AFSCME Ohio

Gov's budget proposal has battle brewing over jobs

One day before the governor's budget proposal, a battle is brewing over jobs. They all work on the Health Science campus at the University of Toledo and they are bracing for the worst.

Close to 75 people work in the dietary department at UTMC. They're represented through a union -- AFSCME. When Ohio governor John Kasich unveils his budget plan Tuesday, those here think they'll be the first to get cut.

Thomas Kosek, President of AFSCME Council 8 Local 2415, says, "These people make sure that your mother gets the right tray, she gets the right food cooked with the right amount of salt in it, and this dietician here is the one that orders the right amount of salt."

Tom Kosek says the concern comes from comments made by the governor; comments about cuts at universities and limiting collective bargaining.

In an exclusive interview with 13abc's Lee Conklin last week, the governor talked about public jobs. "This budget will have cuts in it, but the more reform we can do the better it is for taxpayers. The better it is for the people who get the services," said Kasich. "And these folks are going to be the first bit of fallout from those cuts."

Kosek explains in anticipation of the cuts, UTMC has entered into discussions with a corporation. He says it would replace the union-backed dietary department with a privatized management group and there is no guarantee all 75 employees would keep their jobs. In fact, Kosek says everyone in the dietary department would most likely get a pink slip, then have to re-apply for their jobs.

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