Thursday, November 10, 2011

To demand fairness, dignity, and respect...

In a Huffington Post piece US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis praised Ohio voters for overturning a recent law, which would have restricted collective bargaining rights for some public sector employees.

After months of advocacy and organizing, the people of Ohio have defeated a law that would have silenced the middle class and curtailed the collective bargaining rights of thousands of teachers, firefighters and police officers. Ohio has made it clear: these dedicated public servants still need a seat at the table to demand fairness, dignity and respect.

This statement begs the question: Who are the majority of Ohio voters trying to protect their public servants from? Well, from the employers who are treating teachers, firefighters, and police officers unfairly and without respect. And who are these horrible employers? The state and local governments in Ohio and their agencies, clearly.

Secretary Solis makes the case that state and local governments in Ohio are pretty lousy organizations to work for who treat their employees unfairly and without respect. But Ohio isn't alone. The vociferous protest against a similar law in Wisconsin earlier this spring suggest that residents in Wisconsin feel similarly about their government.

Why do we want to give greater power to governments who treat their own employees unfairly and without respect, give them more of our money, and entrust them with the care and support of the less fortunate among us?