Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Problem With Ohio Senate Bill 5

There are certainly reforms that should be made with how the state relates to its public sector unions. Unfortunately, many knowledgeable people close to the political process believe that the legislators and Governor’s Office rushed Senate Bill 5 through the legislative process and produced a flawed bill. Senate Bill 5 gives governing bodies both executive power to manage their employees—as they rightly should have—but also judicial power to settle labor disputes between management and labor--which they should not have. They should have taken the time to develop a labor dispute resolution process that does not violate the constitutional checks and balances provided by the separation of powers. There needs to be an objective third party that mediates labor disputes. Ohio Senate Bill 5 does not provide for this.

They also should not have mandated a teacher evaluation process that the framework for had yet to even be developed. This amounts to an ex post facto law. Requiring public employees to contribute 10% of their incomes to their retirement and pay 15% of their health care costs is very reasonable, but that is not what this 304-page bill does. It completes undermines the whole relationship between management and labor—which needed to be reformed—but it does not replace it with a system that satisfies the requirements of the law or is better for the good people of Ohio. Hopefully, one way or another these flaws produced by political expediency and simplistic ideology will be remedied with a more effective system than the one created by Ohio Senate Bill 5.