Ohio Senate Bill 5 is stirring debate and raw emotion around the state.
Governor John Kasich certainly wasted no time in stirring the pot as he took the reins of our state government. Within days of his inauguration, he announced intentions to eliminate collective bargaining for law enforcement, fire fighters and teachers.
I feel that I understand part of where Kasich is coming from. I have been strongly opposed to much of the demands that unions have made for many years. I feel that unreasonable demands from unions, primarily those involved with industrial workers, are largely responsible for the fact that many American workers have lost their jobs to foreign competitors.
There was a time when labor unions were necessary in order to keep factory workers from being virtual slaves. Unions then became “too big for their breeches.” The level of protection given to lazy and inept employees, forcing an employer to keep non-productive “workers” is just one example of unions crippling many employers. As bad is it is seeing jobs shipped out-of-country, I don’t feel too sorry for staunch union workers who have spent decades bringing these changes upon themselves.
There is also another side to the situation. First of all, it was widely reported that Kasich came to his governor’s job with a huge chip on his shoulder regarding police and firefighters. It seems they were correct.
Just a week ago, there was much publicity about Kasich berating a law enforcement officer … for doing his job. Now, he has begun an all-out attack against Ohio’s law enforcement and firefighters. He is also including our teachers in his strong-arm attempts to place the blame for Ohio’s money woes on many of those who we, and our children, need most.
As someone who does not receive the benefits afforded the afore-mentioned groups, I admit to some jealousy as to the benefits they receive. It is more accurately, an I-wish-we-had-those-kind-of-benefits-type of jealousy.
Before I move on, I looked at the Ohio Sunshine Law website. It states that State of Ohio employees who have served more than one year, receive full benefits, including health, dental, eye-care, and life insurance. That sounds, to me, like the very things Kasich is looking to take away from people who face danger, and our children, daily.
I have come to believe the rumors that Kasich has a burr under his saddle and is looking to make those who are most deserving of a watchdog to keep their jobs tolerable, his whipping boys and girls.
I want to know why legislators, at all levels, are so quick to point fingers at everyone but themselves when it comes to blame for out-of-control spending.
Schools and cities do not have enough money to continue to pay fair wages and benefits to employees and staff to safe levels. Do you think for a minute that Kasich has given a thought to the fact that a large part of the problem is that our government is tripping over itself in mandating things that must be done, or risk losing more funding?
A good example for city and schools alike is the EPA storm water runoff mandate from last year. The federal government gives no choice in the matter. It doesn’t matter what the cost, they say, you will just do it.
How many jobs and raises do that, and countless other laws and mandates made by an out-of-control government, cost us every year?
Ted Strickland was truly an abomination as governor, but, I fear that John Kasich may be more of a cancer to our Great State of Ohio than we can afford.