Our governor is piggy-backing off of the legislation that was passed in Wisconsin. Governor Kasich is blaming teachers, firefighters, policemen, and nurses for the financial problems Ohio is facing. I don't want to do any bashing or criticizing on my blog. However, I feel like no matter where we teach, we are really in this all together. What happened in Wisconsin is affecting us in Ohio, so I want to let all of you know what's happening in our state. We already have a three year pay freeze in my district... and I can only pray that I will see an increase for my formally mandated, but no longer enforced Masters degree once the three years pass. It looks like this is only the beginning...
Here's a brief overview:
What's in SB 5? (Source)
•Collective bargaining rights reduced for all Ohio public workers SB 5 preserves wording from Ohio's existing collective bargaining law that gives public workers the right to collectively bargain wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment. However, the bill contains numerous exceptions -- some broad in scope -- that severely limit, or outright prohibit, the terms and conditions subject to collective bargaining. For example, SB 5 lists 15 topics that management can refuse to negotiate. These issues include employees' qualifications and work assignments. The bill also lists topics that cannot be negotiated under any circumstances, including health care benefits costs (locked in at a minimum 15-percent employee contribution) and the number of workers required to be on duty or employed in any department of a public employer.
•Safety forces could lose right to negotiate for protective equipment.
•Workers who strike could be jailed. SB 5 bans all public workers from striking and establishes penalties for violating the ban. Under current law, only certain workers, such as police and firefighters, cannot strike. Under SB 5, employers could obtain a court order to halt any strike. Workers who violate the court order and continue to strike could be subject to a $1,000 fine and/or punishments in state law for contempt of court. A first offense for contempt is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to a $250 fine.
•Teachers could not negotiate class sizes Among the topics teachers cannot collectively bargain in SB 5 is "a maximum number of students who may be assigned to a classroom or teacher."
•Teachers' salaries tied to test scores SB 5 sets standards of performance that will determine how much teachers are paid. The standards are: the teacher's level of license; whether the teacher is considered a "highly qualified teacher," as defined by law; a "value-added measure" of student performance; teacher evaluations; and any other criteria the school board establishes. The performance-based salary schedules will vary by school district, but standardized test scores are a type of value-added measurement elsewhere in Ohio law.
•Public university professors could lose collective bargaining rights.