A new report sponsored by Protecting Ohio's Protectors, a coalition of unions representing Ohio police and firefighters, details (PDF) how Ohio public employees have agreed to more than $1 billion in concessions over the past three years. Those agreements were reached through collective bargaining, of course, a right that Ohio Republicans are trying to strip from public workers through Senate Bill 5, which will be on the ballot in November as Issue 2.

The report's findings include:

  • State employees contributed $350 million in wage freezes, furlough days and increased healthcare costs.
  • Teachers and support staff accepted wage freezes in more than 90 percent of collective bargaining agreements this year – concessions not tallied in this report because they are not yet available.
  • Last year, at least 65 percent of public employee contracts included at least 1 year of wage freezes, some furlough days, reduced compensation, rollovers or economic re-openers. [...]
  • More than 93 percent of public workers already pay for their own pension plans, with no contributions from their employers.
  • On average, county and state employees pay more than 15 percent for their health care plans.

It can be hard to look at a series of percentages and know what they mean to the people involved, so let's put those concessions in the context (PDF) of how they hit individual workers:

For example, Salem City School custodians, cafeteria workers and other
non-teaching employees had gone 8 years without a wage increase. The starting wage for a Salem City School custodian and cafeteria worker is $9.92 and $7.81 an hour respectively. [...]

...since 2004 and through 2012, teachers in Jefferson Township Local School District (Montgomery County), whose salaries start at $27,305, bypassed a wage increase for 7 of those 9 years. In the Youngstown City Schools, where teacher’s salaries start at $29,589, educators gave up increases from 2007 through the 2010 school year.

This is what we're talking about when we say that Ohio's public workers are not overpaid and that they're not out for themselves at the expense of state and local budgets.

Vote no on Issue 2.

(h/t The American Independent)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Daily Kos.

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