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Update On Collective Bargaining Bill

Monday, March 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM

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The chairman of a House panel in Ohio that's considering a collective bargaining bill says state lawmakers plan to remove jail time as a possible penalty for public workers who participate in strikes. House Labor Chairman Joseph Uecker says the change is among at least ten substantive adjustments lawmakers are strongly considering.

The chairman of a House panel in Ohio that’s considering a collective bargaining bill says state lawmakers plan to remove jail time as a possible penalty for public workers who participate in strikes. House Labor Chairman Joseph Uecker says the change is among at least ten substantive adjustments lawmakers are strongly considering. Ueker’s committee will meet Tuesday for a possible vote. Governor Kasich responds this way when asked about whether he approved of the changes the house is making to water down the current bill.

“I’m really not very concerned,” he says. “I think the legislature—we’re all in this together, we’re all a team. And let me just say a couple things here. First of all, our communities, you know I told somebody the other day that--I saw a mayor--I said thanks for the thank you note. He said I didn’t send you any thank you note. I said you will—when I give you the tools to control your costs.”

Kasich says if SB 5 were in place last year, the city of Columbus could’ve saved 50 million dollars. Kasich says this bill will put taxpayers and public employees on more equal footing as far as pay and benefits are concerned. Democrats in the Ohio House have been staunchly opposed to the bill all along, but they are outnumbered by Republicans who are set on passing the legislation. Unions are expected to descend on the Statehouse in the coming days but now, at least one Democrat, Representative Kenny Yuko, is admitting the fight to kill the bill at the Statehouse is probably over.

“It’s a sad day when we have to move this direction in the state of Ohio,” he says. “When we don’t listen to the will of the people, but you know what? So be it--and we’ll do what we have to do.”

The bill is expected to be passed through the Ohio legislature by Thursday.

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