If you are like me, you have been getting a lot of mailers and phone calls about Issue 2. I know that it is a long bill, so there had to be more to it than the bumper sticker like slogans I have been seeing. So I resolved to read the bill in full. About 5 pages into it, my eyes started to bleed and I gave up. I looked around the web until I found this summary by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. It is still long (6 page outline at the beginning and then a longer 50+ page synopsis behind it) but is pretty clear and useful if you are curious as to what is really in the language of the bill. Here's the link:
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I like the add with the nurses or teachers who don't feel they can continue to provide good quality service if it passes.
Lets see you z number of dollars for teacher payroll, you have x number of teachers working at y dollars. So as long as x times y = z then its a good thing. Too bad z has decreased because of lowering of federal funds, property tax decreases, and failing milages. You end up with a choice increase z (taxes, pass milages) or lower x (lot of restrictions by contract) or lower y (also prohibitive by contract). What are YOU going to do?
Not only that you have party A and party B at the table, Party A the elected reps who a lot have been put in power by the people party B represents. Party A should be worried about getting the best service for the least amount of taxpayer money. Party B needs to get the best deal for who they represent. Party A knows that if they dont give what party B wants they could lose votes at election time, but they also know it doesn't look good to all taxpayers if they give away the farm at negotiations. Enter the 3rd party arbitrator, who is supposed to have no interest either way. Party B cranks up what they demand, party A puts in a token effort to makes things reasonable, outside arbitrator sticks it in the middle and both sides complain that they didn't get what they wanted. But party B still got a raise, and party A can say its not my fault the outside arbitrator did it not me. So for them its a win win, but what about the tax payer who now foots the bill for another 10 billion dollars? It good times it wasn't even noticed, like the proverbial grasshopper avoiding the need to conserve for the coming lean times until snow began to fall. Now someone wants to take away the unions right to collective bargain for a lot of specific things in contracts for public service employees. Why is this issue split mostly on party lines? Because it was a effective method for democrats to never take the blame for bad financial times when revenue fell. Even now they take no responsibility that large payrolls are their fault because it was done through arbitration. Long gone are the days where what could be said about civil employees were that the pay was lousy but the pension and benefits are worth it. Now its very lucrative to be a civil servant, even if your not very civil and you don't serve the interest of the taxpayers very well.
All this hand wringing by conservatives over public union members getting to vote and donate money to politicians. Corporations and banks donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians to give them trillions in bail outs, tax breaks and lax oversight and conservatives cheer…