COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly a thousand Ohio Education Association members – the people who teach Ohio's students, drive their buses, prepare their meals, and care for sick children in school – stood shoulder to shoulder with fellow public employees from across Ohio in response to the state legislature's attack on public workers.
Thousands of teachers and education support professionals have flooded the statehouse this week, raising their voices against a plan to repeal Ohio's 27-year collective bargaining law. Today, OEA members representing both political parties provided testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 5.
OEA members came to the state capitol to demonstrate their belief that in a tough economy, we must focus on the essentials. Nothing is more essential than giving our children a quality education that prepares them for good jobs.
Ohio's educators know that these are tough times and have made it clear to the governor and legislators that they are prepared to do their part to help our state recover.
"This isn't about protecting pay and benefits – it's about protecting the right to collectively bargain. Students need their teachers to focus on them and their classrooms, and allowing the union to represent teachers allows them to do what they do best – teach," said Columbus teacher Philip Hayes, grandson of legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes.
"Collective bargaining allows educators a voice in improving opportunities for Ohio's students, better classroom resources and improved teaching and learning conditions," said Ohio Teacher of the Year Tim Dove of Worthington. Without a voice in the schools, without rights to speak up on behalf of students and the education profession, educators are concerned about the future.
"Senate Bill 5 would deny Ohio's public employees the opportunity for discussion and collaboration,"
added Dove. "Ohio public employees are standing together and speaking with a clear, unified voice that this is wrong for Ohio and a tragic distraction from what we should be focusing on: creating jobs and preparing Ohio's students to fill those jobs."
The Ohio Education Association represents 130,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio's public schools, colleges and universities.
SOURCE Ohio Education Association