Bill to prohibit university staff and employees from striking in Ohio
Labor unions worry about the impacts of this legislation in the state higher education system.
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Senate Bill 83 which would prohibit university staff and employees from striking was introduced last week by Ohio State Senator Jerry Cirino.
According to the Ohio Capital Journal, David Jackson — president of Bowling Green State University’s Faculty Association, a chapter of American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the American Federation of Teachers — said the bill was proposing a “one size fits all set of regulations for the complex and different kinds of universities that the state of Ohio has.”
If passed, the bill would prohibit “bias” in classrooms by educators, programs with Chinese schools, mandatory diversity training, labor strikes, and boycotts or disinvestments. It would also require American history courses, public syllabuses, and teacher information be put online.
Educational leaders from the state criticized the viability of implementing such a bill, saying it would require a lot from administrators.
Labor unions are actively criticizing the bill as it takes away “faculty member’s ability to strike, limiting the power unions can bring to the bargaining table.”
“They don’t have to negotiate anymore, because they don’t have to be worried that the faculty are going to strike,” said Sara Kilpatrick, the executive director of the Ohio chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
On top of that, they say this could turn educators away from Ohio — and make the current ones leave. Creating a problem for higher education in the state, students would also look for other places to get their education from, impacting the whole system.
“The ability to strike is central to collective bargaining,” Kilpatrick added. “If faculty do not have the ability to strike, then it’s not collective bargaining. It’s collective begging because that’s the only leverage that faculty have to get management to come to the table and actually bargain.”
Last week, in Philadelphia, Temple University Graduate Student Association (TUGSA) accepted a tentative agreement with the university after striking for six weeks. The movement received the support of many local and national leaders, especially after the university cut tuition remission and healthcare of students participating in the strike.
To read more about SB 83, click here.