SB5 Passes Ohio Senate 17-16
COLUMBUS — A bill designed to restrict collective bargaining by state employees has narrowly passed in the Ohio Senate.
Senate Bill 5 is lauded by supporters for allowing the state to lower costs and make state employees pay more for their health care and benefits, while still allowing collective bargaining for salaries.
“Our cities are not making their pension payments, they are not making their workers comp payments, they are not doing infrastructure projects, they are gutting basic services,” said Sen. Shannon Jones, the bill’s sponsor. “Why? Because their hands are tied by collective bargaining agreements.”
Under Senate Bill 5, unionized workers could negotiate wages, hours and certain work conditions, but not health care, sick time or pension benefits.
Opponents say the bill does not create cost savings and removes or changes benefits that make public-sector work attractive over generally better-paying jobs in the private sector.
The vote on the bill was 17 to 16, with six Republicans voting against the measure.
The measure now goes to the state House, where the GOP holds a 59-40 majority.
Republicans Tim Grendell, of Chesterland, and Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati, said at a hearing Wednesday that a dispute-resolution process outlined in the bill is unfair because it gives elected officials the final say on contract disagreements.
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