Berry: Does SB5 restrict bargaining for emergency equipment and training?Written by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opponents to Issue 2 are making a series of claims meant to frighten voters into repealing SB5.
One such claim is that it will make emergency equipment and training less readily available. Quoting from the opposition’s website, http://action.weareohio.com/page/s/issue2primer <http://action.weareohio.com/page/s/issue2primer> : “Issue 2 puts all our families’ safety at risk. It makes it harder for emergency responders, police and firefighters to negotiate for critical safety equipment and training that protects us all.”
Since no citation for this claim (or, for that matter, any other claim on that page) is provided, I searched the issue’s text for “equipment” and “training.” Rather than finding any such language as this, I learned that, according to Sec. 4117.08(C), SB5 does not “[impair] the right and responsibility of each public employer” to “(8) Determine the type of equipment used and the sequence of work processes,” and, “(9) Determine the making of technological alterations by revising either process or equipment or both.” More to the point, Sec. 4117.08(F) states, “Notwithstanding division (C) of this section, equipment issues directly related to personal safety are subject to collective bargaining.” So much for the myth that SB5 bans collective bargaining.
As for training, most of the citations involving training of emergency personnel make such training mandatory; see Sec. 505.38 and 505.49. And none in any way support the claim that SB5 makes it harder to negotiate for training.
If you will pardon a double negative, Sec. 4117.08 (B) completely omits equipment and training from the list of subjects that are not, “appropriate subjects for collective bargaining.” In other words: Under SB5, both equipment and training for emergency personnel are subject to collective bargaining; and We are Ohio evidently thinks that making public employers responsible to manage equipment and work processes is a limitation on that process.
But since the opponents mention public safety: Where are their concerns about this when politicians make cuts to emergency services the means of choice in resolving budget deficits that were largely induced by increasingly unaffordable employee benefits and pensions? We are Ohio laughably claims that Issue 2 proponents think “teachers, nurses, firefighters” are to blame for these deficits. The fault clearly lies elsewhere: With politicians, and with the voters.
Politicians are at fault for committing government entities to lavish contracts with growing numbers of present and past employees. If you want to argue this, let’s start with the 23 Chicago labor officials who stand to collect $56 million in city pensions because, under laws crafted in 1991 by politicians, their pensions are based not on wages earned as public employees, but on what their unions pay them as executives.
They are also at fault for fulfilling the oft-quoted but oft-ignored warning from 18th century Scottish historian Alexander Tytler, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” They accomplish this by pandering to public employees for votes, then rewarding those votes by keeping the largess coming at taxpayer expense.
We, the voters, are at fault for time and again electing people who engage in these practices. If we even bother to vote, we habitually push the button next to a name solely because we recognize it, or it’s followed by the correct party abbreviation, or the power brokers said to, or that person has promised us sufficient goodies to buy our votes; and we ignore to our detriment the record of incompetence, addiction to power and faithlessness to the Constitution that trails so many politicians. Our fault exceeds theirs, because if not for us they would not be in power.
We are Ohio is using Chico Marx’s classic flimflam line: “Who ya gonna believe? Me, or your own eyes?” In the grand style of voter dereliction just described, they expect you to believe their claims solely because they made them. I don’t want you to believe them, or me. Do what I did: Study the bill for yourself and see what it says. SB5′s text is athttp://www.legislature.state.oh.us/BillText129/129_SB_5_EN_N.pdf <http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/BillText129/129_SB_5_EN_N.pdf> and it’s fully searchable.
I am Ohio, and so is every Ohioan who favors Issue 2.