Kasich Vows to Reverse Executive Orders on Workers

Republican Gov.-elect John Kasich said today that he and his staff are reviewing executive orders signed by outgoing Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland to decide whether he wants to keep or repeal them. But he said Strickland's order allowing thousands of independent home health-care providers and self-employed child-care workers to unionize "is probably toast."

It wasn't immediately clear what that would mean because the workers already have voted to organize and contracts were negotiated. The Service Employees International Union Local 1199 represents about 7,000 independent home health-care providers, and Ohio Council 8 of AFSCME to represent roughly 7,000 self-employed child-care providers.

Strickland signed an order six months after he took office in 2007 giving independent home health-care workers the right to organize and pick a bargaining representative. He also signed an order allowing self-employed child-care workers to join a union.

The governor has said that the orders are good public policy, did not force anyone to join a union and were not motivated by politics. Supporters say the actions allowed the state-paid workers, some of whom have been historically underpaid, to improve their pay and address work-related concerns as their counterparts in nursing homes and day-care centers can.

“I don’t think it kind of allows them (to unionize); I think it kind of forces them," he said. "I don’t like that provision. That executive order is probably toast. We’ll reverse that.”

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