Fight Over Collective Bargaining Moves To Ohio Protesters are converging on the Ohio Statehouse to protest as state senators hold a hearing on a bill to weaken the collective bargaining rights of state workers' unions — including firefighters, police and teachers. Republican leaders in the state Senate say the move is needed to curtail the state's projected $8 billion, two-year budget deficit.
NPR logo

Fight Over Collective Bargaining Moves To Ohio

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133971228/133971209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Fight Over Collective Bargaining Moves To Ohio

Fight Over Collective Bargaining Moves To Ohio

Fight Over Collective Bargaining Moves To Ohio

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133971228/133971209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Protesters are converging on the Ohio Statehouse to protest as state senators hold a hearing on a bill to weaken the collective bargaining rights of state workers' unions — including firefighters, police and teachers. Republican leaders in the state Senate say the move is needed to curtail the state's projected $8 billion, two-year budget deficit.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From the statehouse in Columbus, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON: The union rally began today with a firefighter bagpipe band marching in front of the capitol.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GLINTON: The differences between Ohio and Wisconsin run deeper than Buckeyes and Badgers. The bill Ohio legislators are considering would restrict collective bargaining for government employees, including firefighters and police - two groups excluded from Wisconsin's plan.

KEVIN MCCAFFERTY: This is about union rights across the board. This bill contains things that are just designed to weaken those rights.

GLINTON: Kevin McCafferty is a Cleveland firefighter. He came to Columbus to protest Ohio's Senate bill number five. He says if passed, it could directly affect police and firefighters' personal safety.

MCCAFFERTY: In the future, we will have no say on how many men go out the door to a fire. We'll have no say on protective clothing as it improves.

GLINTON: Republican State Senator Kevin Bacon says to attack that budget hole, Ohio local leaders need to have flexibility when dealing with government employees.

KEVIN BACON: So that they can make adjustments in the time of down economy they can't currently do, because so much of this is ingrained in statute and prevents the employers from having the ability to make these adjustments.

GLINTON: Bacon says to get that flexibility legislators need to go after state workers' unions.

BACON: Well, it's an attack, all right. It's an attack on spending. You know, many of the tactics that are being used to oppose this bill are just false.

GLINTON: Sonari Glinton, NPR News, Columbus.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.