Ohio Anti-Union Law Makes Wisconsin's Look Soft
Ohio bill cracks down on firefighters, police, allows districts to overrule teachers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2011 9:06 AM CDT
Protesters cheer during a protest against Senate Bill 5 outside the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

(Newser) – There hasn’t been a lot of attention lavished on Ohio’s new anti-union law, which Governor John Kasich signed last night, and that’s a bit surprising, the New York Times observes, because it’s in many ways tougher than the much-debated similar law passed in Wisconsin. Whereas Wisconsin’s law exempted police and firefighters, for example, Ohio’s doesn’t. And it’s even tougher on teachers, giving school boards the ability to unilaterally impose their side’s final contract offer if they fail to strike a deal with unions.

Yet nearly 100,000 rallied in opposition to Wisconsin’s bill, while Ohio’s largest statehouse protests brought just 8,500 people, give or take, according to the AP. Ohio union leaders say they attracted less attention because Wisconsin was first, and note that Madison is a progressive bastion, home to one famously liberal university. They plan to collect signatures to trigger a referendum to overturn the law.