Ohio Battle Over Collective Bargaining Takes to TV

By Sean Cavanagh — September 08, 2011 1 min read
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A measure to repeal an Ohio law that limits teachers’ and other public employees’ collective bargaining powers has made it on the ballot. And now we’re getting an early taste of the battle to win the hearts, minds, and votes of state residents, delivered through (how else?) TV spots.

The first couple ads headed out the door aren’t focused on schools, specifically, but whether the law will bring cost-savings to local government—or deep and harmful cuts. The measure to repeal the law is now known as Issue 2.

One of the ads, released by a group supporting the law, Building a Better Ohio, features the mayor of Toledo, a former firefighter who once lost his job during budget cuts, arguing that the law will save local governments money—and prevent future layoffs.

The opposite point of view is served up in an ad released by We Are Ohio, a group advocating for repeal of the law. Its spot basically argues that by limiting the ability of public employees to bargain over working conditions, the law will undermine the ability of local governments—in this case, firefighters—to do their jobs.

Those battling on both sides of the issue are making similiar arguments about education.

Gov. John Kasich and Republicans who backed the law contend the measure will save school jobs by helping districts control costs. Opponents say the measure punishes teachers and other school employees, and that whatever costs savings are brought to districts won’t be enough to make up for cuts that Kasich has made to K-12 in his budget.

Expect the on-air campaining to pick up steam between now and Nov. 8.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.