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Strickland, Brown to speak at SB5 rally

Published 9:33am Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Sen. Sherrod Brown are among the speakers at an upcoming rally against Senate bill 5.

The Southeast Ohio Solidarity Rally will be from 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Gallia County Junior Fair Grounds.

Rally committee co-chair Liz Shaw said the goal of the event is to encourage Ohioans to vote against Senate Bill 5, which is on the ballot for the November election.

Approximately 1.3 million Ohioans signed petitions to get Senate Bill 5 on the ballot. Only about 230,000 signatures were needed. Each county was required to collect signatures representing 3 percent of the voter turnout of 2011. All the counties got at least 6 percent, she said.

“(That) gives me a good feeling about what they feel, (but) feeling it and doing it are two different things,” Shaw said. “They have to vote how they felt in the summer. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about it to convince people not to vote against it. We feel like it’s very important to remind people of what they felt. That’s why we’re having the rally.”

Known as the union-busting bill, Senate Bill 5 would limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees including teachers, police officers and firefighters.

Fairland school district employee Barbara Ward helped collect 800 signatures in opposition of the bill in the Proctorville area. A bus driver for 31 years, Ward said the issue most hits home with her because it would mean that employers could fire employees for any reason. Ward had breast cancer and had to take time off and use the district’s health insurance, both of which could be a reason for employers possibly wanting to fire someone, she said. Age and pay scale, too, could be a reason that employer’s want to dismiss an employee, she said.

“Pay attention to what they’re saying,” Ward said. “Everyone in public service — police officers, fire fighters, school teachers — everyone that’s in public service is under attack. These are jobs we dedicated our whole lives to… I feel strongly about it. Vote no on issue 2.”

Ward said she will not be attending the rally because of another engagement but her union, the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, will be represented.

The committee, the Southeast Ohio Solidarity Committee, chose to have the rally in Gallia County because of the overwhelming response of residents of southeastern Ohio who signed petitions, Shaw said.

Shaw said she got involved with the rally because the issue affects her husband, a public employee, and “I have a small business and a lot of my customers are public workers I know if their wellbeing is compromised it trickles down to everyone’s wellbeing.”

Besides Strickland and Brown, Tim Burga, the state president for ALF-CIO will also speak at the rally. Burga has been an outspoken opponent of the bill.

Other speakers include union leaders and current and former elected officials.

At the rally, area unions will have booths to both recruit volunteers and share their missions. Food will be provided. Activities at the rally will include live music by the Boys of the Hock, the Magic Mama Band and the Cincinnati Emerald Society Police/Fire Pipes and Drums. Children’s activities include inflatables, games, face painting and others.

More information can be found at

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  • SquareRight

    I’m voting NO on SB5 because I support public employees’ unions. First, let me say that I’m retired and was never a union member. And yes, I watch what my tax dollars pay for. What SB5’s supporters ignore is the fact that public employees’ unions are part of the reason that well-qualified people are drawn to public service jobs.

    Before the unions, politicians directly or indirectly controlled who was a bus driver, a fireman, a teacher or a police officer. Keeping a public service job was a tenuous proposition and the ‘good-old-boy’ network hired and fired at will. The unions changed that. More well-qualified people started to consider public service jobs as careers.

    Will we still have people wanting those jobs if SB5 passes? Certainly, but what I fear is that the applicant pool may shrink significantly. And personally, I feel a lot better thinking that the people who apply for and are hired into positions in our police and fire departments, as well as those who teach our children and transport them to and from school are the best qualified public employees that we can find.

    (Report comment)

  • bigkahuna

    Wow I did not know that Wall St. had been the Governor of the State of Ohio.

    (Report comment)

  • uawrob

    It is very very important that everyone get out and vote SB 5 down. This bill is very damaging to our friends, family and neighbors. Please vote against Senate Bill 5 and help this state.

    (Report comment)

  • Parasite’s Host

    In order for government to live withing a budget, certain expenses cannot be afforded. Regardless of economic stability, is it not too much to ask that public sector workers invest in their own future as does the private sector?
    The real question to ponder is “Who is really losing their bargaining rights, the taxpayers funding public sector jobs and their benefits or the public sector workers?”
    Ignore the sensationalism and weigh the substance.

    ******Think with a budget in mind.*****
    ******Spend with a budget in mind.*****
    ******Vote with a budget in mind.*****

    (Report comment)

  • bigkahuna

    Ted Strickland is the reason the State of Ohio was so far in the RED.

    (Report comment)

    • bowwow

      Wow, that was my first time hearing the State of Ohio was so far in the red because of Ted Strickland! I always thought it was because of the recession caused by Wall St. along with Lehman the firm that Kasich worked for and left with a $400,000 bonus after they helped create the mess.

      (Report comment)

  • RUNutz

    Contrary to Ms Shaw’s comment, “… people have to vote how they felt in the summer”, defies common sense. A person may feel like killing another person because of a real or imagined reason, but common sense, based on knowledge of the law, right versus wrong, and foreseeable consequences prevent such an action. A person should vote based on their knowledge and comprehension of the issue and the foreseeable effect of both approval or disapproval of the issue, not self-serving hyperbole and inflamed oratory designed to stir the masses at their own expense.

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