Ohio Senate passes bill to restrict public unions

The bill bans state employees from going on strike and restricts ability to bargain collectively

By Ann Sanner
March 3, 2011 3:23AM (UTC)
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Both supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 5 demonstrate outside the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. The vote for Senate Bill 5 is scheduled for later today and, if passed, would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (AP)

The Republican-controlled Ohio Senate has passed a measure that would restrict the collective bargaining rights of roughly 350,000 teachers, university professors, firefighters, police officers and other public employees.

Senators passed the legislation on a 17-16 vote Wednesday, with all 'yes' votes coming from the GOP. Six Republicans voted against the bill.

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The bill establishes fines and jail time for those who participate in strikes. Unionized workers could negotiate wages, hours and certain work conditions -- but not health care, sick time or pension benefits.

The measure now goes to the state House, where the GOP holds a 59-40 majority.

Republican Gov. John Kasich has said he supports the effort.


Ann Sanner

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