Issues & Action

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Our mission is to improve the lives of working people and their families and to achieve greater social and economic justice. If you share our vision for a more just society,
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Register to Vote Online 
Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio, all now offer online voter registration. You also should be able to make changes online.

• Kentucky Online Voter Registration
• West Virginia Online Voter Registration
• Ohio Online Voter Registration 

2020 Member Election Center
Visit the Member Election Center online for details on member endorsements, voting by mail, registering to vote or making voter registration updates, working as a poll worker in November, and more. 

Contact Your Elected Officials
Track votes in Congress with
 GovTrack or research elected officials with Vote Smart. Write to your elected officials or make a call. Look up your elected officials.

See below for issue updates, organizing news, member action alerts, and more. 

SEIU District 1199 Scholarship Program

2014_SEIU1199_ScholarshipVerticalBannerWho is eligible?
All SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH members in good standing and their immediate family members are eligible.

What are the requirements?
You must have been accepted or currently enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year educational institution or technical school and actively enrolled in a degree, post bachelor’s degree or certification program.
You must be enrolled for a minimum of five (5) credit hours in a course required or related to the degree or certification.
You and your immediate family member(s) are eligible if you have been a member in good standing of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH for at least two years prior to the application deadline.

How do I apply?
Complete scholarship eligibility criteria, requirements, and applications:

• SEIU 1199 Scholarship Form
 SEIU 1199 Scholarship FAQ

Members may also obtain an application packet including eligibility criteria information and an application by calling the Member Resource Center hotline at 1-877-419-SEIU (7348).

The application process is now closed. The application period will re-open in 2021. 

• Scholarship Recipient List – 2020
• Scholarship Recipient List – 2019
 Scholarship Recipient List – 2018
 Sign a Membership Card (must be in good standing for 2 years)

Applications may be submitted by email to scholarships@seiu1199.org or by mail to:

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH
Member Resource Center
Attention: Scholarships
1395 Dublin Road
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Union Members at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Stand United for a Fair Contract as Labor Negotiations Continue

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Members with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH at Cincinnati State say that they have not received a wage increase since 2017.

Contact: Joshua Norris at (937) 925-0149
For Immediate Release: Friday, April 9th, 2021

CINCINNATI, OHIO – Union members with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College will resume labor negotiations with Cincinnati State on Monday, April 12th. Since 2017, workers have not received a pay increase, which means that current wages have not kept up with the rate of inflation and have been eroded by increases in the cost of living.

According data published by the State Employment Relations Board, the public sector average for the time period of 2018-2021 equates to 10% for the Cincinnati region. During this same time period, Cincinnati State members have seen 0% in wage increases and have continued to see their level of responsibilities increase, as they have been asked to do more with less.

“These Union members are the core of Cincinnati State and it’s important to maintain staff retention and provide a living wage that keeps up with the increased cost of living over the last 4 years and during this pandemic – the college has to demonstrate that they care for those who have dedicated their lives and careers to this work,” said Joshua Norris, an Executive Vice President with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “The members are asking people across the area, whether you community member, voter, public official, or if you are a part of the labor movement, to sign onto a letter to President Monica Posey and the Board of Trustees. It is very important for these dedicated workers to be respected, protected, and paid,” concluded Norris.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is expected to receive substantial funding of $16,172,000, half of which would be obligated to student grants, under the American Rescue Plan, according to projections made available by the American Council on Education.

Negotiations with management will continue on Monday, April 12th. Workers with Cincinnati State will hold a press conference the following day on Tuesday, April 13th at 5:30 PM at the intersection of Ludlow Avenue and Central Parkway.

Frontline Healthcare Worker Nominations

Thank You — National Library Week 2021

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This week, during National Library Week, we recognize your work over the last year during the COVID19 pandemic.
Your SEIU District 1199 family appreciates everything you have done on behalf of the public.

Over the last year, library workers have provided vital services at a very important time. Ohio’s public libraries ensure access to books, services, and technology. Most recently, many library workers are distributing COVID19 home test kits and some members are a part of the COVID19 vaccination effort. Together, we will continue to work to ensure that all library workers are respected, protected, and paid. 

We appreciate you and everything you do. This week and everyday, we thank you.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams — President 

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Support Ohio’s Public Libraries

 WeLoveOurLibraryWorkers

Lorain Public Library System Workers Aid COVID19 Vaccination Effort

Lorain Public Library Workers
Union members with the Lorain Public Library System work every day on behalf of the public. Most recently, they have been providing a new service – scheduling COVID19 vaccination appointments.

To date, library workers say that they have helped schedule as many as 2,000 vaccinations. Library workers are using an interface called ArmorVax to locate available appointments. The effort is just one of many services available to the public through their local library system.

“Many of those who call us have no access to the Internet. Even if they have online access, the process of finding a vaccine is complex and time-consuming,” said Cheri Campbell, a Librarian with the Lorain Public Library System and member leader with SEIU District 1199. “One phone call to a library branch, a few screening questions, and they have that sought-after appointment. It is so gratifying to know that we are doing something that will make their lives better,” Campbell concluded. 

The Lorain Public Library System has partnered with Lorain County Public Health to schedule appointments. Ultimately, this scheduling work by area library workers and Union members is contributing to the greater vaccination effort and saving lives.

Solidarity Newsletter — April

Solidarity NewsMember News and Grievance Victories
Technical and Professional Workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract Agreement.
After negotiating for nearly a year, members with Cabell Huntington Hospital voted to approve a new contract agreement with hospital executives. In addition to improvements in wages and benefits, the agreement will help ensure quality care and workforce retention.  

ResCare Member Negotiates Settlement After Filing Grievance. A member with ResCare worked with the Union to file a grievance to contest a termination. As an outcome of the grievance, the termination was converted to a resignation and the member received $800 as a settlement. Without a Union, employment is “at-will” with few protections. 

Toledo Area Nursing Home Member Reinstated. A member with a nursing home was recently reinstated after a wrongful termination due to confusion regarding leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The dedicated member had worked at the facility for 29 years and had never called off from work. As an outcome of the grievance, the member has returned to work.  

ResCare Member Issued Back Pay After Identifying Missing Raise. A member with ResCare found out that she was missing a raise of $0.30 an hour that should have been granted a year prior. The member worked with the Union to file a grievance. In a successful outcome, the rate of pay for the member was updated and she was issued approximately $1,000 in back pay. 

Northeast Ohio Hospital Member Granted Settlement After Lost PTO Hours Due to COVID19. A member who worked as a phlebotomist went into self-quarantine after exposure to COVID19. The member ultimately lost 39 hours of PTO time after returning to work and filed a grievance. Through the grievance process outlined by the Union contract, the member was re-issued the PTO time that had been deducted, which had a value of nearly $600.

Member Resource Center Update

The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits
Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card

Worker and Community Letter — Union Members at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

 

One Year Into COVID-19, Care Workers Hold Press Conference at Huntington City Hall With Mayor Steve Williams

Mayor Williams SEIU
HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Today, nursing home and frontline workers in Huntington stood with Mayor Steve Williams at Huntington City Hall as part of a national day of action in 16 cities across the country. As leaders in Washington debate additional relief and recovery measures, workers are demanding legislative action that transforms caregiving jobs, which have been deemed essential during the pandemic but all too often are not respected, protected and paid as such, into good, union jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits.

One year after COVID-19 upended business as usual in the United States, frontline care workers have made extraordinary sacrifices to keep our communities safe, fed, clean and cared for. The pandemic has brought unprecedented attention to the essential contributions of direct care workers — the majority of whom are women. The care industry is our nation’s fastest growing sector. With 10,000 people turning 65 in the U.S. every day, an estimated 1.3 million new care jobs are needed in the next decade to meet rising demand. But many care workers are paid low wages, lack workplace benefits and protections like paid sick leave, and have rung the alarm on unsafe staffing levels, only to have their concerns ignored.

“Healthcare workers in Huntington and across our region have given everything they have to the effort to defeat COVID19 and care for others in this pandemic,” said Joyce Gibson, Secretary Treasurer with SEIU District 1199. “Long-term care workers have worked in difficult conditions while providing essential care for the people of Huntington. This crisis must be a call to action so that working people and their families can emerge from this stronger. These workers always deserved higher wages and we have to take action to ensure that all care workers have the ability to join a union,” continued Gibson. “We cannot wait until the next pandemic to ensure that there are more good union long-term care jobs with a living wage of $15 an hour and affordable health insurance,” said Gibson.

Across the country, workers in 16 cities called on President Joe Biden and members of Congress to follow through on the Build Back Better plan and commit $450 billion to our caregiving system as part of the next relief package. This investment would create more than one million jobs in direct care and transform them into family-sustaining jobs that come with the opportunity to join a union. It would also put women — at the center of our nation’s economic recovery and create the foundation of a new, inclusive middle class.

Our Care Is Essential! Call 877-689-2371 and tell Congress we need good care jobs TODAY!

How do we build back better? By creating good union care jobs, with $15, paid sick leave, and affordable healthcare, so that seniors and people with disabilities get the care they need. Call 877-689-2371 and tell Congress we need good care jobs TODAY!

9to5 Virtual Movie Screening

9to5
To celebrate the accomplishments of union women, along with other labor groups, we are sponsoring a viewing and discussion of 9to5: The Story of a Movement on March 30th at 6pm through Zoom.

This film discusses the role of union women and labor organizing in the movement for women’s rights. In the 1980’s, office and clerical workers organized 925 chapters at area employers such as libraries, Cuyahoga Community College, and the University of Cincinnati before joining SEIU District 1199.

About the Film (PBS): “When Dolly Parton sang “9 to 5,” she was doing more than just shining a light on the fate of American working women. Parton was singing the true story of a movement that started with 9to5, a group of Boston secretaries in the early 1970s. Their goals were simple—better pay, more advancement opportunities and an end to sexual harassment—but their unconventional approach attracted the press and shamed their bosses into change. Featuring interviews with 9to5’s founders, as well as actor and activist Jane Fonda, 9to5: The Story of a Movement is the previously untold story of the fight that inspired a hit and changed the American workplace.”

Honoring Social Work Union Members

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Over the last year, social workers who are members with SEIU District 1199 have played an essential role in responding to the pandemic. This March, during National Social Work Month, we honor you for your important work.

Social workers have always brought together resources on behalf of individuals. In the pandemic, social workers have again helped to protect the vulnerable and tirelessly worked to ensure that individuals can meet their basic needs. Among other vital roles, social workers have advocated for social services when they have been needed most.

If you ever need assistance, you can always call your Member Resource Center at 877-419-7348. Thank you for your work on behalf of the public.

In Solidarity,

Becky Williams — President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

American Rescue Plan — Help is on the Way

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As you may know, the American Rescue Plan was signed today by President Biden after passing the U.S. House and Senate. The last year has been incredibly difficult for members across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. The American Rescue Plan will provide relief for working people and their families. 

The American Rescue Plan will benefit members with SEIU District 1199 in several important ways. The American Rescue Plan will:

• Send $1,400 in direct checks per person to households across the country
• Gives $350B for states, counties, and cities to invest in workers and provide vital public services
• Extends additional $300 per week unemployment insurance
• 
Cut child poverty in half (see more below)
• Provides nearly $130 billion for schools to reopen safely
• 
Allocate $103 billion to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination distribution and aggressively contain the virus

While some of the details are still being worked out, the final version of the American Rescue Plan will also temporarily increase the child tax credit to $3,000 or $3,600 per child under age 6 for most families and have 50% of it paid in advance…” The plan significantly expands and strengthens the child tax credit. Many families are expected to receive part of the tax credit in monthly payments from July 2021 to December 2021. 

Union members have worked heroically through this crisis by ensuring the provision of health care, public sector operations, and important services. We will continue to demand that politicians protect working people and their families. Together, we will do everything we can to help defeat the COVID19 pandemic. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams — President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

American Rescue Plan Event in Charleston

Union Veterans – Support the PRO Act

West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign Event

Nursing Home Member Leader Speaks Out

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Recognizes Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses – Honors Fallen Nurse Mary Meadows

nurses
In a phone call with nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden expressed gratitude for their work at the hospital amid the COVID19 pandemic. During the call, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden also acknowledged and honored fallen nurse and healthcare hero Mary Meadows. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden sent condolences on behalf of herself and President Joe Biden to all of the nurses at the hospital.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who was joined by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, spoke with each nurse participating in the call individually about the challenges of the pandemic. She also discussed the urgency of the vaccination effort, assured the nurses that West Virginia would not be left behind, and praised them for helping West Virginia lead the way in the area of vaccinations.

Nearly 1,000 nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital formed a Union with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH in November 2019. The nurses work in all areas of the hospital and have been working bravely on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. Nurses at the hospital ratified their first contract in January 2021, which protects quality care, in addition to wages and benefits.

Several nurses participated in the call:

• Deanna Donahoe, a float pool nurse, has worked at the hospital for 9 years.
• Holly Bragg, an operating room nurse, has worked at the hospital for 7 years.
• Madea McGuire, a NICU nurse, has worked at the hospital for 15 years.
• Cammie Melvin, a surgery center RN, has worked at the hospital for 4 years
• Betty Dillon, a nurse practitioner, has worked at the hospital for 39 years.
• Brenda Martin, a surgery nurse, has worked at the hospital for 18 years.  
• Denise Johnson, a mother baby nurse, has worked at the hospital for 7 years.

Mary Meadows was a registered nurse who was a leader in the effort to form a union in 2019. She worked for 37 years at Cabell Huntington Hospital and lost her life due to COVID19 in January 2021. The nurses were grateful for the call and are doing everything they can on behalf of the public in the current crisis.

 

Black History Month Events

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ASALH is holding a Virtual Black History Month Festival. Several of the events are free and open to the public. 

The Chicago Children’s Choir will be holding their annual Black History Month concert online on Thursday, February 25th at 7PM. 

If you live in Northeast Ohio, NewsNet5 has compiled “virtual events, in-person exhibitions, and meaningful conversations.”

For residents in the Huntington area, Marshall University also has details on local Black History Month events

In Kentucky, the McCracken County Public Library will host two upcoming virtual events

Cabell Huntington Hospital is Cancelling Supplemental Health Insurance for Retired Nurses

 New SEIU1199WKO Logo