Ohio AFL-CIO Says it Has Not Discussed a Compromise on SB5

Posted on behalf of Cox Law Office, LLC
original story By Reginald Fields, The Plain Dealer 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga says the union “has never entered into any series of meetings or negotiations on Senate Bill 5,” the controversial collective bargaining law.

Burga issued a statement in response to a Columbus Dispatch article that named him as a union leader who in June participated with representatives of Gov. John Kasich in discussions to negotiate a compromise that would end union-led efforts to repeal the law this fall.

Burga called that report “erroneous.”

Kasich, House Speaker William G. Batchelder and Senate President Tom Niehaus, all Republicans, called a news conference on Wednesday and asked union leaders to meet with them at 10 a.m. Friday to discuss a compromise that would knock an effort to repeal SB5 off of November’s ballot.

Polls show that voters like a few provisions of SB5 but overwhelmingly favor repealing the GOP-backed law as a whole. The anti-SB5 group, We Are Ohio, said the only way it would show up for the meeting is if the Republican-led legislature repealed the law first.

Kasich on Wednesday said that some union leaders had already met privately earlier this summer, though he refused to say who. The Dispatch reported that Burga, among others, were part of those discussions.

Burga said the only talks he attempted with lawmakers on SB5 was when the proposal was still a bill and moving through the legislative process in February and March, prior to Kasich signing it into law.

“The Ohio AFL-CIO attempted dialogue during the legislative process and was denied that opportunity,” Burga said.

The law is not yet effective. We Are Ohio collected a record 1.3 million signatures to get the referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 2. We Are Ohio has until Aug. 29 to remove the measure from the ballot.

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