Collective Bargaining Reform Can Save Jobs

Remember all the talk that the passage of Senate Bill 5 would lead to an apocalypse for public sector workers?  Well, what has happened in the absence of collective bargaining reform?  Large scale layoffs in school districts and local communities throughout the state.

A look at other midwestern states, however, reveals that it didn’t have to be this way.  Jobs could have been preserved and real savings achieved.  A report from the Manhattan Institute outlines how major changes made in Indiana years ago and Wisconsin last year have yielded real savings.

In Indiana’s case the savings were achieved without taking a meat cleaver to the budget, but through targeted and structural reforms.  This meant that Indiana was relatively well positioned to withstand the storm of the “Great Recession” that began in the wake of the Housing Bubble burst.

In Wisconsin’s case, some communities that were able to take advantage of Gov. Walker’s reforms were able to do so with less draconian layoffs and cuts, while those that were locked into multi-year collective bargaining agreements , unsurprisingly, had to take more drastic action.

What’s the bottom line here?  Dealing with an outdated system of government and collective bargaining was always going to be painful, but putting off reform is not only unsustainable in the long run, it only leads to deeper cuts.

Greg R. Lawson

About Greg R. Lawson

Greg R. Lawson is the Statehouse Liaison and Policy Analyst with the Buckeye Institute
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4 comments on “Collective Bargaining Reform Can Save Jobs

  1. Peter on said:

    Ohio is in a hole that was created over many years. Then, the affluence generated by the state’s private sector allowed to public sector to grow like an unchecked cancer.

    But those the good times are far behind us, and the resulting bloat in the public sector is suffocating the entire economy.

    Give Gov. John Kasich and the GOP legislature credit for the tremendous work they’ve done since coming to power in just 2011 — closing the budget deficit without raising taxes, eliminating the ‘death tax,’ and passing SB-5, etc.

    But more needs to be done.

    Specifically, after the 2012 election in which the GOP will retain control of Columbus, the Republicans MUST aggressively push a second version of SB-5. The public sector needs to be reformed from top to bottom. This should be done without apology as the delay has already cost Ohio dearly.

    And as the Buckeye Institute argues, right-to-wok legislation is also a necessity as is more regulation reform and tax cuts.

  2. Pingback: Collective Bargaining Reform Can Save Jobs

  3. Mel B on said:

    The Buckeye Institute could double the number of jobs it creates for Ohioans by cutting in half the wages and benefits of its current workforce.

    How about it, Buckeye Institute Employees, are you willing to allow your organization to be a better Job Creator by cutting your own wages and benefits in half?

    I didn’t think so. Most people would call that hypocracy.

  4. admin on said:

    Mel: I think you may have missed the point of the post. Research shows that by keeping control of compensation costs states are less prone to the boom and bust cycle which means a more stable state workforce. And we are not talking about cutting someone’s pay in half, that is a red herring.

    The other point you are missing is that private sector companies and organizations (Buckeye is a 501c3 non-profit) have to keep compensation and benefits in check because if they don’t they will go out of business. Government doesn’t go out of business but rather either makes cuts or raises taxes.

    Collective bargaining reform allows the state to better manage its workforce and this results in less layoffs and cuts. As is seen in the case of Indiana and cities in Wisconsin.

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