Issues & Action

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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. 

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

Nursing Home Staffing and PPE Crisis

2020 Union Scholarship Winners

Kentucky
Vernal Wiley, Highlands ARH

West Virginia
Stephanie Fiber, child of Tina Fiber, Northern Panhandle Head Start

Andrew Leist, child of Sarah Parks, Cabell Huntington Hospital
Jake Meek, child of Retha Meek, American Red Cross – Huntington
Shauntina Reed, child of Priscilla Reed, Rescare – West Virginia

Ohio
Tiera Cross, Lutheran Hospital

Andrew Curry, child of Kim Moore, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Valerie Dranchak, child of Christa Dranchak, Greene County Public Library
Amanda Frerking, child of Mary Frerking, Stark County District Library
Christina Fulton, Zepf Center
Stephanie Furino, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Marc Judy, child of Lisa Judy, Steward – Trumbull Regional Medical Center
Ariel McLain, child of Erica McLain, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Keith Nelson, child of Tasha Nelson, Rescue Mental Health
Tamhra Phelps, Mercy Lorain – RNs
Cara Potocki, child of Therese Potocki, Frontline Services
James Snowden, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Gage Thompson, child of Kristina Thompson, OS – Department of Developmental Disabilities
Rachel Witten, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Trisade Zimmerman, child of Dwayne Henson, OS – Ohio Veterans Home

Nursing Home staffing and PPE Shortages Continue, New Data Shows. Nursing Home Workers Express Alarm as COVID19 Cases Surge in Ohio and Nationwide

A new analysis of CMS data by AARP and the Ohio University Scripps Gerontology Center shows that many nursing home facilities lack needed PPE. Concurrently, projections and modeling data show that COVID19 transmission may dramatically increase this fall and winter. 

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 19th, 2020
Media Contact: Anthony Caldwell (330) 651-2042

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Nationwide, 84,000 residents and nursing home workers have died as COVID19 has spread across the country, data shows. Nursing home workers have acted bravely by caring for nursing home residents and continuing their work, even in difficult conditions.

In Ohio, this crisis has reached nursing home facilities across the state, with some outbreaks occurring at severe levels. “Nursing home and other workers go to work each day, where they often wear protective equipment and the pandemic is a constant concern. Nursing home workers often work long hours and earn low-wages. Nursing home staffing has always been a concern but at many facilities, staffing levels have further deteriorated. Transmission of COVID19 has been highly prevalent within nursing home facilities,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs for SEIU District 1199.

New analysis of data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services by AARP shows that 34.6% of Ohio nursing homes in the 4 week period ending on 9/20/20 had a shortage of workers. Additionally, 33.9% of nursing homes in Ohio did not have a one week supply of all critical personal protective equipment items needed during that same period.

Nursing home workers now have one of the most dangerous jobs in America, stated a recent report in the Washington Post. “These workers were not cared for before this pandemic and this is a deepening crisis. Policymakers at all levels of government, long-term care corporations, and nursing home operators, must work together to ensure access to personal protective equipment and that there is safe staffing for nursing home residents,” concluded Caldwell. 

SEIU District 1199, a healthcare and social service union, represents thousands of nursing home workers across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

View the AARP COVID19 Nursing Home Dashboard.

Video Guide to Voting by Mail for Members

Good Union Jobs Depend on Public Policy

A Message From a Member Leader: Our Vote is Essential

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It has been a tough time.
 I’m worried about my loved ones and for our friends, neighbors, and whole country. It has been an especially tough time for all of us.

We have called legislators, marched in the streets, held vigils honoring the lives of frontline workers and nursing home residents lost to COVID19, and stood together demanding job protections, PPE, and hazard pay. Despite all this, we haven’t gotten the support that we need.

If they haven’t listened so far, they must hear us at the ballot box. On November 3rd and during early voting, we have the chance to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of our country. This is a ticket that supports making it easier for folks to join a Union, a $15 minimum wage, standing up for racial justice, and taking on big companies that don’t respect workers.

Early voting is ongoing now in each county in Ohio. You can view early voting locations and hours onlineYou can also vote by mail and I’m telling all of my friends to send back their ballot as soon as possible.

I’m making my action plan. I want every elected leader to know that we will be speaking out on Election Day. Visit MyVoteIsEssential.org to do the same! Our vote is essential. Visit MyVoteIsEssential.org and join with me. 

In Unity, 

Carol Ford – Healthcare Worker in Cleveland
Member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Visit the Member Election Center for member endorsements and details for voters. 

Take Action & Share Your Support for the Cuyahoga County Library Levy

 

SEIU District 1199 Members Endorse Issue 70 – The Cuyahoga County Public Library Levy

Register to Vote Online Today

The deadline to register to vote is quickly approaching but you can still update your voter registration or register to vote online in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. If you are not registered to vote, register right away so that you can be a part of this important election.

Kentucky Online Voter Registration (Deadline: October 5th)
West Virginia Online Voter Registration (Deadline: October 13th)
Ohio Online Voter Registration (Deadline: October 5th)

If you are registered to vote or after you register to vote, consider voting by mail. Together, we have the power to win unions for all. Register to vote today.

In Solidarity,

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

Members of SEIU District 1199 to Peacefully Protest Before the Presidential Debate in Cleveland in Support of Vice President Joe Biden and Unions for All

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Union members will peacefully hold signs and chant is support of Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden and a Unions for All agenda. Workers in Cleveland say that this is one of the most important presidential elections in recent history and that good union jobs, racial justice, healthcare coverage, and a $15 an hour minimum wage, are on the ballot.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 28th, 2020
Contact: Anthony Caldwell at (877) 419-7348

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Union members from all backgrounds will demonstrate in advance of the presidential debate that will be held in Cleveland this evening on Tuesday, September 29th at 9 PM ET. Local workers will stand together from 5 PM to 7 PM in advance of the debate around 89th and Chester Avenue. Workers will draw attention to their support for Vice President Joe Biden and the importance of his agenda in support of working people and their families.

“There are so many special interests, major corporations, and wealthy donors. The rules have been rigged against working people for too long. It is important that we make our voices heard, especially with President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden visiting Cleveland,” said Carol Ford, a Member Vice President and healthcare worker with SEIU District 1199. “We need greater unity as a country, for there to be more good union jobs, and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, so that all working people can make a living wage for their hard work,” continued Ford.   

With the election fast approaching, members with SEIU District 1199 have been vigorously helping other workers and their family members register to vote, in addition to sharing details on policy issues and how to request an absentee ballot. In Ohio, voters will have less than a week remaining to register to vote following the presidential debate.

“People in Cleveland know how important it is that no matter how much money we make or what we look like, that people across the country have to come together again,” said Samara Knight, an Executive Vice President with SEIU District 1199.” There has been too much division and working people across Ohio and the country are supporting Vice President Joe Biden because they know he will bring unity and help implement policies that support working people and the good union jobs that our communities need.”

Write a Letter – Stand with the Union Nurses at the Stillwater Center in Dayton, Ohio

 

Men United to the Polls in Cleveland

 

Unity Early Vote March in Cleveland

Cleveland Events
What: Early Vote Unity and Solidarity March to the Board of Elections 
When: Tuesday, October 6th at 11 AM
Where: Meet on 30th and Chester at 10 AM at 2701 Chester Avenue. Parking Available on Side Street. 

This is one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. We are voting this year for our families and our country. Together, we will make our voices heard. 

Unions for All Protest in Cleveland

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris believe in Unions for All and want to make this country safe, free, and fair for all people – regardless of the color of our skin or how much money we have.

What: Unions for All Presidential Debate Protest in Cleveland, Ohio.
When: Tuesday, September 29th. Meet at Union Hall by 1PM. Depart at 2PM.
Where: SEIU Union Hall at 13000 Shaker Boulevard. Travel to event via RTA. 

Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will stand up for good union jobs, the healthcare coverage we need, a $15 an hour minimum wage, and racial justice. 

Volunteer Online for the November Election

Register to Vote Online Today

Poll Worker
Update your voter registration or register to vote online in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. If you’re not registered to vote, register so that you can be part of the most important election in our lifetimes.

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

If you’re registered to vote or after you register to vote, consider voting by mail. Get details on requesting an absentee ballot, working as a poll worker, and more through this online 2020 election center for members.

Together, we have the power to win unions for all. Register today

National Assisted Living Week: A Message From President Becky Williams

SEIU
As you may know, this week is known as National Assisted Living Week. I want to take this chance to recognize all of you and this very important work.

Members who work at assisted living facilities help individuals maintain their dignity and independence as they age. I know that things have been particularly difficult for members this year and assisted living residents due to the COVID19 pandemic. Thank you for the work that you do each day.

Together, we will continue to speak out for safe jobs with fair wages and benefits, in addition to quality care.

In Solidarity,

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

Workers Justice Committee Open Interviews

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What: Open Interviews for $15 an Hour Canvass Positions 
Where: SEIU 1199 Cleveland Union Hall at 13000 Shaker Boulevard in Cleveland 
When: Tuesday, September 15th (12 PM to 4 PM) and Wednesday, September 16th (9 AM to 4 PM)

No Experience Necessary. 8-Hour and 4-Hour Shifts Available. Background Checks Required by Law. 

Standing Together for Nursing Home Safety and Unions for All

Nursing home members with SEIU District 1199 of all backgrounds have worked bravely across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, during the current pandemic. Members have faced hazardous conditions while providing health care services and support on behalf of long-term care residents.

Last week, a new study was released by a journal called Health Affairs about nursing homes, labor unions, and COVID19. The study found that at nursing homes where workers had a Union in New York State, COVID19 infection and fatality rates were significantly lower than at non-Union facilities. The study concluded that this is likely because “health care worker unionization may play an important role in ensuring access to appropriate PPE and implementing infection control policies that protect vulnerable nursing home residents.”

Members can contact elected officials online about the need for greater availability of personal protective equipment, the importance of a nursing home worker bill of rights, and the Heroes Act, which would guarantee hazard pay for frontline workers. Together, we will continue to speak out for priorities important to nursing home workers and for elected leaders to protect all workers.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Nursing Home Workers Need Unions for All