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· March 29, 2011

Analysis: SB5 Grants New, Broad Powers to Break a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Research Overview
Senate Bill 5 grants substantial and unchecked power to the Governor, Auditor of State and Board of Regents to suspend public employee salaries, benefit increases and modify or terminate collective bargaining agreements. In fact, the ease in which any of these entities may declare fiscal emergency or watch, allowing the elimination of specific contractual provisions within the agreement, undermines the collective bargaining agreement. All provisions advocated for by the employee organization, and  reluctantly agreed to by the public employer, may be targeted, thereby ignoring the sanctity of the contract and allowing the pubic employer to retroactively repeal provisions of the agreement they could  not suppress through the bargaining process. Not only does SB 5 grant the Governor, Auditor of State and the Board of Regents the broad and ill-defined power to declare fiscal watches and/or emergencies and thereby open the door to the modification and/or termination of existing collective bargaining agreements, it also denies public employees any recourse to challenge those actions. Read the report.

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