Issues & Action

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

SEIU Members & Appalachian Regional Healthcare Reach Agreement on Highlands Regional Medical Center

HRMC
PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY – SEIU District 1199 and Appalachian Regional Healthcare have collaboratively reached a recognition and contract assumption agreement for Union members who work at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. SEIU District 1199 represents over 250 workers with Highlands Regional Medical Center and has represented members at the hospital since the 1980’s. As of August 1, Highlands Regional Medical Center is now a part of the ARH system.

While the full details of the agreement are confidential, the parties worked hard to ensure that a fair and equitable agreement was reached. The agreement offers improved healthcare coverage for bargaining unit members at the hospital with 100% paid in-network coverage. The agreement also recognizes the seniority of the hospital’s dedicated unionized employees and will carry-over accrued personal time, sick leave, and vacation time.

“This agreement will reward the hard work our members do, and it shows that negotiations conducted in good faith can lead to a contract that is beneficial for workers, the hospital, and the community,” said Joyce Gibson, West Virginia and Kentucky Healthcare Division Director for the Service Employees International Union District 1199.  “By standing together, our members were able to improve benefits, provide union security and preserve quality care and services for our patients and visitors. We thank Appalachian Regional Healthcare for their commitment to this important hospital and the provision of quality care.”

CONTACT | Joyce Gibson, West Virginia / Kentucky Healthcare Division Director for the Service Employees International Union District 1199 | Phone: 877-419-7348.

Member With Morrison Community Living at Judson Manor Back at Work

Robere and Members 7-26-19

This week, Robere Melton’s co-workers greeted him enthusiastically when he returned to work after almost 7 months off. Mr. Melton is a dedicated employee who works for Morrison Community Living, which contracts with Judson Manor in Cleveland. Prior to being unjustly terminated, Mr. Melton had been on the job for 19 years. 

Mr. Melton was terminated at the end of 2018, with no prior disciplinary action of record. The employer terminated him without a fair and impartial review to determine if a policy was violated. The employer also did not use a reasonable level of discipline, given a spotless work record and many years of service. 

Mr. Melton, who had also previously served as a Union delegate, will receive full back pay and compensation for all denied benefits. We are stronger together. 

SEIU Members Endorse Levy for The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County

This week, members of SEIU District 1199 voted to endorse renewing the library levy for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. The levy will be on the November 2019 ballot and is needed to maintain services.

In 2018 alone, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County had 952,262 individual visits and staff answered 252,916 reference questions. This 5-year renewal levy would not increase taxes, as an existing 2.4 mill property tax levy is set to expire at the end of 2019. There has been a union presence with this library system for decades. 

Public libraries make our communities stronger. We are encouraging all local voters to support this levy renewal in November.  

Protect Ohio’s Communities

 

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH 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 are available here:

• 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 open for 2019. The deadline for applications is September 1st. 

Scholarship Recipient List For 2018
 Update/Renew Your Membership 

Applications may 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

Public Libraries Receive Funding Increase in State of Ohio Budget

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We are excited to announce that Ohio’s public libraries will see a vital increase in funding for the services that library workers provide to our communities. Congratulations to all library members and partner groups on this significant victory.

Through your advocacy, we were successful in preventing a previously enacted budgetary provision under the Kasich administration that would have reduced the Public Library Fund (PLF) to 1.66% of the General Revenue Fund (GRF). A new provision also increased the PLF by an additional 0.02% to 1.7% of GRF. Finally, language was included in the final budget to retroactively fund libraries and make them whole for the month of July at the 1.7% level. 

Thank you to all library workers, advocacy groups, and partners, who spoke out in support of increased funding for public libraries. We are stronger together. 

One Cleveland Rally for $15 and a Union (Photos)

Working People Across Cleveland to Declare Independence from Poverty Wages, Call for Swift Passage of Federal Raise The Wage Act

Working People Across Cleveland to Declare Independence from Poverty Wages, Call for Swift Passage of Federal Raise The Wage Act

CLEVELAND, OHIO – On Wednesday, July 3rd at 11 AM, local healthcare workers and community members, will hold a protest and press conference outside of Key Bank Tower in Cleveland. As our country prepares to celebrate freedom on Independence Day, Cleveland area workers will declare their independence from poverty wages, urging federal lawmakers to pass the Raise The Wage Act and local employers to lead the way by raising wages now. 

With the United States recently shattering the record for the longest gap between increases in the federal minimum wage, working people across Cleveland are taking their “Fight for $15 and a Union” back to the streets saying that nearly a decade of a $7.25 poverty wage is long enough. This time workers will rise up in the shadow of Key Bank Tower, calling on Key Bank CEO and Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Board of Directors Beth Mooney to stand with workers at the Clinic who struggle under the weight of poverty wages.  

Workers like Destiny Bates, who works as a housekeeper at Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital, are fed up with greedy corporations not paying wages that allow employees the economic security to raise their families and live with dignity. Destiny is just one of over a hundred Cleveland Clinic workers who were promised to have their wages increased, but were later denied that raise by hospital executives. Earning just $13.85 per hour, Destiny struggles every day to make ends meet while taking care of her two children and, with the help of her mother, also providing for her younger sister and grandmother.

“Despite working for one of the wealthiest hospital systems in the world, workers like Destiny Bates are not paid the living wage they have earned,” said Anthony Caldwell, spokesperson for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199. “If the Cleveland Clinic has the money for boujie hospitals in the Middle East, Florida and near Buckingham Palace in London, then they can take care of their hard-working employees right here in Cleveland.”

Workers aren’t just relying on employers like the Cleveland Clinic to raise wages. Working people across Cleveland are also making phone calls, sending letters and writing emails to federal lawmakers seeking independence from poverty wages. According to Politico, top House Democrats have vowed to hold a vote on the Raise The Wage Act for a $15 per hour minimum wage bill before the August recess; however, there are only 12 legislative days in July for Speaker Pelosi to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

“Since the creation of the federal minimum wage, there has never been a gap as long between increases as the one that’s happening right now,” continued Caldwell. “It is up to all of us to reach out to our elected representatives in Washington and demand a vote on the Raise The Wage Act to increase the minimum wage to $15 for everyone who works in this county.”

Contact Anthony Caldwell at acaldwell@seiu1199.org, 330-651-2042. 

Membership Meeting in Huntington

Regional Membership Meeting in Huntington on August 14th. 

4:00pm – 4:30pm
Dinner & Refreshments

4:30pm – 6:00pm
Membership Meeting

Join with us at the Venue on Madison at 1905 Madison Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia 25704. All SEIU District 1199 Union Members are encouraged to attend this Regional Membership Meeting hosted by President Becky Williams and other Union leaders.

We Rise – Update Your Membership in 2019

An updated membership helps to ensure that our chapters and Union remain strong. We are stronger together.

Sign a Membership Card
The membership form is available online.  Membership also provides access to the Union’s benefit programs, a free community college benefit, an annual scholarship program, and more. 

Visit the membership form online to submit a new membership or update/renew. 

Justice Riders Trip to Detroit, Michigan (Photos)

Donations Needed for Dayton Labor Food Pantry

New SEIU District 1199 Solidarity Shuttle

Advanced Grievance Chair Training in Columbus

 

American Red Cross Workers Win Union Recognition & a Path to $15 in Beckley (WV)

In April, American Red Cross workers in Beckley, West Virginia, won Union recognition and a path to a $15 an hour wage. Members with the American Red Cross do vital work providing community services, performing blood draws, and working as lab technicians. 

Members at this facility had previously worked under a different service provider. In addition to a path to a $15 an hour wage over the course of the contract, they now have standardized work hours and a more favorable insurance rate – with reduced co-pays and employee contributions. We are stronger together. 

Support Ohio’s Public Libraries

 

Huntington Union Office Update

Free College Member Benefit With Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community College

Free College Benefit SEIU District 1199
Members of SEIU District 1199 are eligible for a free college benefit with Eastern Gateway Community College. This benefit is open to eligible members, retirees, and their families. Eastern Gateway Community College is also a part of the University System of Ohio.

This program fills the gap between federal, state, or employer education grants the student receives and the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for some online programs. It is open to eligible members and retirees, in addition to spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, and dependents.

In addition, the Union also has partnership arrangements with Southern New Hampshire University and Columbia Southern University

For more information and to enroll with Eastern Gateway Community College, visit SEIU Member Benefits

SEIU District 1199 Staff Contribute to Fund For Plain Dealer Union Members

Behind The Lines at Frontline Service Union Workers Are Standing Together for Fairness

In 2017, at the request of Frontline Service, members of SEIU District 1199 members made voluntary concessions, some temporary and some permanent.  Members with Frontline Service care deeply about the mission of the organization and the important work they do each day.

The concessions were made in good faith by SEIU District 1199’s members, despite having no obligation to do so. The contract was re-opened mid-contract solely at the request of Frontline Service. The total value of the concessions to Frontline Service at the time were substantial: 

• For a temporary period, members of the Union voluntarily gave up their 403(b) retirement match, which would allow significant savings. 
• Even more, some members also received a health insurance reimbursement incentive, which was of significant monetary value. This benefit was allowed by the members and Union to lapse temporarily.
• Not only that, the members and Union voluntarily agreed to discontinue permanently an incentive of personal time for staff who did not use sick time.

In 2018, the contract opened for wage re-negotiations with Frontline Service to no avail. Inflation and the cost of living are increasing annually. In 2019, the Social Security COLA increased by 2.8% and Ohio’s minimum wage increased by 2.9% to account for rising costs. Consumer Price Index (CPI-Urban Midwest) data shows that inflation continues to rise each year

Frontline Service workers are highly dedicated to their work and deserve fairness. In 2019, as negotiations continue, workers and community members continue to call on Frontline Service to do right by those who carry out their mission.