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Jesse Jackson calls on Ohioans to defeat Issue 2

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson, left, addresses an anti-Issue 2 crowd Wednesday on the University of Toledo campus.

The Blade/Amy Voigt
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With the steps of the Student Union at the University of Toledo as his stage, the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday called on Ohioans to defeat a law that would restrict collective bargaining rights for state and local government employees.

“Collective bargaining is the American way,” he said. “Easy access to voting is the American way. ”

The longtime civil rights leader urged a “no” vote on ballot Issue 2, which would ban public employee strikes, require public employees to pay a certain percentage of their pension contributions and medical-insurance premiums, prohibit supervisory employees from collective bargaining, and bar public employee unions from negotiating for staffing and class-size levels.

He said the law would hurt students as well as faculty.

His appearance was sponsored by the UT chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the union that represents faculty members.

Harvey Wolff, president of the UT chapter, said in a previous interview that his union opposes Issue 2 because it doesn’t allow collective bargaining for a faculty that has members who take part in hiring committees — which are typical in universities — and whose institution has a body such as a faculty senate, which at UT predates the union.

“If [Issue 2] were to pass, then it would essentially mean the end of our union and make it impossible for university faculty to form a union,” Mr. Wolff said.

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