OPINION: Ohio Senate Bill 83 is an Egregious Attack on Higher Education and We Must Stop It From Passing

By now, most people have heard of the provision in Ohio Senate Bill 83 that would ban university faculty from going on strike. Some of my fellow students argue that Ohio is “The Florida of the Great Lakes,” and this bill reflects precisely that. Senate Bill 83 is an egregious attack on higher education, and we must do everything in our power to stop it from passing. It is very likely that the bill will not pass, as is, with the “three-party system” we have in the Ohio General Assembly. 

We should not rely on the idea that moderates and Democrats will stand up for what is right. We should not stand idly by while power-hungry GOP Senators and Representatives in Columbus play political chess with our institutions of higher education. I have already said that we must do everything in our power, utilizing everything in our toolbox to prevent S.B. 83 from passing. That includes the power of the American Union of University Professors (AAUP), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and any other Labor Unions active on our campus to go on strike. 

Generally speaking, a strike is a last resort when contract negotiations do not go in favor of the worker. The threat of a strike is a bargaining tool that gives the Union its power. Without it, your superiors do not have to bargain in good faith because there will not be any consequences. Once they take away your right to strike, they will argue that the Union doesn’t do anything for you. Then they will come from other public sector labor unions like the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) or the Ohio Education Association (OEA). 

I am calling on the CSU faculty and staff to walk out and go on strike to protest Ohio Senate Bill 83. I urge the unions active on all 14 of Ohio’s public university campuses to follow suit. Show the power-hungry in Columbus that we are more than just a school. We are several thousand workers and even more students who cannot and will not be silenced. To Columbus, the Board of Trustees and the University President run the schools. To that, I say without the Professors, instructors, office employees, advisors, custodians, and chef the school shuts down. I say to use that to show the state house who is really in charge. I trust that the University Presidents and Boards of Trustees will stand in solidarity with their faculty and staff. 

Strike while you still can! Stand up to Senators Cirino, Brenner, Johnson, McColley, O’Brien, Reynolds, Roegner, and Rulli – The bill’s sponsors. Call each Senator and advocate for what is right! CSU general strike now! 

While you still can.

Disclaimer: This article in no way reflects the views of The Cauldron and its staff. It only reflects the views of the columnist.