Public employees in Ohio are now statutorily entitled to bargain collectively with their government employers. This controversial right was obtained on July 6, 1983, when Ohio Governor Richard Celeste fulfilled a major campaign promise by signing into law Senate Bill 133. This bill, which took effect April 1, 1984, has been labeled "one of the most pro-labor public employee bargaining statutes in the nation.
As with any legislation that provides sweeping social and economic changes, challenges to the bill's legitimacy can be expected. Experience in other states teaches that constitutional attacks on the statute will be mounted swiftly, attacks that undoubtedly will allege the bill contains an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority, does not comply with the requisites of procedural due process, and is a violation of the home rule provisions of the state constitution.
This Article analyzes the ways these issues have been handled by out-of-state courts and suggests their proper resolution by the courts of Ohio. It begins by tracing the development of public employee bargaining and by detailing the checkered history such bargaining efforts have had in Ohio. It next provides an overview of Senate Bill 133, focusing on those provisions likely to come under constitutional attack. It then examines out-of-state authority for guidelines on how Ohio can and should deal with these constitutional questions. On an issue-by-issue basis, a framework for resolving these questions is supplied.
Rebecca White, Robert E. Kaplan, and Michael W. Hawkins,
Ohio's Public Employee Bargaining Law: Can it Withstand Constitutional Challenge?
, 53 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/965