Extreme Makeover SB5

I was literally getting a live blog set up in the Statehouse Atrium for today’s Senate Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee when Chairman Bacon announced that given nobody has seen the Omnibus Amendment, the committee would adjourn until tomorrow morning. 

We haven’t had time to process this massive amendment.  Nobody has.  It’s 100 pages of amendments to a 500 page bill.  And everyone just got it.  There was no sponsor testimony to explain these amendments.  There is no Legislative Service Commission analysis yet.

And they’re going to vote on this bill tomorrow morning.  First, the Senate cancels session.  We arrive to find the entire Senate chamber roped off.  Then the committee, which had acknowledged that there were be no vote today, at least suggested there would be some explanation of what these amendments are.

Meanwhile Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) wrote a letter to the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer warning that his party is overreaching  in SB 5.

[UPDATE:] Senator Jones’ office has just released a summary of the Omnibus Amendment.  Please note these claims have not yet been verified by independent legislative analysis.

Here’s what Jones’ claims her amendment bill changes:

  1. Restores collective bargaining for all employees as indicated by President Niehaus on Thursday.
  2. Public employees have no right to strike, the penalty for illegal striking are subject to removal with permanent replacement workers to docking twice the daily pay rate.  Furthermore, a court may issue an injunction punishable with a fine up to $1,000 to 30 days in jail, or both if the order is violated.
  3. Wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment are subject to collective bargaining, but health care benefits, pension pick-ups, privatization of services, workforce levels, and other provisions are not.
  4. In lieu of binding arbitration, any part may request the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) to intervene who can appoint a mediator.  If that doesn’t work, the parties can also request the appointment of a fact finder.  If there is still a stalemate, the parties submit their last best offer to the legislative body at that governmental level, who makes the requests public before then holding a meeting to choose one.  Whichever offer they choose is binding for at least three years.
  5. Declares that any bargaining unit that includes rank and file firefighters with those who rank lieutenant or above (similar to police departments) will no longer to be eligible be an appropriate bargaining unit that can be recognized by SERB.
  6. The bill reinstates pay ranges, but still eliminates step values and automatic raises.  Raises in the ranges can be given based on merit.  Teacher pay is negotiable and can be based on the level of license held by the teacher, whether the teacher is a “highly qualified teacher” as defined in the statute, results of performance evaluations, and the value-added measure usted to determine student performance.
  7. The bill limits employee vacation & sick leave.  Vacation leave is capped at 7.7. hours per biweekly pay period after 19 years of service.  Sick leave for county, municipal, and civil service township service, and state college and universities is accrued at 10 days a year.
  8. Health care benefits will apply equally to all employees, regardless of whether they are able to collective bargain.
  9. Allows all collective bargaining agreements to be reopened under a fiscal emergency/watch.
  10. Teachers will now be allowed to negotiate an initial collective bargaining agreement for up to three years.  Subsequent contracts are two to five years.
  11. Dictates that university faculty that “exercise managerial authority” are not subject to collective bargaining.
  12. “Prohibits length of service (seniority) from being the sole factor in determining layoffs and requires compliance with federal anti-discrimination statutes.  For teachers, preference is given to teachers under continuing contracts, then the school board considers the relative quality of performance as the principal fact in determining reductions.

We’ll have our own reflection on this later, likely not until late tonight.

OmnibusSubSB5

Evangelize!
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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NL4YSAIMN2T4LVCEXCPTJSEUN4 Palli

    What’s hiding?

  • leeseh

    I like the fact that collective bargaining is back. Vacation capping I could live with. Striking is not allowed during the contract and even when it expires, you have to go through other steps to even get to a strike vote so is most likely moot anyway. However, I don’t see how we can agree to seniority not being a factor in layoffs. So, in other words, someone with 29 years and 11 months experience can be laid off with no recourse (supposedly for budget purposes) but someone with 3 years won’t be? They can make you pay 90% of your health care cost for a plan that only they can choose? Merit pay raises are a joke that no way shape or form should be agreed to.

  • http://twitter.com/dcviper985 David Corey

    While I don’t think that seniority should be a factor in determining who to let go, I do think there should be a pension “safe-harbor” for persons close to retirement. But as far as seniority is concerned, I’ve seen people that are close to retirement, and are just sitting around collecting a pay check (where I work, that is. I can’t comment on what goes on anywhere else. No, I don’t work in the schools/I do work in government). I honestly don’t see a problem with casting off the dead weight in favor of younger more energetic employees who are performing at or above the standard.

  • leeseh

    Again, the problem is the same as “merit” raises. Who decides who is “dead weight” or who “merits” a raise. I’ve seen many people promoted that had little or no merit because a supervisor likes them and people who worked hard get pushed aside for that favorite.

  • leeseh

    I also forgot, there are provisions in contracts for penalizing bad employees. The management need to take those steps. So the bull that you can’t rid of union employees is wrong. You have to have management that is willing to fill out the paperwork, track and document the problems and go through the system. Management doesn’t want to do that, so then the bad employees get away with whatever they did. Then management throws up their hands and say, “See, you can’t get rid of them!”

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    really– I have never seen anything so silly in my life — uh where I am you need 25 yrs and age 55 to even think of retiring– so if they decide to lay off anf little Jimmy Joe has been there 3 yrs and you have been there 24 and not near the age — its ok if they let you go and keep Jimmy Joe?– you have pretty much let them have your retirement ( that makes you the cast off !! ) nope I dont agree– seniority should always count –
    ( excuse me I am not going back to the 1930″s)

  • Anonymous

    What I don’t understand is how maintaining collective bargaining while making it illegal to strike is at all effective for public workers? If they can’t strike..if they can be fired for striking then what leverage do they have at the bargaining table?

  • Anonymous

    Seniority is a way of preventing abuse so management doesn’t fire someone for the sole reason that they’ve been there longer and make more. Should it be the only criteria? No. But in a way it’s the fairest. Someone who has only 3 years in has more opportunity to find other employment than someone who has been there 20 years and is a few years short of retirement. Younger employees does not necessarily mean ‘more energetic’ employees performing at or above standard. Dead weight isn’t always the older person. That’s incredibly ageist.

  • Anonymous

    Seniority is a way of preventing abuse so management doesn’t fire someone for the sole reason that they’ve been there longer and make more. Should it be the only criteria? No. But in a way it’s the fairest. Someone who has only 3 years in has more opportunity to find other employment than someone who has been there 20 years and is a few years short of retirement. Younger employees does not necessarily mean ‘more energetic’ employees performing at or above standard. Dead weight isn’t always the older person. That’s incredibly ageist.

  • Operationpurple1

    Wasn’t a lot of these things in the Race to the Top Fund requirements? They look familar.

  • James

    I could tell you right now who would get “merit” raises at our school. They are the same teachers who have lunch with the principal, and hang out at his house on weekends.

    I recently read a great take on “merit” pay. Merit pay for teachers would be similar to merit pay for, say, someone who builds cars …

    But instead of rewarding the auto worker for the quality of the CAR he has constructed, you would evaluate him based on the quality of the DRIVER who buys that car.

    The logic is sound, because teachers have about as much control over the students who use the education they offer as an auto worker has over the driver who buys one of his cars. Merit pay is absurd, unquantifiable, subjective, and fraught with unfairness and cronyism. Anyone who thinks it could work has never taught humans.

  • GUEST

    I was down there. There were lots of people. All I can say is ph**k the people how voted for R’s since they don’t work for us and ph**k the people who didn’t vote at all.

  • Rgtmwlly

    Voting right away on a bill no one has seen. Sounds just like the health care travesty! Looks like the Ohio senate learned how to drop legislation from the Democrats. Except about 2,500 fewer pages, a lot more time to digest it, and it actually saves taxpayer money. But otherwise, just like the Democrats!

  • Anonymous

    You should have met up with the PlunderCrew. Sorry we missed you.

  • Anonymous

    You should have met up with the PlunderCrew. Sorry we missed you.

  • Pingback: SB 5 amendments leave Higher Education flabbergasted (and yours truly paranoid)

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