by SumofChange, Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:24:05 PM EST
cross-posted from Sum of Change
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!