Official Argument and Explanation for Issue 2 Vote YES on Issue 2 A YES vote on Issue 2 will make long overdue reforms to unfair and costly government employment practices in Ohio, while helping to get government spending under control and making government more accountable to taxpayers. Your YES vote on Issue 2 will: Protect Good Teachers and Improve Our Schools Issue 2 keeps the best teachers in the classroom by ending the unfair practice of seniority‐based layoffs, which forces struggling schools to cut many of our best teachers first. Issue 2 returns control of our schools to taxpayers by bringing increased transparency to teacher contract negotiations. Issue 2 enables schools to retain and reward good teachers by allowing them to base pay raises on job performance. Restore Balance and Ensure Fairness Issue 2 ensures that government employees receive quality health care, but asks them to pay a mere 15% of their health insurance coverage, which is still less than half of what the average private sector worker pays (31%). Issue 2 asks government employees to make a fair contribution (10%) to their taxpayer funded retirement plans instead of requiring taxpayers to provide these pension benefits for free. Many private sector workers get no retirement benefits at all. Issue 2 allows good job performance to be considered when awarding pay raises to government employees. Private sector workers earn their paychecks by doing a good job, and so should government employees. Get Spending Under Control, Retain Jobs, and Protect Taxpayers Issue 2 will save our communities millions of dollars annually, helping them balance their budgets and retain jobs. Issue 2 will protect taxpayers by giving them the right to reject unaffordable government employment contracts. "Issue 2 is the right change at the right time" Vote YES on Issue 2 *** Prepared by Representatives Joe Uecker and Louis Blessing and Senators Kevin Bacon and Shannon Jones Taken from Betterohio.org Issue 2 empowers the middle class - and every Ohio taxpayer - with reasonable reforms to the growing cost of government pay and benefits, which now consume as much as 80 percent of local budgets. As The Columbus Dispatch wrote in an editorial: "There is no question that Senate Bill 5 is about the middle class. But it is not an attack, it is an attempt to restore to Ohio's middle class the control of the government it pays for and elects." State Issue 2 makes some very fair and common sense requests of government employees to help our local communities get their growing labor costs under control. Issue 2 would not cut salaries or benefits for any government employee. Employees would simply be asked to pay a modest share of their benefits, just like employees in the private sector do. For health care coverage, they would pay at least 15% of their overall plan. (Many local government employees currently pay less than 9% of their health care premium, while the average private sector worker pays upwards of 30%.) In addition, employees would be required to pay their personal share of a retirement plan (only 10%), rather than asking taxpayers to pay that share. That's not too much to ask at a time when many private sector workers get no retirement benefit at all. Finally, Issue 2 requires that benefits apply equally to all public employees, so no one gets special treatment. Issue 2 only affects government employees who pay less than 15 percent of their taxpayer-funded health care premium. The new law requires all government employees to pay at least 15 percent. That's hardly unfair when private sector workers are being asked to pay an average of 31 percent. This reform won't impact state employees at all because they already pay 15 percent of their health care. Government employees will still get a very generous pension benefit – an annual payment that averages their three highest annual salaries. That's a pretty nice deal, when many private sector workers get no retirement benefit at all. State Issue 2 only ends a practice where some government union contracts require taxpayers to pick up the tab for BOTH the employer AND employee shares of a required pension contribution. In this economy, it's simply not right to ask struggling taxpayers to foot the bill so government employees can get a free retirement. Issue 2 simply says government employees should pay their required share (10 percent) and taxpayers will contribute the employer share (14 percent). Government employees will still get a very generous pension benefit – an annual payment that averages their three highest annual salaries. That's a pretty nice deal, when many private sector workers get no retirement benefit at all. State Issue 2 only ends a practice where some government union contracts require taxpayers to pick up the tab for BOTH the employer AND employee shares of a required pension contribution. In this economy, it's simply not right to ask struggling taxpayers to foot the bill so government employees can get a free retirement. Issue 2 simply says government employees should pay their required share (10 percent) and taxpayers will contribute the employer share (14 percent). Just the opposite is true. Ohio's state and local tax burden ranks among the top third in the nation. As a result, companies large and small have left our state in pursuit of better tax incentives elsewhere, taking hundreds of thousands of jobs with them. If Ohio hopes to compete for new job growth, we have to make our state a more affordable place to live, work and do business. That starts with getting the cost of government under control so we can direct more of our limited resources into economic development, community revitalization and better schools. Vote YES on Issue 2 A YES vote on Issue 2 will make long overdue reforms to unfair and costly government employment practices in Ohio, while helping to get government spending under control and making government more accountable to taxpayers. Your YES vote on Issue 2 will: Protect Good Teachers and Improve Our Schools Issue 2 keeps the best teachers in the classroom by ending the unfair practice of seniority‐based layoffs, which forces struggling schools to cut many of our best teachers first. Issue 2 returns control of our schools to taxpayers by bringing increased transparency to teacher contract negotiations. Issue 2 enables schools to retain and reward good teachers by allowing them to base pay raises on job performance. Restore Balance and Ensure Fairness Issue 2 ensures that government employees receive quality health care, but asks them to pay a mere 15% of their health insurance coverage, which is still less than half of what the average private sector worker pays (31%). Issue 2 asks government employees to make a fair contribution (10%) to their taxpayer funded retirement plans instead of requiring taxpayers to provide these pension benefits for free. Many private sector workers get no retirement benefits at all. Issue 2 allows good job performance to be considered when awarding pay raises to government employees. Private sector workers earn their paychecks by doing a good job, and so should government employees. Get Spending Under Control, Retain Jobs, and Protect Taxpayers Issue 2 will save our communities millions of dollars annually, helping them balance their budgets and retain jobs. Issue 2 will protect taxpayers by giving them the right to reject unaffordable government employment contracts. "Issue 2 is the right change at the right time" Ohio's public safety employees are already prohibited from striking. Issue 2 simply expands that restriction to all state and local government employees. Strikes are rarely used to settle a dispute, and, more importantly, they carry the potential to put schools, safety and services at risk if workers are allowed to walk off the job. Most federal government employees have long been prohibited from striking, a policy upheld by presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama. Binding arbitration - or the fear of it - forces local governments to agree to labor contracts they cannot afford, and it should be eliminated. Local governments across Ohio have been forced into budget deficits and even tax increases by unelected, unaccountable arbitrators, who have no obligation to the taxpayers. These decisions are sometimes made without regard for current budget or economic conditions. In most every dispute situation, Issue 2 replaces outside arbitrators with elected government leaders, who are directly accountable to the voters for managing tax dollars. If taxpayers don't like a particular contract agreement, they can fire the politicians who agreed to it. They'll also have a greater, more transparent role in helping to resolve contract disputes by reviewing proposals from both sides and participating in a public hearing. And, if the elected officials choose the most expensive contract offer, taxpayers can take it to the ballot as a referendum. It's time to put the people who pay the bills back in charge of how the money gets spent. Actually, the law hasn't changed. The new law states the same as the old law: "Public employees have the right to… bargain collectively with their public employers to determine wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment." The only difference is that Issue 2 helps to better define what those "terms and conditions" are. Since the old law was passed nearly 30 years ago, government employee unions have successfully expanded the definition to include a laundry list of costly perks and fringe benefits that taxpayers can no longer afford. Senate Bill 5 simply restores the balance between the needs of our government employees and the ability of taxpayers to effectively manage their schools and services. The sheer insanity in the amount of wordplay, repetition, and constant bickering in just this tiny aspect of government, it is quite impressive. A YES vote on Issue 2 will make long overdue reforms to unfair and costly government employment practices in Ohio, while helping to get government spending under control and making government more accountable to taxpayers. Your YES vote on Issue 2 will: Protect Good Teachers and Improve Our Schools Issue 2 keeps the best teachers in the classroom by ending the unfair practice of seniority-based layoffs, which forces struggling schools to cut many of our best teachers first. Issue 2 returns control of our schools to taxpayers by bringing increased transparency to teacher contract negotiations. Issue 2 enables schools to retain and reward good teachers by allowing them to base pay raises on job performance. Restore Balance and Ensure Fairness Issue 2 ensures that government employees receive quality health care, but asks them to pay a mere 15% of their health insurance coverage which is still less than half of what the average private sector worker pays (31%). Issue 2 asks government employees to make make a fair contribution (10%) to their taxpayer funded retirement plans instead of requiring taxpayers to provide these pension benefits for free. Many private sector workers get no retirement benefits at all. Issue 2 allows good job performance to be considered when awarding pay raises to government employees. Private sector workers earn their paychecks by doing a good job, and so should government employees. Get Spending Under Control, Retain Jobs, and Protect Taxpayers Issue 2 will save our communities millions of dollars annually, helping them balance their budgets and retain jobs. Issue 2 will protect taxpayers by giving them the right to reject unaffordable government employment contracts. "Issue 2 is the right change at the right time" VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2, REPEAL SB 5 UNSAFE, UNFAIR AND HURTS OHIO'S MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES UNSAFE * Issue 2 puts all our families' safety at risk -- making it harder for emergency responders, police and firefights to negotiate for critical safety equipment and training that protects us all. * Issue 2 will make our nursing shortage worse. It makes it illegal for nurses, hospital and clinic workers to demand reasonable safe staffing levels -- so nurses will juggle more patients while their salaries and benefits are cut. Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans Education Fund, Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters say NO on Issue 2 UNFAIR * The same Columbus politicians who call for "shared sacrifice" exploited a loophole, giving a special exception to politician and upper management. * Ohio's public employees have already sacrificed -- saving Ohio taxpayers over $350 million through concessions, including pay freezes and unpaid furlough days. * It's not Ohio values to let firefights, police and teachers lose their rights and see wages and benefits gutted, while insiders, politicians and people at the top sacrifice nothing. HURTS US ALL * Instead of creating jobs to fix our economy, politicians like Governor Kasich gave away hundreds of millions in corporate tax breaks -- draining our state budget while Ohio continues to lose jobs -- and passed flawed laws like SB 5 to pay back their campaign donors. * Teachers, nurses, firefights are not the reason Ohio's budget is in trouble. Big corporations, their high-paid lobbyists and the politicians they fund are blaming middle class Ohioans for a problem they caused. Issue 2: Another example of the politicians turning their backs on Ohio's middle class. Send Them a Message -- Stop Working for the Special Interests, Start Working for We the People VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2 Governor John Kasich (R) argues the proposed law is not an attempt to eliminate unions, but rather is aimed at restoring "balance to the system." Kasich expects the bill to help close the state's budget gap.[8][13][14] In response to President Barack Obama's negative remarks on SB 5, in which the president called for bargaining rights to not be taken away, Kasich stated: "The president of the United States has, I think, a $13 trillion debt. Why doesn't he do his job? When he gets our budget balanced and starts to prepare a future for our children, maybe he can have an opinion on what's going on in Ohio."[15] According to Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate: “When the amount of money going out exceeds the amount of money coming in you go out of business. Government is going to put us all out of business because its the only entity in the world that doesn’t ever seem to have to keep an eye on how much is coming in and how much is going out.”[16] Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted stated: "When you're trying to turn things around and set the state on the right path, you're going to ruffle a few feathers...Our teachers and firefighters and police officers are some of the most important people I know. We want you to have a good job and we want you to have good benefits...We have to live in reality, and we have to live within our means".[17] Senate President Tom Niehaus stated about Senate Bill 5's potential impacts: "These are tools that local government needs to, No. 1, help them manage in a very difficult economic crisis. No. 2, asking both state and local employees to pay more of their health care costs, just like the average person does now. ... We think that's reasonable in this day and age."[18] Mitt Romney, 2012 presidential candidate, stated: "In regards to Question 2, which is the collective bargaining question, I am 110 percent behind Governor Kasich. On my website, I think far back as early as April, I laid out that I support Question 2 and Governor Kasich's effort to restrict collective bargaining in the ways he's described, so I fully support that."[19] Phil Greenisen, president of Columbiana County's Farm Bureau, talked about health care and how SB 5 provisions move toward fairness: "The average public employee contributes something like 9 percent toward their health care, where private employees are up around 30 percent. I think Senate Bill 5 moves as toward that."[20] Ohio Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro stated about SB 5: "The public sees Senate Bill 5 for what it really is -- a highly political assault on the rights of middle-class workers. The sad truth is this legislation would leave public employees with fewer rights to negotiate on issues such as safety equipment than their counterparts in the private sector." The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) launched a campaign called "Proud Ohio Workers", a campaign made up of local business owners, among others, who believe public employees should have rights to collective bargaining.[29] Michael Weinman, former police officer in the state, claimed, "Senate Bill 5 is an attack on police unions. Repealing Senate Bill 5 is important for us to protect you. Please allow us the right to protect ourselves."[30] Youngstown Postal Union President John Dyce said, "It's just a continuation of what's been going on since the attack on workers rights began not only in Ohio but across the country...I think by all indications not only the citizens of Ohio but citizens across this country of ours are realizing what the agenda is of many elected leaders is and they're against it. And I think the referendum's going to pass and the state will see that we want to respect workers and the right to negotiate."[30] According to initiative effort volunteer Kate Kennedy, "We have community members, we have members of labor, we have republicans, we have democrats from all across the state and even anywhere in the United States. I mean this is happening everywhere it's important for them to all come in because it affects everyone, there's not one person that can say they are not affected by this bill."[31] President Barack Obama stated his opposition to Senate Bill 5 when he was quoted as saying: "Let's certainly not blame public employees for a financial crisis that they had nothing to do with. And let's not use this as an excuse to erode their bargaining rights. And so whether it's Wisconsin or what we're seeing in Ohio, I strongly disapprove of an approach that basically says people who are doing their jobs, providing vital services to their communities, that somehow they are finding themselves not able to collectively bargain."[15] The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police voted on the weekend of May 7, 2011 to retract their endorsement from last year of State Senator Shannon Jones, a sponsor of Senate Bill 5.[32] According to Amariah McIntosh, pastor at Phillips Chapel CME, speaking on behalf of Youngstown, Ohio local church leaders: "We are supposed to help the poor. Not hurt the poor. We're supposed to help the orphans and the widows and the strangers within our gates. And as legislation comes up that tries to do the opposite, it's our task and our call to speak on it."[33] Innovation Ohio is for the repeal of Senate Bill 5. The think tank's president, Janetta King, speaking on a radio talk show, stated: "We're here today to talk about what Senate Bill 5 actually does. Senate Bill 5 is not about budgets. It's not about good public policy. Unfortunately it's about politics."[34] Doug Stern, a Cincinnati firefighter, said in a news release release from We Are Ohio: “I’m honored to stand with my fellow first responders today to say I’m voting NO on Issue 2 because Senate Bill 5 goes too far. Senate Bill 5 makes it illegal for me to fight for safe staffing levels. This puts the safety of the people I’m trying to serve and protect, as well as my safety at risk.”[35] State Senator Jason Wilson stated about Senate Bill 5, "Number one, I don't see any direct savings in dollars, that's the first thing. Secondly is that, when we talk about people's right to collectively bargain, I think that's something that's been earned over many years, many generations of workers, and each of us stands on those who proceeded us in work."[36] According to Ohio resident Jerry Cupp: "There's a battle, and this state is very divided right now because of Senate Bill 5. Nothing good is going to come out of this. You've got all the public workers, our friends and family all lined up on our side against a few Republicans and some of the brainwashed people that actually think this state's economy is our fault. That couldn't be further from the truth."[37] In a letter to the editor, Roger Wiandt, a retired teacher, commented on Ohio Governor John Kasich's attempts to negotiate Senate Bill 5 provisions with opponents: "Gov. Kasich wants to compromise now because he realizes SB 5 will be soundly defeated in November, and that may impact his political future. If there are issues that require a second look, they can be negotiated within the guidelines of the original 1983 collective bargaining law."[38] Gary Dunn, former police union president and current president of AFSCME Local 54 argued: “I’ve been in a labor union for a long time and I never dreamed we could see such a bold assault. It’s about weakening the unions, not protecting the community. It’s just a way of devastating the labor movement.”[39] Harriett Applegate, the president of the North Shore AFL-CIO, claimed: "S.B. 5 was a frontal attack on unions. We consider this the fight of our lives."[40] According to State Senator Bill Seitz, in an address to SB5 opponents: "We may need changes (in the law), but we don't need a race to the bottom. And that's what S.B. 5 is going to give us... I'm ready to lead the charge for legal and fair reforms. But we don't need to get run over by a bus to build a better Ohio."[41] According to NAACP Ohio Conference President Sybil Edwards-McNabb, commenting on Mike Huckabee's statement on SB 5: "Huckabee’s disgusting comments show that Building a Better Ohio and its corporate-funded supporters will do anything, even advocate for illegal tactics, to keep Ohioans from voting against Issue 2. These types of comments are worrisome because could incite further attempts to suppress the vote of Ohioans. It is time for Building a Better Ohio to denounce Huckabee’s disgraceful remarks.”[42] Huckabee's comments were as follows: “Make a list [of your friends]...Call them and ask them, ‘Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?’ If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don’t go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That’s up to you how you creatively get the job done.” State Senator Cliff Hite said, "There is no way I would ever bite the hand that has fed my family for five generations," he said. "So there must be a reason that this ex-teacher of 30 years, and former building union (rep) in Bryan for a couple of years, is for it...We had an $8 billion deficit," he continued. "What part of broke don't people understand? $8 billion. You know what we did? We passed a budget that eliminated $8 billion of deficit and did not raise (Ohioans) taxes."[21] State Senator Shannon Jones, sponsor of Senate Bill 5, stated: "I’m confident that when Ohioans learn more about the substance of Senate Bill 5, they’ll be with us. We’re hearing from people across the state who are angry that they’ve been grossly misinformed by opponents of the bill. If Senate Bill 5 ends up on the ballot, we’ll work day and night to make sure Ohioans understand the truth about these reasonable reforms.”[22] Cleveland Plain Dealer Columnist Kevin O'Brien endorsed Issue 2 in a column, stating: "The result will not be rampant crime, city blocks wiped out by fire or (noticeably more) children who can't read, write or calculate. The result will be adjustments by institutions forced to do more efficient work on the public's dime. Vote "yes."" According to reports, through October 13, 2011, We Are Ohio, the group against Senate Bill 5, outspent Building a Better Ohio, the group in favor of Senate Bill 5, by a ratio of 5 to 2 for television campaign ads. Reports cited files from 17 Ohio television stations. Specifically We Are Ohio has poured in $1.92 million for television ads, while Building a Better Ohio has spent more than $741,000.
Do you know how many old ladies will die every year if this passes?!?!?




I want to make a decision now.