Bargaining bill could end up on ballot

Union leader reacts to senate vote

CLEVELAND - Labor unions may have lost a battle, but they're not ready to concede the war.  If  Senate Bill 5 is approved by the Ohio House, it may end up on the Ohio ballot this November.

According to Harriet Applegate, the executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO, voters will be asked to repeal the measure which limits collective bargaining for public employees in Ohio. "It's just going to be a nightmare for Ohio, a living nightmare," Applegate said of the bill.

Applegate said she was disappointed but not surprised that the bill passed in the Ohio Senate Wednesday. 

She said the bill requires public employees to pay at least 20% of their health care and removes their right to negotiate for an insurance provider.  It also removes seniority from issues like layoffs and pay increases.  "Services will suffer," Applegate said. "When workers have no impact and no say, no dignity, no respect, work gets done slower, people have no incentives."

Applegate believes the bill will be approved in the house, but she said it might not take affect until after the November referendum.

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