Gets curiouser and curiouser…
First, (and thank you to commenter morzer for this) Governor Walker seems to be spreading some confusion on collective bargaining:
And yet on the morning of Feb. 18, 2011 — a day after Democratic state senators fled to Illinois to prevent a vote on the bill — Walker made a startling declaration in a Milwaukee radio interview. Walker then added: “Those fully remain intact. Civil service does not get altered by the modest changes we’re talking about here. Collective bargaining is fully intact. You’ve got merit hiring, you’ve got just cause for termination and for discipline. All those things remain.”
Collective bargaining would remain “fully intact”? But let’s take a look at what was said.
In contending that collective bargaining would remain fully intact, Walker mixed civil service protections with collective bargaining rights. They are not the same.Walker himself has outlined how his budget-repair bill would limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees. To now say now say collective bargaining would remain “fully intact” is not just false, it’s ridiculously false.
On to Ohio, and the excellent Ohio political site, Plunderbund. Walker’s proposal really is radical, which may be why he’s spreading misinformation about it.
The Canton Repository, a newspaper that endorsed Kasich:
The collective bargaining process in Ohio isn’t broken. It does need to be tweaked. But state employees don’t need to be stripped of collective bargaining rights.
Akron Beacon Journal:
The collective-bargaining law has been an asset in providing a vehicle for settling disputes that many times had turned ugly. Now the law requires updating and repair. Must that include the elimination of collective bargaining at the state level? Proponents still haven’t offered a persuasive answer. Take such steps, and the impression builds of a party more interested in ideological warfare than responsibly solving a problem.
A bill on a fast track in the Ohio Senate would outlaw the use of binding arbitration to resolve contract disputes that involve police officers and firefighters, who are legally barred from striking. John Kasich and the General Assembly are using the bare cupboard in the Statehouse as a pretext to roll back decades’ worth of labor law
Cleveland Plain-Dealer, another paper that endorsed Kasich:
That said, it’s unfortunate the GOP approach has been to set a maximalist tone on an issue that should be looked at carefully —-before discarding a system that has brought decades of labor peace to the public sector, just as it was intended to do. On one front, the Jones bill is incontestably radical. It would flat-out abolish collective bargaining for employees of the state government and of state-aided colleges, and would abolish longevity pay and “step” increases.
“Decades of labor peace”. So why launch a preemptive assault, conservatives? What’s going on here?
Conservatives in the Ohio legislature cannot make a rational argument that connects their actions on collective bargaining to the budget. Ohio has a long history with collective bargaining, and the negotiation process works. They cannot explain why they refuse to sit down with workers, or why they seek to write the negotiation process out of law permanently and deny employees a seat at the table. Until they can do that, I have to assume they have some national political objective that is unrelated to the state budget. I wonder when they’ll get around to telling Ohio newspapers or their state constituents what that national objective might be?