Archives for October 2011

"No" is the way to go

Many of us know that Issue 2 on the November ballot has something to do with Senate Bill 5. But what we need to make clear is that the right vote on this is NO. It can be confusing, since the ballot language will be phrased in such a way as to encourage a “yes” vote.

Just remember and tell everyone: NO on Issue 2 means we DON’T want Senate Bill 5 to remain on the books. We want it repealed. We need to encourage our friends, family and associates to vote NO when they see 2. How can we do this? It’s easy:

* Ask some folks over for coffee and dessert. Tell them why a “no” vote is personally important to you. Ask them to pledge to vote NO.

* Change the greeting on your cell or home phone to a short message reflecting your voting preference on this issue, and use the phrase: ” ‘No’ means ‘no’ on Issue 2.”

* Organize a group of supporters to gather for early voting. Sit together over coffee and fill out your absentee ballots, and then submit them together.

* Get creative! Make a T-shirt or a lawn sign, or even one to hang from the front of your house.

* Don’t forget to wear red every Thursday until we defeat Senate Bill 5.

* Visit http://bit.ly/helpwao or http://www.waofriends.com to build a team and keep in touch through your account.

Need talking points? Here are some:

* Issue 2/SB 5 eliminates our right to bargain over class size, restricts our consideration of longevity and use of step increases and limits the amount of sick leave you can accumulate. It prohibits new continuing contracts, requires merit-based pay, eliminates the right to strike and caps severance pay. If parties are unable to reach agreement on a contract, the public employer can choose to implement its own best offer.

* Issue 2/SB 5 puts the safety of all our families at risk by making it illegal for nurses, teachers and emergency responders to fight for safer staffing levels, critical safety equipment and training that protects them and safeguards our communities.

* Issue 2/SB 5 hurts Ohio families and blames public employees for a mess caused by Wall Street’s greed.

The people abusing the system are not the hard-working people of Ohio. They are the politicians making a special exemption just for themselves and upper management. The real crime here is the thousands of middle-class Ohioans whose rights have been stripped away while politicians pay back corporate donors.

You don’t solve the problems facing Ohio families by attacking them and putting their safety at risk.

 

CEA member Traci Arway is leading the fight against Issue 2

CEA member Traci Arway at the Columbus taping of MSNBC's "Ed Show" earlier this fall.

Members of the Columbus Education Association have fought Senate Bill 5 (now Issue 2 on the November ballot) since it was introduced in the Ohio Senate in February of this year.

The CEA Blog is showcasing the hard work of CEA members who are leading the way to make sure Ohioans vote NO on Issue 2 and SB 5 in November.

One such CEA member is Traci Arway, an 11-year veteran of CCS. For the past seven years, Arway has taught students with multiple disabilities at Livingston ES. She and her husband, Whetstone HS Kevin Arway have two young children.

“I remember when I first heard about SB 5. I was in my living room, and got a text message from Greg Mild. He had posted something on Facebook and told me to check it out. That was when I was sense of what things were at stake and how scary it was.

Since that time, Traci has been highly involved in fighting SB 5 since February, attending countless rallies, circulated petitions and helped enter petition data at SEIU. She also marched in We Are Ohio’s “We The People Parade” to deliver more than 1.3 million signatures collected to put SB 5 on the ballot.

“The thought of Issue 2 passing makes me sick, literally,” said Arway. “I think a lot of people don’t realize how hard our profession will become for us if this we don’t get enough people to vote NO on Issue 2.”

Traci knew that because of her two young children she wouldn’t be able to participate in Issue 2 canvass activities in the fall. She refocused her anti-Issue 2 energies through We Are Ohio’s “Friends, Families and Neighbors” (FFN) campaign.

Her hard work has paid off– the campaign’s leaderboard shows that Traci is the second most active volunteer statewide using FFN.

“Friends, Families and Neighbors is a great way to get in touch with people if you aren’t able to go out and canvass or participate in phonebanking,” said Arway.

“I’m fighting because Issue 2 directly impacts everyone in my family and everyone in Ohio,” she continued. “I don’t want to wake up on November 9th and have the regret that I should have done more. We all have to do our part.”

Joining the movement to take back our schools and Ohio is just a click away. To download instructions on how to use this program, go to http://bit.ly/helpwao or go straight to http://waofriends.com to get started building your team.

If you would like to nominate a CEA member that has been working tirelessly to help get Ohioans to vote NO on Issue two, click here to fill out a nomination form!

 

Issue #2 hurts us all

Issue #2 is an affront to our professionalism and an attack on our integrity. The latest Pro-Senate Bill 5 ads are portraying teachers as getting paid to just show up on the job. One ad even features a teacher. He just happens to be the chair of a local county political party.

Help stop this campaign! Vote NO on Issue #2.

When you vote “NO,” you bring down SB 5 which does us all great harm. The law eliminates our right to bargain over class size, restricts our consideration of longevity and use of step increases and limits the amount of sick leave you can accumulate. It prohibits new continuing contracts, requires merit-based pay, eliminates the right to strike and caps severance pay. If parties are unable to reach agreement on a contract, the public employer can choose to implement its own best offer.

Ask everyone who cares about you and public education to take action. Visit www.weareohio.com and look under “events” to find a canvassing activity or rally to take part in. You can search and sort by location and date. The most effective way to answer this attack is with a massive volunteer canvass this weekend to set the record straight.

You also can create your own account on the site and use it to inform your friends and family about the damage being caused by Senate Bill 5. This detrimental law:

  • Makes it easier for politicians to continue to cut public school funding, which will lead to larger class sizes and less individual attention for our students.
  • Silences the voices of school nurses, teachers, bus drivers, custodians and school employees who help keep our students safe.
  • Removes protections against favoritism in layoffs, transfers and other important personnel decisions. If teachers speak up against bad policies, bureaucrats could retaliate by reassigning them to other grades or buildings, thereby punishing educators and hurting students.
  • Forces local school districts to base at least 50 percent of teachers’ compensation on student test scores, a method that is rejected by education experts and parents alike because it’s inaccurate, invalid and doesn’t work.
  • Forces teachers to do even more standardized testing–taking the focus away from classroom learning, forcing teachers and schools to teach to the test and take a one-size-fits-all approach to student learning.

During his campaign, John Kasich said he wanted to “break the back of teachers unions”; and, as governor, he pushed Senate Bill 5 and Issue #2 to do just that. But Ohio’s educators are coming together to stand up against Issue #2. Together, we can repeal Senate Bill 5!