News Release: Innovation Ohio Says Facts Don’t Support Senate Bill 5

For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2011

Contact:  Dale Butland
614-783-5833

INNOVATION OHIO SAYS FACTS DON’T MERIT ENDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR TEACHERS

Columbus, Ohio — Innovation Ohio, a newly formed progressive think tank in Columbus, kicked off its organizational launch today with a stinging indictment of the attempt to strip Ohio teachers of their collective bargaining rights. Under the terms of Senate Bill 5 —introduced by State Sen. Shannon Jones and supported by Gov. John Kasich and many conservative law-makers — teachers would effectively lose many of the collective bargaining rights that have been in place since 1983. Supporters of the bill say the change is necessary to control costs and balance.

At the news conference, Innovation Ohio said that SB 5 would result in “relatively minor short-term state budget savings,” all of which “could be achieved through the current collective bargaining law.” Innovation Ohio also released a report  released a “Ohio Teachers and Collective Bargaining: An Analysis.” Among the report’s findings:

  • Far from being uncooperative or unyielding, Ohio teachers have made one of the largest financial sacrifices in the country, resulting in an average pay cut of 4% in 2008-09, the worst year of the recession. The national average was a pay increase.
  • States with no or limited collective bargaining laws have lower student achievement and far greater volatility in wages than collective bargaining states.
  • Under Ohio’s current collective bargaining law, teachers not only sacrificed financially, but also endorsed a landmark education reform law (HB 1) which, among other things, more than doubles the years needed for tenure, makes it easier to fire ineffective teachers, allows for lay-offs in cases of district financial hardship, and includes student achievement as part of a new and nationally-acclaimed teacher evaluation system.
  • There is no evidence that ending or eroding collective bargaining for teachers would improve student success, or that ending it is necessary to institute still-needed reforms.

Innovation Ohio Communications Director Dale Butland said:

“Facts are important – especially when passing major legislation or radical changes to long-standing public policy. If the proposed changes to the current collective bargaining for teachers won’t significantly impact Ohio’s budget deficit, and if teachers are already agreeing to the kind of reforms we need to improve the system and student performance, there is no compelling reason to repeal or weaken a law that that has been in place since the Reagan Administration.”

Former State Representative Steve Dyer, an acknowledged expert on education policy in Ohio, appeared with Butland and took questions from reporters.

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