Ohio Senate is busy on school issues; Senate Bill 5 would change collective bargaining

Last week, several new Senate Bills (SB) were introduced that will greatly affect schools.  Here is a summary of what is currently being discussed:

  • SB 18 would return the number of excused calamity days to 5 from 3 for the current school year
  • SB 9 would eliminate the requirement for districts to provide all-day kindergarten and continue to allow districts to charge a fee for all-day kindergarten if they do offer it
  • SB 15 would require the State Board of Education to recommend performance standards for dropout programs operated by school districts

The largest and most far-reaching Senate Bill current under discussion is SB 5, which would make changes to Ohio’s collective bargaining law.  This would affect not only school districts, but all public employees.  Some of the more important provisions for school districts outlined in the bill include:

  • Making compensation merit-based and eliminating current salary schedules and automatic annual “step increases”
  • Length of service would no longer be the only deciding factor in layoffs, adding efficiency, appointment type, relative quality of performance and “other factors” into the equation
  • Bars an employer from picking up an employee’s contribution to pension
  • Requires employees to pay at least 20% of their health care plan
  • And much more.

A news article explaining the bill can be found here.

Ohio is not the only state seeking to change union-related state employee laws; Wisconsin was the first, receiving plenty of press and leading the way for other states from here to Florida.  For an NPR report, click here.

2 Responses to “Ohio Senate is busy on school issues; Senate Bill 5 would change collective bargaining”

  1. Herta Pfeiffer Says:

    Thank you for this information! SB 5 is a bill long overdue … It is time to make fair and reasonable salary and benefit comparisons among public employees and the private sector. Hopefully the public will demand to know all salaries, the bases of all raises, days off, and public employees’ own contributions toward their health care costs, retirement, etc. and what kind of coverage is provided under the “health care” umbrella … optical, dental, etc. I believe that the tax payers and employees in the private sector need this information to make fair judgments and comparisons. I believe most people would like to see yearly reporting on salary and benefits for every public employee; not necessarily by name, but by length of service and job description/duties.

    We all appreciate the work of teachers, and the influence they exert on students by their dedication and involvement in their lives. But now is the time to make changes and improvements, especially in the case of automatic raises and the public’s responsibility for paying such a large portion health care coverage.
    It is just not feasible in the “real world” anymore.

  2. Shirley Trester Says:

    Truly enjoyed your blog/report on Milford Schools. Have been opposed to automatic step up salaries of public employees when the majority of Milford taxpayers make less.

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