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Bill Curbing Union Rights Clears Ohio Senate

Measure to curb collective bargaining now goes to House
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2011 5:25 PM CST
Bill Curbing Union Rights Clears Ohio Senate
Opponents of Senate Bill 5 silently show support in response to criticism of the bill during floor debate in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

(Newser) – The movement to restrict the power of public sector unions chalked up a legislative win today in Ohio. A measure that would ban strikes and greatly restrict collective bargaining rights cleared the state Senate by a 17-16 vote, reports the Columbus Dispatch. It now goes to the House, where Republicans have a sizable majority. If it passes there—figure on a vote in about two weeks—Gov. John Kasich has promised to sign it into law. Unlike their counterparts in Wisconsin, Ohio Republicans could call a vote because they have enough members to make a quorum.

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One of the main points of contention in the bill is a change to the collective bargaining process. In the case of an impasse, local legislatures would get the final say, instead of a neutral third party. "I have some concerns with that because as I read it, and I'm an attorney, the legislative body that would be deciding (the final contract) is the same management that is in negotiations with labor," says a GOP senator, one of five who joined Democrats in voting against the measure. (Read more Ohio stories.)

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