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On the Ground in Ohio

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(Thanks for the report. It’s great to see working people standing up for themselves in multiple states, I hope this spreads across America and doesn’t stop until we’ve wrested back power from the corporations and their elected lackeys. – promoted by lowkell)

cross-posted from Sum of Change

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COLUMBUS, OH: I am on the ground in Ohio, here to cover the protests for the couple days that I can afford to be away from DC. Today, despite a persistent rain, demonstrators lined the sidewalk outside of the Capitol Building in Columbus to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 5 which threatens state employees’ bargaining rights. Today’s protest was a lead up to tomorrow, when thousands are expected to descend on Columbus.

I also want to include the full interview I did with one of the teachers:

Some helpful facts about Ohio and collective bargaining (from the Examiner, not directly quoted)

• Ohio public employees make the same or less than their counterparts in the private sector (although a higher percentage of state workers have college degrees)

• In the last 9 years, state workers have taken 5 years of pay freezes (that’s with collective bargaining)

• Budget gaps are higher, on average, in states that do not allow collective bargaining

• State employee payroll in Ohio equals only 9% of the state budget

We’ll be here for part of the protest tomorrow too!