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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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Comment Preferences

  •  And They Get NO SOCIAL SECURITY. (10+ / 0-)

    Those pensions by law are INSTEAD of Social Security. So neither the workers nor the taxpayers were paying into SS at all for them --and that means unless they worked enough outside of government to qualify for some SS, they have no safety net beneath that pension.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 11:02:16 AM PDT

    •  Here's a question (0+ / 0-)

      So I qualify for a pension where I work. But I also pay into and will get SS.

      Can anybody tell me what the formula for Ohio State workers is to determine what how much you will get?

      I'm wondering if we get a better deal.

      •  That's currently being studied (0+ / 0-)

        They may change it to make it harder to retire with full benefits. Right now there are three kinds of retirement plans for new hires. The traditional plan benefit is based on 30 years service for full benefits and is calculated based on your 3 highest years of salary.

        The formula for pension is:

        Regular Retirees
        For first 30 years of service credit:
        ■2.2% x Final Average Salary (FAS) x service credit
        plus ...
        For years of service credit over 30:
        ■2.5% x FAS x service credit

        The current PERS withholding rate is 10% of salary, which compares poorly to social security's standard rate of 6.2% withholding (which is now currently 4.2% as result of fed budget deal). Any contributions we made to social security from other jobs are forfeited with a full state pension.

        "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

        by histopresto on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 12:42:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Granted, they had already conceded down to the (5+ / 0-)

    bone, but poor Kasich STILL had to prove his bona fides to the Kochs and their ilk. Voila'! Senate Bill 5.

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 11:12:52 AM PDT

    •  I'd love for these cuts to be rescinded if they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21

      lose the ability to collectively bargain, because those bargains were made by now invalid organizations.  But unfortunately, these are one-sided.  The state can invalidate them, but the workers can't.  They're stuck.

  •  Nice group of statistics to pass on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mos1133, theKgirls, avsp
  •  wow...8 years without a pay increase...wonder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theKgirls, avsp, a2nite

    what the price of gas/bread did during those 8 years?

    •  since I have a feeling both prices went up in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp

      past 8 years...I wonder what result this may have had on the local economy and small businesses since people would have less money to spend on entertainment and other activities.  Actually I live in Ohio and don't have to wonder.  Unemployment has either gone up or held steady since gov Kasich has taken over....which is odd since he's been signing anit-abortion and voter suppression bills which should have helped to create jobs.

  •  So who in Ohio has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mos1133

    been getting raises?

    Have any high level public officials given up their raises?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 03:50:59 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Laura (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mos1133

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 06:04:31 PM PDT

  •  Overpaid compared to what? (0+ / 0-)

    The question must always be: what salary and benefits do comparable private sector workers make? Public sector pay and benefits should always roughly match private ones. That's why all this talk of givebacks is not really relevant: if private sector wages have fallen 10% in that period (say), a mostly-stagnant public wage means that public workers have gained ground on their private counterparts.

    That being said, in the case of janitors and teachers noted here, it seems hard to believe that your average private worker makes less on the same qualifications, at least in Ohio. The mean per capita income for Ohio in 2009 was $24830, if you rule out all dependent people, they're probably about right for a bachelor's degree at $29k. Not great money, I agree, but then again few people do.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 07:58:45 PM PDT

  •  alot of concessions (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe if they didn't make any concessions, the republicans would realize that they are dealing with tough opponents and leave them alone.

  •  teacher making $27k-$29k? (0+ / 0-)

    That just cannot be right. I bet you next thing they'll complain about the shortage of teachers, and petition to hire a bunch of H1B's from India and the Philipines.

  •  Wrong issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmknapp

    I don't dispute any of what you said, but I think the real issue has to do with the basic right of collective bargining.  Some might look at the Ohio public employee wages and benefits and think they are overpaid.  Some would not.  I don't live in Ohio so I have no idea what works.  But I do know that efforts to eliminate union rights is wrong.

    I once worked for a government agency as a non-union worker and I can tell you that the governing boards couldn't care less about the contributions the employees make.  Only through collective barginning can people be assured of a decent living and decent wages.

    •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

      Many people on the street think that Issue 2 is about whether or not public employees should contribute x% to their pension funds, or some other nit-picky fine point, when it's fundamentally about the right to bargain. Kasuck's TV ads are aimed at this kind of obfuscation.

      It's really interesting to see see the firefighter and police "Reagan Democrats" in his coalition turn on him on Issue 2, like so many mistreated exotic animals suddenly released from their cages--he probably wishes he could call out the National Guard to put them down.

  •  How much have the 1% contributed? (0+ / 0-)

    You've done a great job pointing out how much the public workers have contributed in concessions to help with the fake budget problems in OH.  Now how about contrasting that to what the top 1% have contributed to fix the budget problems? Or, perhaps, how much the top 1% have contributed to causing the budget problems?

    It's time the 1% ponied up their share as well!

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