COLUMBUS — May 7, 2011 — The Ohio Education Association (OEA), representing 128,000 teachers, education support professionals and higher education faculty, today completed its two day Spring Representative Assembly at Veterans Memorial in Columbus.
In his legislative report to the delegates, OEA Vice-President Bill Leibensperger reported on the political nature of the Kasich budget legislation. “Our opponents are ignoring the essentials and instead focusing on political issues. Instead of focusing on jobs, they are killing public jobs through the budget and making it easier to cut the pay and benefits of existing employees through SB 5.”
OEA urges the removal of provisions in the budget bill that are the same or similar to SB 5. Now that the movement to repeal Senate Bill 5 has gained momentum, legislative leaders in the House slipped some of those same controversial provisions from Senate Bill 5 into state budget legislation, House Bill 153. These provisions include performance-based pay for teachers, changes in teacher contracts, evaluations, reductions in force and restricting collective bargaining for community school employees. Including these SB 5 provisions in the budget circumvents the rights of Ohio voters who should ultimately decide this issue in November.
Timothy Dove, Ohio Teacher of the Year, told the delegates, “In a democracy, we have a responsibility to be political.” Larry Davis, Tallmadge music teacher performed his original song Fight for your Rights as President Pat Frost-Brooks led the delegates in an energetic sing-a-long.
In an unprecedented response to this call for action, OEA delegates contributed a record-breaking amount to the Fund for Children and Public Education, OEA’s political action campaign.
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.
CONTACT: Michele Prater
614-227-3071; cell 614-378-0469, firstname.lastname@example.org