Gahanna City Council will take another two weeks to mull over a resolution John McAlister has proposed, urging voters to support Issue 2 on Nov. 8.

Gahanna City Council will take another two weeks to mull over a resolution John McAlister has proposed, urging voters to support Issue 2 on Nov. 8.

McAlister reviewed a draft with his colleagues Sept. 26, when he noted that much of the information in the resolution has been taken from a study by the Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based conservative think tank.

McAlister said a document concerning the top 10 myths about collective bargaining and S.B. 5 is online at

McAlister’s draft proposal states Gahanna City Council had asked Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly for relief in helping control the city’s labor costs.

“We got that relief in the form of S.B. 5 legislation,” the resolution states. “Gahanna and the rest of the taxpayers in Ohio will save roughly $1.3 billion per year if local governments use the tools provided to them under S.B. 5. É The majority of spending in the city of Gahanna is on salaries and benefits for employees, which has increased at a rate which far exceeds the private sector.”

A referendum in the form of Issue 2 gives voters an opportunity to repeal S.B. 5. Unlike many referendums, however, a no vote would repeal S.B. 5, whereas a yes vote would make it law. A political-action committee called We Are Ohio is behind the referendum, claiming public employees have a right to bargain collectively.

We Are Ohio has its own list of myths and facts listed on a website:

The first two listed on the site are as follows:

Myth: S.B. 5 is needed to help balance the budget and stimulate job growth.

Truth: S.B. 5 destroys jobs and lowers wages. You cannot create jobs by destroying jobs. If S.B. 5 passes, owners of shops, gas stations and other small businesses across this state will be forced to lay off workers or close their doors.

Myth: Public employees are overpaid, and their salaries need to be brought in line with the private sector.

Truth: A recent Rutgers University study found Ohio public employees earn 6 percent less on a yearly basis than their peers in the private sector. They earn 3.5 percent less on an hourly basis. The average OAPSE (Ohio Association of Public School Employee) makes $24,000 a year and retires with an average pension of $900 a month. Public employees do not pay into or receive Social Security.

Still, McAlister said, most government workers pay less than the private-sector average of 23 percent for their health-care premiums and receive sick-pay benefits at five times greater than private-sector employees.

“Taxpayers pay between 14 and 34.5 percent of each government worker’s salary for retirement, compared to private-sector Ohioans receiving roughly 10.2 percent (4 percent for the average employee’s 401(k) match plus 6.2 percent for the Social Security payment),” he said.

The legislation also states the death and injury rates over the last decade for firefighters and police officers in states that don’t allow government workers to collectively bargain is the same as states like Ohio that allow government workers to collectively bargain.

McAlister said he recently attended a meeting in Dublin, where Buckeye Institute president Matt A. Mayer was the keynote speaker.

“He said if Senate Bill 5 is repealed, you can kiss Ohio goodbye,” McAlister said. “It will be higher taxes to run cities.” Successful corporations in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s promised gold-plated benefits, and they went bankrupt, he said.

The draft resolution states government managers need the same flexibility to manage their workplaces as private-sector managers.

Furthermore, it states that S.B. 5 eliminates step increases and longevity bonuses and requires governments to focus on performance and merit.

“We’re on an unsustainable track,” McAlister said. “We got relief to control labor costs. I think we have an obligation as city council to look out for the wallets of constituents.”

If council proceeds with the resolution to support Issue 2, Mayor Becky Stinchcomb advises keeping the language factual. She suggested — and McAlister agreed — to eliminate the phrase, “reforming Ohio’s collective bargaining by government workers is one of the few ways government leaders can rein in gold-plated compensation packages.”

More discussion on the draft resolution is expected at council’s next committee meeting Oct. 11.