Ohio Voters Reject Union Curbs

Published November 9, 2011

Sixty-one percent of Ohio voters yesterday repealed a law restricting collective bargaining and requiring state employees to contribute to their pension and healthcare benefits.

The ballot measure, Issue 2, was heavily opposed by state unions, led by the National Education Association and Ohio Education Association. These groups spent $30 million to defeat the measure, while supporters spent approximately $7.5 million. 

“Though I would have preferred a different outcome tonight, the people of Ohio have spoken and I respect their decision,” said Gov. John Kasich (R). “Despite tonight’s outcome, Ohio’s ability to create a jobs-friendly climate is impacted by local governments’ ability to reduce their costs.”

Unlike Wisconsin’s law, also enacted earlier this year, the Ohio law included police officers and firefighters rather than limiting its provisions to teachers and other non-emergency state workers. 

Senate Bill 5, which the ballot measure repealed, would have banned strikes, limited collective bargaining topics, and required workers to pay 15 percent of their healthcare benefits and 10 percent of their wages towards pensions. 

Image by ProgressOhio.