VIDEO: SB5 foes collect more than 1 million signatures

Chris and Lori Griffith have been on a mission. The two were on hand Friday morning touting the "We Are Ohio" organization's battle against Senate Bill 5.
Jul 5, 2011


Chris and Lori Griffith have been on a mission. The two were on hand Friday morning touting the "We Are Ohio" organization's battle against Senate Bill 5.

SB 5 would reduce collective bargaining rights of all public workers in the state. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and supporters argue the changes are needed to help public employers control labor costs. Organized labor groups and other opponents say the bill is a union-busting attack on the middle class.

"I got involved to refuel this campaign for Senate Bill 5," said Chris Griffith, a 10-year employee with the Norwalk City Schools as a daytime employee at the high school. "It's wrong. It's an unfair attack on public service workers and on the community, really."

Lori Griffith is a seventh grade teacher at Norwalk Middle School.

Together they collected signatures with drive-and-signs and door-to-door. "Basically, I took my petition book wherever I went," Chris said.

"How many police officers are in a cruiser? How many firefighters are on a truck? How many kids are going to be crammed in a classroom?

"Senate Bill 5 does not create one job. Fewer jobs mean fewer customers for local businesses. One teacher gets laid off that's less money going to local restaurants, local stores and local businesses."

We are Ohio collected 1,298,301 signatures to get the SB 5 repeal motion on the ballot. That's 1 million more than the 231,149 needed.

"We had more than 10,000 volunteers (across the state)," Griffith said. "We are humbled and grateful ... for the support. If our supporters vote we are very confident we will win."

In Huron County, 497 signatures were needed based on the 16,572 votes cast in the 2010 governor's race to hit the 3 percent mark and 994 were needed to hit the 6 percent mark. "We are Ohio collected 3,818 or about 23 percent of the vote in Huron County," Griffith said.

If the signatures are verified, the issue will be on the November ballot.

For more information, log onto the website



Where are we going to get hundreds of millions of dollars to pay these benefits/pensions?


New business will not come to this state as long as it is union stronghold.

Ohio becoming a RTW state will only help attract new business.

Kottage Kat

@ just me, Have you read SB5, gathering from your comments you have studied it closely. If not I would urge you to do so and not depend on the media for information. In so doing you will be a knowlegable and informed voter. Ask questions and while reading have your highlighter and a notebook handy to jot down that which you have questions about. It is not reading for the faint of heart, it is necessary to be informed, unless you choose other alternatives. Kat;} with a K


Here is a link to SB5 http://www.legislature.state.oh....
Now tell me where you read that this is an attack on all unions or abolishes all collective bargaining? I can not find that in this bill.
You have gone on and on in several post about hidden agendas and how if we do not agree with you there are " seven reasons why we are twisted, selfish, greedy and frankly should move to a RTW state where they can feed on their fellow man."

Alford Plea

@KKat: You are not the only one who has read this bill. Aside from preventing strikes from teachers (always a hot topic) what is it you see that you like? Is it the ability for a mayor to return to the "spoils" system of government? Is it fact that those who have paid more than 9 quarters into social security before their public sector jobs would loose that benefit as the governor makes off with the cash? What exactly is merit based pay for a firefighter, teacher, police officer, street department worker, etc? This law throws out an ambiguous buzz phrase or two and people suck it up like weed at an Insane Clown Posse concert, never stopping to think about where it leads. As is, this law breeds more corruption and causes more long term problems than it solves. If not over-turned, how many years and how much money will be wasted fighting in court over the vague demands of SB5? Re-write it and lets talk. Thank you to everyone who declines jumping on the Rich and Corrupt's band wagon. Over-turn SB5


Alford, I do not know about Kat but I see nothing wrong with a teacher being evaluated...
A teacher evaluation system that does the following:
(1) Is evidence-based and uses multiple measures of a teacher's use of
knowledge and skills and of students' academic progress;
(2) Is aligned with the standards for teachers adopted under section
3319.61 of the Revised Code;
(3) Provides statements of expectation for professional performance and
establishes specific criteria of expected job performance in the areas of
responsibility assigned to the teacher;
(4) Requires observation of the teacher being evaluated by the person
conducting the evaluation on at least two occasions for not less than thirty
minutes on each occasion;
(5) Requires that each teacher be provided with a written report of the
results of the teacher's evaluation that includes specific recommendations
for any improvements needed in the teacher's performance, suggestions for
professional development that will enhance future performance in areas that
do not meet expected performance levels, and information on how to obtain
assistance in making needed improvements.

Seems rather good considering a few bad teachers that have become impossible to replace with the system we have in place now.


@thumper, fine, you got it, no problem. Now, rewrite SB5 and limit it to what you deem fair as stated above. It's the rest of the bill that's the killer. Do you really think it is necessary to abolish unions, withdraw collective bargening and turn Ohio into a RTW state to get the above done? Do you really think it's fair for our leaders to make us pay a bill that is not ours to pay without them even trying to recover the losses from the responsible parties? How about making them find a way to give us back some of what we have aready lost instead of asking for more? As citizens, we emulate to our leaders how we will be treated. Followers go with the flow, don't think outside the box, don't create friction and dont ask questions. In not doing so, they tell our leaders it is ok to walk all over us, lie to us, abuse us and do what they wish, we will be fine with it. It's easier to get wool from a sheep then fir from a bear. Citizens = sheep Big oil, lobbiest, bankers = bear. Who exactly is our government protecting and who exacty are they punishing? Hummm, let's see, big oil, lobbiest and bankers make huge contributions to campaign funds..... Stop lying to us and stop stealing from us, we are not going to take it anymore. Stand up and be a frigging bear, enough sheep s###.

Kottage Kat

@ Alford plea, Still reading, will give a full report when I have finished. WOW in addition to the notebook and highlighter, I also should have a copy of the ORC and a dictionary. Please be patient with me, I am enjoying the bantering,and points from both sides are informative and valid. Nice to see an exchange with out name calling and nonsense-----good job Alford plea and Thumper


@ Alfred, thank you for the voice of reason. Again, I am not opposed to possibly paying more for benefits and pension, but this bill abolishes collective bargening and unison. This bill needs to be re-written with the omission of the hidden agendas.
@ Thumper, how about lowering the retirement age to 55 and years of service to 15? I couldn't begin to understand a teachers job but after 25-30 years of any job, burn out is always a factor. How about turning this around and instead of taking and threatoning, giving for change. What a concept....
@kat, looking forward to seeing what you have to say about this. I have perused the bill and for me, it stops with abolishing collective bargening and breaking up unions. The union has been good to my family for generation after generation, steel workers, factory workers, supermarket workers, teachers and police officers make up my extended family. This bill effects almost everyone in my immediate family as well as myself. We as a family have little sense of security these days with the recession and dog eat dog. This bill threatons the lives of many good and hard working people, tax paying citizens and with my family, each with over 15 years of service in their perspective field.
@supporters of SB5, why would you agree to pay someone else's bill? As citizens of the great state of Ohio, we have a systemic responsibility to our communities and as such there is a financial obligation for each of us to uphold. However, I would deplore our legislators to seek financial reprieve from those responsible BEFORE turning on its citizens. Additionally, if the goal is to solicate monies from the innocent by way of forced contribution payments to retirement and benefits, why write a bill that is far more reaching and detrimental to our way of lives? If the goal is to fix something that is broken, maybe give a little instead of take, like I suggested above. Changing the way the entire state operates because there are a few bad teachers with seniority is proposteruous. If something sounds like a chicken, walks like a chicken and looks like a chicken, it is probably a chicken. Hidden agendas, time and time again. Force legislation to try a little honesty and transparancy and we may see some results. A community united and not divided is far more productive than the caos our leaders are creating. I know it is IMPOSSIBLE to please EVERYONE, but we can do alot better than the crap in SB5.
Thanks to the refector for allowing a voice to those who have one and thanks to each of you who take the time and show enough interest in your own livliehoods to not just check a box on the ballot.

Kottage Kat

Just me68, I am anti-union and pro SB5 for now. Just want to make sure by reading SB5 I am ann informed voter. I have worked 42 years at profession without a union, am retired. Please believe me you are not alone in your struggle and if you have a job be grateful, as some would be glad to have one also. I will continue reading and hope all will take a serious look at the the bill. I am a little confused by some of your statements, will re-read to make sure I have what you said clear. I am NOT against teachers per se, just the fact that things were hunky dorey till it hit their pocketbook, then it was jump on a bus for Columbus. The State of Ohio is trying to balance the budget with an 8 billion dollar deficit. Everyone struggles in some way today, and we all have to make concessions. Still reading as I said, will check in when I have read more. Not easy reading, however for a teacher it should be a piece of cake, and I am NOT a teacher.


@kat, I can only send prayors your way that you will see a light of change and oppose this bill. Again, if the goal is to make teachers responsible for a percentage of their benefits, then write the bill as such. All I ask is that the union way of life not be threatoned because it is my life. Yes, there are lots of private sector jobs that many retire from after years of service, but in turn I can be almost certain at some point in your career you wish you had a larger group looking out for your best interest, especially in the last 5 years before retirement. We union workers pay taxes, work hard and chose to unite with a larger group and voice. We seem to get things done and instead of resenting maybe, since it works, you could join us? Of course we are going to fight to keep what we have aready faught for. My irritation is from the lack of transparancy, a lie of omission is still a lie. legislation is promoting this bill as only dealing with teachers and police officers. That is a farce, it changes the way the entire state hires and fires employees, pubic and private. It chops off our hand to negotiate further and to fight for better. kat, to accept the defecit created by someone else and say "everyone has to tighten their belt", I didn't expect from you. I don't see you as a go with the flow, roll over and accept type of person. I am peaved that the teachers wouldn't budge as well and I have several in my family. Fact is, because they didn't SB5 was created and it is a monster of a bill. The actions of a few have already put our country in parrell, passing SB5 only furthers the destruction. Help us go back to the drawing board and please don't accept good enough because it pusinshes the innocent and that is not who you are.

Alford Plea

@JustMe: Thanks for your kind words. How many supports of this bill have actually read it (besides Kat)? This bill has nothing to do with a few bad teachers. If this bill was Kasich's attempt to make the educational system more efficient (it isn't), then the teachers would have the right to expell the few bad apples that interrupt the learning process for the good children. In Ohio, we don't hold parent responsible for their children, we hold the teachers responsible. If a teacher is going to be paid by merit (the most argued litmus test being the performance of their pupils) then each teacher should be given a handful of vetos like a lawyer at a jury trial. Kick out the unteachable and watch the rest excel. Wouldn't fly would it? Nobody has attempted to give an idea of what merit pay for officers would be, however, my biggest concern of what this bill does to police departments is make all supervisors non-union. If a mayor/councilperson/friend of such/etc. can cause a police lieutenant to be fired on a whim, how will that influence the decisions he/she makes? When it comes time to decide between "doing the right thing" or loosing their jobs to politics, what can we expect from them? Senate Bill 5 attempts to solve some real issues, but has hidden, history reversing agendas contained in the fine print and lawyer speak. This did not fly in Wisconsin as it was first written for a reason. Like em or hate em, Unions have not caused the decline of Ohio. Does anyone really think if SB5 is not over-turned, companies will stand in line to build new facilities in Ohio? SB5 is the Republican's way of keeping their majority by cutting off funding to their opposition (Democratic candidates). As it is written, this is a disgraceful piece of legislation. Over-turn SB5 and maybe Kasich and the Rupublican majority will start taking the best interest of all of Ohio into account and slow down the pace on this lightning legislation marathon. Thank you to anyone who reached this part of my post, instead of just scrolling past it like a swiss post.

Kottage Kat

@ Alford plea, Still reading SB5, I did finish your comments and found some points worthy of consideration. I am learnig from both sides as I stated in a prior post. If anyone knows of a site that spells SB5 out for those who have neither the time or the inclination to read through all the legal mumbo-jumbo, please post the link. This is an emotionally charged issue, and when cooler heads prevail and the discourse foucuses(sp) on the basic issues then both sides will be heard. As I read I am starting to have questions, and I will address them with my Rep., and trust me he and I do not always see eye 2 eye, and have gone toe 2 toe on more than 1 occasion. Good points, well worth the read. Thank you. Kat with a K


I still can not find where ALL unions are abolished and collective barganing is ended with this bill. Many people have lived and died for the unions over the years. Great when you need them, sadly put to use when you do not. Unfortunately, Have seen both sides of this in my working career. I prefer the later, after leaving a union and working a career where my performance was rewarded for my pay. Quite frankly, if you can recall the days where many Norwalk Furniture workers worked on piece rate, they were their days of glory. Their pay was increased for productivity. I believe many jobs today are better served sharing in the sales and performance of the job. SB5 does not hinder performance in the private sector. Rather, it forces performance or go do something else. You see, these folks choose to work within the public field, not forced. Somewhere along the line our government became this large employer and the beast that it is now we no longer can afford it. You can not have government be your largest employer. It will not work. To be sure, whether this is overturned or not, there will be many cuts coming.


@thumper, simply making Ohio a Right To Work state, threatons unions. At this point, people still have a choice to apply for a union job or not. Your post assumes that people working for unions are not merited for their performance and hard work and everyone is treated the same across the board. I beg to differ. There are many job positions within a factory and other types of union companies. I can assure you, only the best, brightest, most hard working and dedicated of employees excell to the highest level of job positoins. You still have to be qualified union or not. Again, I defend my position and ask the question, why are we paying a bill we did not create? Has our leaders exhausted all means by which to force recovery from the financial sector and those responsible for this horroble colapse? I think not... A simple $8 million dollar check from Exxon would solve the problem and barely dent their quarterly capital gains. We keep giving and when we say no more, bills like SB5 crop up and force us to comply. This bill shoud be called BS5.


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