by Clyde Weiss | February 10, 2012
Lindsay Brent (center), a billing clerk in Steubenville’s utility department and secretary of Local 2015 (Council 8), protests Gov. John Kasich’s State-of-the-State address with Denise Stark (left) and Mary Hagan. (Photo by Joe Weidner/Ohio Council 8)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich discovered last November what workers can do when they stand together to oppose attacks on their collective bargaining rights. If he stepped outside Steubenville Elementary School’s auditorium, where he gave his State-of-the-State address on Feb. 7, he would have seen that solidarity again.
This time, he’d see a crowd of more than 150 uninvited guests, who came to protest the governor’s budget cuts to public services that would hit communities across the state. That group included Steubenville city employees – members of Local 2015 (AFSCME Council 8) – who have done their share to help maintain vital services their city depends upon. They also have suffered layoffs.
Steubenville, like other communities across Ohio, continues to experience the impact of Kasich’s cuts to the local government fund.
“The whole city is pretty much working with a skeleton crew,” said Lindsay Brent, secretary of Local 2015, which represents 80 workers serving this city of 20,000. “We’ve made cuts to everything – the workforce, utility use – you name it.”
Christopher Mabe, president of Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA)/ AFSCME Local 11, said Governor Kasich failed in his State-of-the-State address to address key issues affecting the state.
“Missing from Governor Kasich’s remarks were the thousands of state, county and municipal employees who have lost their jobs, including over 2,000 front-line state employees, during his first year. That has had a dramatic impact on our communities. It’s about time we recognized the importance of public sector work. Meat inspectors, highway workers, bridge inspectors, corrections officers, direct care workers and unemployment counselors – these are the public employees who have kept Ohio working and who have maintained Ohioans’ quality of life through this rough economy. We are part of the solution.”
Ohio Council 8 and Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA)/ AFSCME Local 11, contributed to this story.