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The defeat of Issue 2 in November 2011 meant that collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5 was repealed.

A Guide to Ohio's Issue 2, the Item Formerly Known as the SB 5 Referendum

Background

[Looking for information about Issue 2, the redistricting proposal on the fall 2012 ballot? Click here.]

In fall 2011, voters weighed in on a referendum on Senate Bill 5, Ohio’s anti-collective bargaining law. The referendum was the second issue on the ballot, and was titled Issue 2. (Issue 1 dealt with a constitutional amendment increasing the age limit for judges; Issue 3 was on a constitutional amendment barring laws that require anyone to participate in a health-care system.)

Voters supported repealing the law by about a 2-to-1 margin.

SB 5 would have limited collective bargaining for public employee unions. That means police officers, firefighters, teachers, and other public employees would not have been able to negotiate for health care benefits or pension costs, though they could still bargain over some areas. It also allowed public employers to not bargain over wages and contained an array of changes to Ohio’s current laws, including many changes affecting teachers and school districts.

Those changes included eliminating statutory salary schedules; limiting employer contributions towards health insurance to 85 percent; abolishing new continuing contracts (tenure); and removing consideration of seniority and length of service, by itself, from decisions regarding layoffs.

As written, SB 5 would have taken effect on July 1, 2011. However, it was suspended pending the outcome of the referendum and, with the November election results, will now never be enacted.

The state’s public-sector unions mounted a statewide campaign to repeal SB 5. The campaign pitted public-sector unions fighting for their survival in Ohio and other states against Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other cost-cutting Republican officials.

The successful repeal effort could be seen as a victory for public-sector employee unions fighting to protect their ability to bargain for wages and benefits and a blow to Gov. John Kasich and others who were hoping to reduce government spending and the unions’ power.

The way that Issue 2 appeared on the November 2011 ballot made a “no” vote a vote to repeal SB 5 and a “yes” vote a vote to keep the law in place.

Latest Posts

Citizens United Jumps into Issue 2 Campaign

Politico reports that Citizens United has jumped into the campaign over collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5, which is on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 2: Citizens United, the conservative political organization best known for the eponymous Supreme Court decision that last year altered the nation’s campaign finance landscape, will on Thursday begin blasting [...]

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Romel / Flickr As we reported earlier, nearly half of the money raised by the campaign working to repeal collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5 came from teacher or faculty unions. But who’s putting up the money for the other side, the campaign urging voters to vote “yes” on Issue 2, as the SB 5 [...]

Teachers Caught in the Middle of Issue 2 Campaigns

Cleveland teacher Tracy Muniach has been spending her free time campaigning against Issue 2.

Voters in Ohio have been seeing a lot of ads telling them which way to vote on Issue 2, the ballot measure that could overturn a law passed in the spring that limits public employee unions’ collective bargaining rights. Organized labor, including the teachers unions, is spending heavily to defeat the measure. But at the same [...]

Education Unions Raise Much of $19 Million To Defeat Ohio’s Issue 2

Nineteen million dollars is a lot of money. Especially in Ohio. For a ballot issue. In an off-year election. Under those circumstances, it’s an astonishing amount of money. But that’s how much We Are Ohio, the group campaigning to repeal Ohio’s collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5, has raised since July, according to campaign finance reports [...]

Why Private Universities Don’t Have Faculty Unions

Faculty unions at Ohio’s public universities have a lot at stake on November 8, since Senate Bill 5, the collective bargaining law on the ballot as Issue 2, would re-define most full-time faculty as management. That would prevent faculty members from participating in collective bargaining. Faculty unions are vehemently opposing Issue 2. But supporters of [...]

Fifteen Ways Issue 2 Will Affect Ohio Schools, Colleges and Universities

Protesters against Senate Bill 5 display their signs during a rally against a pending budget bill at the Ohio Statehouse February 22, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.

Early voting on Senate Bill 5, Ohio’s collective bargaining law, is already under way. Senate Bill 5 is called Issue 2 on the November ballot and is the target of a repeal campaign. Implementation of the law is on hold until after the election. Election Day is Nov. 8. The law affects all public workers in [...]

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