The Cleveland Heights Teachers Union met Thursday to strategize its next move following the Ohio Senate's passage of Senate Bill 5.
“My gut tells me it is going to pass in the House as is, but my heart tells me we have to fight like hell right now,” said Tom Schmida, president of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, which has 600 teachers. “And I do believe we can turn the House.”
More than 70 teachers, retirees and parents took a bus down to Columbus Tuesday to protest SB 5, which would reduce collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public employees, including police officers, teachers and firefighters.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District published a statement on its website in support of collective bargaining. about the importance of maintaining collective bargaining rights.
The teachers union website is updated often, and Schmida posted the information for the next rally on March 15 in Strongsville.
Schmida, who has testified against the bill, called the bill a “job killer.”
“I’m especially concerned about our younger folks and our younger teachers. One of my members said she’s moving to a state that is friendlier to teachers,” he said.
Though the meeting Thursday was for union members only, Schmida provided some indication of how the union would put pressure on the house to reject the bill.
“I think it’s time to take some of these demonstrations to the back yard of the representatives.”