Collective bargaining: Getting it right

Wow. Do you see all the whooping and hollering going on in Columbus and Wisconsin? People with homemade signs. People with colorful T-shirts identifying which union they belong to and clever cheeky slogans. People screaming to shout down the other side. 

Such theater. Such drama. But what is the truth, and what can we citizens do to make sure our lawmakers get it right? Here are some facts: The unions don’t want to give up the power given to them by Governor Celeste. The State of Ohio is $8 billion dollars in debt. There are massive abuses to the system, a system that is funded by taxpayer money. Nobody wants to lay off the guys who run into burning buildings but nobody wants to keep the lazy guys who are sleeping in the back and clocking in the overtime for 30 years, either.   

Reasonable people can look at this bill and fix it. I was in Columbus on March 8 in support of SB 5. While there, I spoke to two young men who were joining the protest against SB 5. They wanted a picture with me and my sign (Balance the Budget Ohio – Thank you Governor Kasich). 

We talked for over 40 minutes. Their families have small businesses. They get that mom and pop don’t get paid holidays, vacations, overtime, pensions, health care, or “pick ups” (where the employer gets stuck picking up the employee contribution to a retirement fund). But they had valid points about negotiations and safety concerns. They were sane and reasonable.

As a Tea Party person, I can only speak for myself. That is what Tea Party people do, think as individuals. We are ticked off with the left for spending us into debt with massive government waste and crazy benefits. We are ticked off with the right because they haven’t shown a willingness to represent those of us who can’t afford lobbyists. We hate politics. 

Those young men got it. Politics won’t solve the problems of prison guards who need new safety vests. Unions won’t help fix the bill because they NEED it to be wrong so they can scream about it and drive up the hysteria for a referendum on the ballot box in November. In the end, everyone loses. Unless we listen to each other.  

I say stop yelling and get it right. Make the tweaks and corrections. If sane people can come up with suggestions on how we can get this right, I’m ready to stand with them and have that fight, no matter which side of the political teeter-totter it comes from. Together, we the people can be the adults who are reasonable, sane people and do what needs to be done. Now is the time. Ohio is the place.   

– Cynthea Sabolich, Westlake

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.22.2011