April 1, 2011- Gov. John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a limit on the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers, defying Democrats and other opponents of the measure who have promised to push for repeal.
His signature came a day after the measure was approved by the state House and Senate, which are led by his fellow Republicans.
The measure prompted weeks of pro-labor protests by thousands of people amid a national debate over union rights, keyed by a similar bill passed in Wisconsin and signed by the governor there.
The 350,000 public workers covered under the law can still negotiate wages and certain work conditions – but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. The measure also does away with automatic pay raises and bases future wage increases on merit.
It applies to teachers, nurses and many other government workers, including police and firefighters, who were exempt in the Wisconsin measure.