The Endgame Approaches

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The Endgame Approaches

Inside Higher Ed – As a bill that would strip collective bargaining rights from public employees advanced in Ohio’s legislature, a U.S. senator from that state lambasted the measure as demonstrating misplaced priorities.

“I think people want to focus on job creation in this state — and the governor and the legislature seem more focused on abortion and taking away worker rights,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat. “I think they’ve made a terrible mistake. They’ve divided the state unnecessarily.”

Brown made his comments to Inside Higher Ed during a break in a daylong session that he convened with about 50 presidents of private, public and community colleges from his home state. While this is the fourth year that Ohio’s higher education leaders have gathered as a group to meet with Brown and other representatives and agency officials, this is the first time that the focus has been on colleges’ role in sparking regional economic development.

The purpose of the meeting struck some as dissonant when juxtaposed with efforts to scale back collective bargaining rights, wages and benefits of public sector employees, including those working at public colleges and universities. Such efforts against faculty unions will undermine “a critical work force that stimulates economic development,” Gary Rhoades, general secretary of the American Association of University Professors, said in a statement.

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