31 March 2011
As hundreds of union activists chanted, “Vote them out. Vote them out,” history was made yesterday as the majority of the members of the Ohio General Assembly voted in the most punishing and regressive anti-union, anti-middle class, anti-public worker bill this state has every seen.
But you stood strong.
Late last night the Senate concurred with the House version of Senate Bill 5 that is even more brutal than the Senate version. The House version still makes us criminals if we strike, eliminates steps and longevity, and keeps us away from the bargaining table on health care. But now it lets “free loaders” get the benefits of the union without paying dues and makes it hard for you to participate in the political process. We knew this was never about “budgets” or “flexibility,” this was always about unions and silencing the voices of the people who participate in them.
But the fight is FAR from over. We are in this game for the long haul and the name of the game is REPEAL.
As soon as Gov. Kasich signs this bill tonight, the clock begins. We must get over 231,000 signatures to put a referendum up on the ballot that will repeal SB 5. We have 90 days starting NOW.
The fight begins today. Today, we are aligning our resources. Today, we are recruiting activists. Today, we are making our voices heard. And today, we are putting our plan into action. And we need YOU to make it happen. Here’s what you can do, right now, today, to kick things off:
- First, sign up for our special meeting this Saturday, April 2 at the Hyatt in downtown Columbus. It’s not too late. You’ll learn about what’s in the revised Senate Bill 5 and you’ll also be a part of the planning for the referendum. GO HERE TO REGISTER.
- Next, sign up to be a petition circulator. You can also organize circulators in your chapter. You can also start identifying community events where circulators can go over the next 90 days. GO HERE TO SIGN UP to be a petition circulator.
- Come to the Saturday, April 9 rally at the Statehouse from noon to 2 p.m. to kick off our referendum fight!
There will be a lot more to do and lot more information in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned to our website, our Facebook page and our union publications.
Eddie L. Parks
This letter was first published on the Web site of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME Local 11 on 31 March 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.
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