It was a tough battle that ended just about a month ago here in Ohio. The taxpayers fought to control out of whack spending and the Unions fought
even harder and spent many millions $ more to protect the status quo that is busting the state city by city. We were threatened with scare tactics
and graphic ads featuring mostly firefighters claiming that services would be cut if the effort to repeal SB 5 failed.
The Unions won, predominantly the teachers union who was pulling the strings from behind the curtain and using the firefighters as their mouthpiece.
Let's not forget the 30 million spent on the repeal campaign.
Fast forward one month later in the once great state of Ohio.
One month ago Ohio voted with its heart against reforms portrayed as an attack on public workers. Ohio, DC, and New York union bosses spent more
than $30 million drenching the airwaves in images of sad firefighters, sad police officers, and evil Republicans, convincing voters to overlook a
broken status quo.
Middletown Ohio is now laying off 9 firefighters
Cleveland City Schools is wiping out Pre School, cutting Busing, and eliminating 75 in school security positions.
Westerville City Schools is eliminating 62 support staff, cutting busing and eliminating ALL sports
Lancaster closed one of three firehouses last month and laid off 13 firefighters.
The reforms in Issue 2 would’ve helped localities control health & pension costs, ended last-in-first-out layoffs, instituted merit pay, and
equipped elected leaders with some flexibility at the expense of union bosses. Good thing we avoided that miserable fate!
True to form, Trumka insists the problem is Governor Kasich’s refusal to embrace failed “stimulus” spending. Pay no attention to the dishonest
class-warriors siphoning millions from government workers behind the curtain.
The sun will keep rising in the east, and union apologists will continue blaming local budget troubles on reduced state spending. It’s true that
Governor Kasich cut spending to cover a deficit estimated at $8 billion when Governor Strickland left office. It’s also true that the Progressive
solution is Obamanomics at the state level: out-of-control unions, bigger government, and higher taxes to pay for both.
Backfire!! and its only December!! I bet the union bosses won't lose their jobs.
Furthermore, like I mentioned earlier, the firefighters were used extensively and almost exclusively in all of the ads that were used to repeal SB5.
(Public safety officers should have been placed into separate legislation to avoid linking up with the greedy teachers union)
Anyway, just after the election and the union victory, the following story of gross abuse of Cleveland Firefighters payroll system.
Firefighters are about to see some of their public support go up in smoke.
They can thank their Cleveland counterparts for this.
Firefighters were the most prominent face of the successful campaign against Senate Bill 5, the now-dead collective bargaining law that would have
stripped them and other public employees of significant negotiating power. Based on the November elections results, voters sided with firefighters,
believing they should be left alone.
The firefighter ads worked perfectly as the teachers union stayed hidden in the closets and under the rocks.
A recent audit and expanding investigation into Cleveland firefighters' timesheets and pay records suggest they need to be watched. The audit
shows the fire department doesn't pay close attention to rules that allow firefighters to easily trade work shifts, take time off for funerals and
call in sick. The result is a system that is being abused by at least a handful of firefighters.
One Cleveland firefighter, for instance, manipulated his schedule so he could commute from California. Another stacked his work schedule to allow him
to vacation during the winter months. A couple of them got paid for more time than they worked.
I'm not ready to write this off simply as the consequence of sloppy paperwork or just a problem with a few firefighters. The larger culture and
"past practices" deserves blame for enabling this.
Here is one of the worst examples of abuse and manipulation
But no one can argue that the rule was established to allow a firefighter such as Andrew Kovacic to do no work from Nov. 5, 2010 through March of
this year. Nor was it designed to allow him to make up his time by working 24-hour shifts for 18 days during a three-week stretch in August.
Firefighters who accept such a perverse use of the trade rule defeat their main argument that firefighters need rest between shifts for their own
safety, the safety of their crew, and the safety of residents.
Wow! I wish this story broke before the election. Wonder if the audit results were "delayed" somehow?
Needless to say I feel abused by the unions and their deception of the voters in Ohio.