Tri-state unions rally against SB 5

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - Mason teachers, along with fire and police unions, will rally Wednesday against Senate Bill 5, which would abolish collective bargaining rights for state employees.

The unions will rally at the corner of Mason Montgomery and Tylersville Road, a day after thousands of union members rallied at the state capitol.

Among those rallying Tuesday in Columbus were teachers in Middletown and Sycamore.

"We hold our contract to be very strong and very true and we don't want to loose the benefits that we have," said Middletown teacher Richard Packert.

"Teachers that are more senior in their career are very concerned about what this is going to do to their retirement,"said Kevin Wittman, a teacher a Sycamore High School.

Wittman says the rank and file isn't ready for such sweeping changes, and say lawmakers and school leaders need to come the table and negotiate.

"They'd like to know from one year to the next, what their pay is going to be, what their benefit contributions are going to be, and it makes them very worried about that, what does the future hold," Wittman said.

Sycamore High School teacher Danielle Scrase not only worries about bargaining rights of teachers, but also what's at stake for students.

"Students learning is in jeopardy with classes becoming so large, I think that people who are really qualified will second guess going into education," Scrase said.

Packert hopes Tuesday's protest will help protect the middle class, and weigh heavy on the policy of lawmakers.

"We've sacrificed a lot in Middletown due to the economy and we just can't see going any worse than what it already is," Packert said.

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