News Story

Public-sector Workers Not Meant For Unions

By Matt A. Mayer

Given some of the rhetoric from my friends on the left, one would think the rights given through the sheer brute force of a partisan group of politicians in 1938, if taken away in 2011 by similar means, would be tantamount to an unprecedented act in the history of Ohio.

We know there is bipartisan support across Ohio to tweak these rights, including from mayors and other governmental leaders.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and union leaders who really did spill blood to protect workers during the age of sweatshops, unsafe factories and employer-hired goon violence opposed giving public-sector workers the right to collectively bargain.

Are there truly no elements of the current system that the left will concede need to be reformed?

Pay spiking? Double dipping? Massive sick-leave payouts? Pension pickups? Longevity pay? COLAs greater than inflation? Highest-three-year-salary pension formulas? Early retirement? Million-dollar secretive retirement programs?

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Matt Mayer is the president of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy. This article was adapted from his testimony given to the Ohio Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee.