Yes on Issue 2 for Teachers, No for Unions (Part 3)

When they aren’t taking $54 from every member for an anti-reform smear campaign, Ohio Education Association (OEA) bosses pass the time by fighting with their employees. Is it weird that Ohio’s largest government union hawks expensive “solidarity” to teachers, while its managers can’t event get along with its staff?

"Bad Faith + Bad Management = Consequences" ...not if union bosses have anything to say about it!

In the past two years alone, OEA has seen a “No Confidence” vote against the union’s executive director and a $3.75 million settlement with union retirees whose health benefits the union pulled out from under them. OEA employees have described union bosses as “rife with hypocrisy,” “no better than the scabs,” “every bit as bad as the worst boards of education across the state,” and “hell-bent” on forcing a strike.

Do these sound like descriptors you would expect for people who take millions from public employees to fight for workers’ rights? Without Issue 2, OEA bosses have more power than our elected officials when it comes to the local services our tax dollars fund. Is it any wonder school districts across the state projected huge deficits back when Ted Strickland was governor, due largely to outrageous OEA demands?

Socialism enthusiasts, non-mathematicians, and taxpayer haters on Twitter have used the hashtag #StandUpOH to cloak their anti-reform campaign in populist terms. On November 8, Ohio taxpayers need to stand up for sensible government union reform; Lord knows the unions are on their feet demanding more from us!

  • Issue 2 ends automatic step increases and requires merit pay for public workers.
  • Issue 2 requires all government employees to pay 10% of their pension costs and 15% of their health insurance costs.
  • Issue 2 ends forced payment of “fair-share” fees for government workers who don’t want to join a union.
  • Issue 2 puts a stop to last-in, first-out firing policies, requiring considerations other than tenure when making layoffs.
  • Issue 2 does not affect bargaining over wages or working conditions

Ohioans, vote Yes on Issue 2! Conservatives nationwide, help spread the facts over the next few days!

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at RedState.

Unions Don’t Care About Taxpayers

Back when the professional staff of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) had an official blog, this endearing quote from Socialist author Jack London was featured in the right column of every page:

“Esau was a traitor to himself: Judas Iscariot was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country; a strikebreaker is a traitor to his God, his country, his wife, his family and his class.”

Did you know the rough-and-tumble business of taking six figures from teachers to demonize school boards and extort taxpayers was like the 19th-century Canadian tundra? Yeah, neither did I.

But then, maybe we shouldn’t hold OEA staff accountable for the things published on their website. After all, they also said this:

PSU will maintain this blog, as well as its “Friends of the Professional Staff Union” Facebook page as means of communicating with OEA members and union brothers and sisters, so check back often for new pictures and updates!

I started sharing quotes from the site, and suddenly their socialism-loving, forced-dues-demanding, OEA-boss-attacking words became unfit for public consumption. Here’s one of many reasons why:

During the past few months, the EMT [ed: Executive Management Team] has applied this anti-union attitude in a number of smaller ways that indicate a lack of respect for staff. This group of officers and managers has used their claim of “fiduciary obligation” to attack the core union principle of seniority! Specifically, the actions of the EMT indicate that seniority does not matter in the major arena of vacancies and transfers! What core contract principle will be next? Sick Leave? Health Insurance? Salaries?

Basing management decisions on business needs and merit? Inconceivable! OEA bosses, who talk about fiscal responsibility only as it relates to money already siphoned from public workers’ paychecks into union coffers, don’t get along well with OEA staff. No surprise there.

Would you want your School Board and/or the Administration to be able to treat you and your contract this way—just by claiming they have to protect the interest of taxpayers? We think not!

And there it is: the simple, ugly truth. OEA doesn’t care about taxpayers, because taxpayers aren’t covered by a union contract. Thanks to Ohio’s broken government union laws, every handout a politician gives the unions is automatically assumed to be included in the next contract. Whatever We Are Ohio tells you, Issue 2 provides sensible reforms to the power of government unions who want only one thing: more.

On November 8, vote Yes on Issue 2!

Cross-posted at RedState.

OEA Employee Describes Effects of a Strike

In both 2009 and 2010, Ohio’s largest government union fought over contract terms with more than 100 of their employees. Ohio Education Association (OEA) bosses rake in millions, but that doesn’t mean they like handing out the same benefits they demand from you!

Take it from an OEA employee, in an August 29, 2009 entry on an official OEA staff blog:

OEA, which seems hell-bent on forcing its Professional Staff Union (PSU) to strike the organization, just doesn’t seem to understand that forcing its employees to strike is a short term tactical move that has very long-lasting internal and external implications.

What lasting effects of a strike was this professional agitator concerned about?

Trust is gone, and the aftermath of a strike is distrust, anger, and at times, downright hatred.

Hatred? That’s the emotion I’m accused of displaying every time I dare to criticize the Ohio Education Association! But remember, these are the words of an OEA employee and not some worker-hating union-buster.

If the OEA management team truly cares about its members and the stability of the organization, it will bargain a fair settlement with its professional employees prior to September 1.

In 2009, OEA settled their contract dispute before the union’s staff went on strike. In 2010… not so much. In 2011, Ohio taxpayers have their first chance in a generation to fix a broken system where hypocritical union bosses have more power than our elected officials. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

OEA Employee: “OEA continues to propose a regressive package”

The union bosses behind We Are Ohio claim they’re concerned about the “unfair, unsafe” reforms in Senate Bill 5. When it comes to mistreating employees, the front group’s biggest donor would know!

An Ohio Education Association (OEA) employee explains in this August 5, 2009 post from an official union staff blog:

OEA continues to propose a regressive package complete with significant increases in workload, diminution of current rights and extreme cost-shifting of health care to the employees. All of which are completely inconsistent with the stance OEA promotes its members take with their board of education.

Where government unions are concerned, what’s good for taxpayers is apparently no good for the unions. More and more of your money is demanded by union bosses who get rich on member dues… and fail to meet the standards they force on taxpayers.

Who should decide how government employees are managed: your elected officials, or hypocritical union bosses? On November 8, vote for reasonable reforms that will empower Ohio taxpayers. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

Yes on Issue 2 for Teachers, No for Unions (Part 2)

To kill government union reform in Ohio, Ohio’s NEA affiliate charged every member an extra $54 this year. The Ohio Education Association (OEA) has contributed $5.8 million to a $30.5 million campaign whose message is equal parts simple and dishonest:

Vote NO on Issue 2 on November 8th to help repeal Senate Bill 5, the unfair attack on employee rights and worker safety in Ohio.

How do we know passing Issue 2 will hurt public employees? Because union bosses – who, coincidentally, are wealthy because of Ohio’s broken status quo – say so. In addition to being We Are Ohio‘s biggest donor, OEA is the state’s largest public union… let’s investigate whether OEA bosses are as trustworthy as they claim!

Last summer, more than 100 OEA staff went on strike against the union. Ask OEA’s own workforce whether taxpayers should buy the union’s rhetoric…

There are two possible explanations for the attacks directed at OEA bosses from OEA staff:

  1. OEA staffers use cynical, melodramatic theatrics to get what they want.
  2. OEA bosses demonize elected officials while mistreating their own employees.

Whether OEA staff are overpaid hypocrites or OEA bosses are overpaid hypocrites, the money’s coming from the same place: Ohio teachers’ paychecks. This is how government unions work by design, and Issue 2 is a real chance to fix Ohio’s broken system.

Ohioans, vote Yes on Issue 2! Everyone else, please help combat the union smear campaign – November 8 is fast approaching.

For more Issue 2 coverage, follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at RedState.

OEA Member Attacks Workers!

OEA employees on strike, summer 2010. Written on the middle striker's sign: "Because OEA sucks!"

The fight over Senate Bill 5 isn’t the first time government unions have leaned on emotion and hyperbole to get their way. Sometimes the tactic is turned against the Ohio Education Association (OEA) itself… by the union’s employees!

In a fun case of unionized union staff trumping the Solidarity FistTM powers of union bosses, OEA employees highlighted quotes from Ohio teachers despairing over an expiring union contract. This is one example from an August 28, 2009 post on an official OEA staff blog:

Here in Springboro, my members would be agast [sic] to learn that their union, the OEA, is not willing to bargain with its own union workers in a manner that reflects the willingness to practice-what-it preaches.

Whoa there, Springboro teacher – suggesting that OEA bosses don’t meet their own standards is no good! This is the sort of criticism that results in Issue 2 supporters being slandered for months on end.

Are OEA bosses worse managers than the elected officials they demonize, or is this sort of rhetoric just business as usual for government unions? Either way, taxpayers have no reason to believe We Are Ohio’s biggest in-state donor when it comes to the reforms in Issue 2.

On November 8, help rein in the union bosses who promise the moon from taxpayer funds but suddenly clam up when it comes to their own: Vote Yes on Issue 2!

OEA Employee: “OEA’s attitude is about power”

OEA Employees on Strike, Summer 2010

If We Are Ohio’s rhetoric is any indication, unions don’t care for elected officials who stand in their way. The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is the state’s largest public union, so their employees seem like the folks to confirm this! From an August 29, 2009 post on an official OEA staff blog:

Some negotiations are settled peacefully and uneventfully by enlightened boards of education who value their employees.

Of course, OEA defines “enlightened boards of education” as the ones who give OEA whatever it demands.

And then there are those boards of education whose modus operandi is to constantly be power-hungry, contentious, self-serving and extremely short sighted.

Am I the only one who thinks “self-serving” is an odd way to describe public officials who look out for the public?

Still, OEA staff are probably just mimicking the combative tone passed down from union bosses

OEA talks a good game with its members — giving the impression that true collective bargaining is moving merrily along and that true progress is being made at the negotiations table. But actions speak louder than words, and the truth is that the OEA is acting every bit as bad as the worst boards of education across the state for whom its own members work. And the saddest part of all is that OEA’s attitude is about power — not about progress, fairness, the financial future of the organization, or any other factor upon which OEA’s conduct should be based.

Like so many quotes from OEA staff, “OEA is acting every bit as bad as the worst boards of education” is a criticism we can process one of two ways:

  1. Unions will be unions – to get their hands on more dues cash, OEA staff say things they don’t mean.
  2. OEA bosses demonize public officials while behaving the same way, if not worse.

Are OEA bosses hypocrites who mistreat their employees, or are OEA employees hypocrites who squeeze big bucks out of the teachers they claim to speak for? Whatever your political bent, you should be skeptical when the people benefiting from a broken status quo insist reform would be the worst.

Get the facts about the reasonable government union reforms in Senate Bill 5, and vote Yes on Issue 2!

OEA President: “Members can not afford higher dues”

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) has nearly 130,000 members, and takes “fair share” dues from thousands more education employees across the state. OEA is the biggest in-state donor to We Are Ohio, so documented proof of OEA hypocrisy is… inconvenient.

OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks, through an OEA employee's eyes

Is that why the official blog of the Professional Staff Union (PSU), which represents more than 100 OEA employees, disappeared a few weeks after I began posting quotes? Of course not, according to We Are Ohio apologists!

Still, in that boring, irrelevant blog, an 8/29/2010 email from OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks included this startling revelation:

I’m also taking into account those locals who have had wage freezes, no step increases, and pay higher cost for health care, or who took no increases in pay to keep healthcare.

Last summer, the OEA President was eager to explain why OEA salaries couldn’t increase forever with no relation to reality. A fair argument, with union staff pay averaging more than $95,000.

I’m also taking into account the local presidents who have told me to please keep the cost down of PSU because there [sic] members can not afford higher dues for their(PSU)contract

Cause and effect, both together in one sentence!? When it comes to once-public funds that have been siphoned into OEA’s hands, OEA is quick to explain nothing is free.

More money for OEA employees has to come from somewhere, and President Frost-Brooks doesn’t want members to have a reason to step out of line. Taxpayers, on the other hand, are none of OEA’s concern, so basic economics go out the window when defending the unsustainable benefits union bosses promise to members.

In an email from the previous year’s OEA – PSU contract fight, President Frost-Brooks showed how much tact $196,294 could get you in 2009:

Communications by PSU lack credibility because they are misleading and sometimes inaccurate.

Nothing says “solidarity professional” like calling your employees liars! I doubt this is the sort of representation many Ohio teachers have in mind when they fork over hundreds of dollars to OEA each year.

Unlike communications from OEA employees, the words of OEA bosses carry unquestionable authority. Undermining my point that government union leaders tend to be selfish hacks, Frost-Brooks took a paltry $190,000 from Ohio educators in fiscal 2010.

Ohio teachers and taxpayers should unite to limit the power of selfish, cynical union bosses: Vote Yes on Issue 2!

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

OEA Employee: “Shame on you, OEA”

In a fight between two unions, who would The Big Guy choose?

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is the biggest in-state donor to We Are Ohio, the union front slandering Senate Bill 5’s commonsense reforms.

OEA tells elaborate tales of “solidarity,” because union income depends on convincing educators the union is their only friend. See, OEA leaders get rich taking money from workers on the premise that public employees need protection from the public. Tiny plot hole: the union has an awful relationship with its own employees.

The Professional Staff Union (PSU) represents more than 100 OEA employees, who went on strike against OEA just one year ago. Here’s a September 2, 2010 post from the official PSU blog (I could list a URL for this post, but OEA staff wiped the site when I started sharing its content; here’s a PDF copy):

Retired Member Tim Kohl, who is a past president of Holgate TA (and self-proclaimed “past problem maker”) was denied access to OEA’s property today. Tim was a dues-paying member for 35-years. OEA’s hired “security” thugs told him “no one enters the property.” Shame on you, OEA – for disrespecting a long-time, dues-paying member in that way!

“Shame on you, OEA” – for doing the exact things you accuse elected officials of scheming. If you’d like more evidence OEA bosses have too much power, there’s plenty to be had.

On November 8, vote for sensible reforms to Ohio’s broken government union law. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

Video: Issue 2 Racists Anonymous

Do you support government union reform? If so, you’re a racist.

Not to worry; you aren’t alone. We can get through this with some good ol’ fashioned self-loathing and obedience to We Are Ohio! If you’ve recently learned from Ohio’s public union bosses that you’re a minority-hating bigot because you expect public employees to answer to the public, Issue 2 Racists Anonymous is for you:

Here are the Dispatch quotes for the first and second We Are Ohio TV spots, as well as the citation from We Are Ohio’s helpful “Jim Crow” radio ad.

For union boss pay, refer to the 2010 OEA, OAPSE (AFSCME Local 4) and AFSCME Council 8 reports to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.