Ohio votes to Repeal Anti Teacher Laws
Submitted by Mary on Wed 9th November, 2011 - 1:12 pm
Ohio Teachers Campaign against the Bill
A referendum in Ohio, USA has voted to repeal laws which would have banned teacher strikes
The law (Senate Bill 5) which was brought in by the Republican administration in Ohio would have restricted collective bargaining rights for all public employees, abolished incremental pay rises for teachers and banned public sector strikes. The law was brought in by the state in the wake of the moves by Wisconsin to pass similar laws which met with fierce resistance both from teachers, other public sector workers and the wider community across the USA. (see: http://www.teachersolidarity.com/blog/winsconsin-teachers-in-occupation-of-state-parliament/#more-1016)
More than a million signatures were collected to activate a referendum in Ohio, which has voted by 2 to 1 to repeal the law. As Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post writes: "Public school teachers have become a target for education reformers and politicians who have sought to limit or eliminate bargaining rights and tenure, link teacher evaluations to student test scores over the warnings of assessment experts who say it is a bad idea, denigrate the value of veteran teachers, and more. . . . Whether this is the start of a movement to walk back some of the extreme actions taken against teachers remains to be seen. But it does show that there are some lines that voters don’t want their leaders to cross when it comes to restricting the rights of public sector employees. They recognize the importance of the public sector and don’t want to see it decimated." To read her article in full go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/what-ohio-vote-means-for-teachers-nationwide/2011/11/08/gIQAyVOn3M_blog.html
Taken in conjunction with the growing Occupy Wall Street movement in the US and developments for example in Oakland, in which teachers have taken a leading role, and following on the massive nationwide support for public sector workers in Wisconsin, from the perspective of this website it seems that a massive movement is building in the US to combat the policies which want to make public services and in particular education pay for the crisis.
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