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.
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