiate their health care, sick time, and pension benefits. Public workers will also be prohibited from striking and permitted to decline to pay union dues. The bill’s intent is to squash public worker’s unions and to deny public workers the opportunity to negotiate for vital benefits such as paid sick lead and paid family medical leave.
Approximately 700 protestors attended the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda for the House vote and chanted, “Shame on you!” Former Governor Ted Strickland and unions announced that they will develop a campaign to repeal the anti-union law through a referendum in the November.