Nurses, teachers urge Senate to restore collective bargaining rights

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ONA and OFT push the Ohio Senate to amend the budget bill to give back union rights to home health care, child care providers

The Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) and the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) are disappointed at the decision to rescind two executive orders imposed by Governor Ted Strickland in 2007 and 2008 to respectively establish collective bargaining for independent home health care workers and independent child care home providers. 

“It‘s sad to see rights of approximately 16,000 Ohioans stripped away.  It’s especially sad when those rights are for those who care for our children, our parents and those who are unable to care for themselves.  The child care providers allow our children to be in a safe and educational environment, while giving parents alternatives to institutionalized child care.  The in-home health care providers provide an invaluable service by bringing individualized care to the home, often to aging adults and those with disabilities.  Those people, those who care for our state’s most vulnerable, need to have a voice through collective bargaining so they can effectively advocate for their patients and their children,” stated Lori Chovanak, MN, RN, APRN-BC, chief executive officer of the Ohio Nurses Association. 

ONA and OFT urge Ohio’s Senate to restore this voice through an amendment to the state’s biennial budget bill. 

“Ohioans want workers to have a voice at the workplace.  This was made abundantly clear when Senate Bill 5 was repealed several years ago.  I strongly encourage the legislature to restore collective bargaining for Ohio’s in-home child care providers who use collective bargaining to set high standards for our children’s early education.  Let’s bring back the collective bargaining rights of these workers,” stated Melissa Cropper, president of OFT. 

When told about the recent rescission, AFT president, Randi Weingarten commented,“Home health and child care workers are among our nation’s lowest paid and least appreciated workers. They do some of our country’s toughest, most critical work – caring for and educating children and providing a lifeline for home-bound patients. Both industries are among our nation’s fastest growing. In short, what happens to these hardworking men and women affects all working people. To strip them of their rights to collectively bargaining for better standards and better care for the children and patients in their charge is unconscionable. AFT stands with them and their unions as they fight back.”