March 31, 2011
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Ohio Governor’s Signing of Controversial Legislation
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 5 into law tonight. The legislation severely restricts the workplace rights of public employees, including police, firefighters and teachers.
WASHINGTON—Ohio Gov. John Kasich tonight signed a bill that is an affront to hard-working Ohioans and their families. The bill is particularly harmful to children, because it gives their teachers, who know what schools need to do to help children learn, less say in class size and other professional issues that affect teaching and learning.
Kasich ignored all the Ohioans who, in city after city, turned out to protest against this unfair attack on workers’ rights. Senate Bill 5 does not create a single job and, in fact, does serious harm to working people, making their future less certain and the American dream more difficult to attain.
Teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees will be laid off, jeopardizing kids’ education and the safety of Ohio’s communities.
The fight for working families and democratic values is far from over. AFT members across the state and across the country will work with Ohioans to return to government that works for the people who teach our children, care for our sick and keep us safe.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.