Issues & Action

Register to Vote or Update Your Registration Online
Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio, all now offer online voter registration. If you have moved or need to make a change in your registration, you should also be able to make these changes online.

| Kentucky Online Voter Registration |
| West Virginia Online Voter Registration |
| Ohio Online Voter Registration |

Research Elected Officials and Their Votes
The following sites give tools to research your elected officials and their votes. Take action by writing to them or calling their offices to make your voice heard.

Research Elected Officials | Vote Smart |
Track Votes in Congress | GovTrack |
Contact Information for Officials | LWV |

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

SEIU Conservative Members (Video)

Does your contract protect our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered members?

11377251_10152778322327680_9154163634306292954_nJune is Pride Month!

Does your contract protect our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered members?

State laws in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio DO NOT!  Your contract needs to be the first line of defense.

  • Anti-Discrimination Articles: Does your contract include anti-discrimination clauses to protect LGBT Members? Neither the employer nor the Union shall discriminate against or in favor of any employee on account of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, age, Union activity, disability or veteran status.
  • Sick Time: Does your contract allow LGBT members to use sick time equitably? Immediate family is defined as spouse, daughter (in‑law), son (in‑law), father (in‑law), mother (in‑law), brother (in‑law), sister (in‑law), grandparent (in-law) legal guardian or other person who stands in the place of a parent (in loco parents) or others living in the employee’s household who are related through blood or marriage, and Domestic Partners.
  • Insurance: Does your contract allow LGBT members to equally use insurance plans?
  • Bereavement Leave: Does your contract allow LGBT members to use bereavement equally?

Your contract is the pathway to equality!

Your contract doesn’t give you these rights? Contact our Lavender Caucus to learn how to fight for these rights in your next contract.

For additional information, contact Lee Evans at 614-461-1199 or levans@seiu1199.org

JOIN US ON FACEBOK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1199lavendercaucus/

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER TO SHARE AT WORK.

We Rise – Show Your Support For Unions

A decision in the Janus case is coming soon. Let’s show that no court decision will keep us from standing united. Working people are sticking together in their unions.  (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Favors CEOs & Corporations, Limits Workers’ Rights

supreme courtThis week, the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision restricted workers’ rights. The ruling limits the ability of private-sector workers to join together to address violations of labor law — such as wage theft, harassment, and discrimination. 

At a time when the deck is already stacked against working people and their families, this decision further erodes the bedrock rights of working people, while siding with the interests of corporations and CEOs. 

What Does the Decision Mean for Working People? Following this anti-worker ruling, employees may be forced to sign arbitration agreements. As a result, they will no longer be able to persue class action lawsuits when facing wage theft and/or other violations of labor law.

The likely impact of this case is that workers will be deterred from standing up for their rights. Under the new precedent, when workers do speak out, they may not only be denied the chance for collective action but forced to pursue expensive legal claims under a rigged system of corporate arbitration.

The timing of the decision is also important. A decision is expected soon in the anti-labor case Janus vs. AFSCME

We Are Stronger Together. The decision highlights the importance of unions and the need for working people to stand together. Working people are a force against inequity when they stand together. Union workers also have a vital and important voice in the workplace.

Read More (NPR): “Supreme Court Decision Delivers Blow To Workers’ Rights.”

Parole Officers Fight For Reagan Tokes Act

Because of the work of our Parole Officers through the Union, today we passed the Reagan Tokes Act (HB365) out of the Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee by a vote of 10-1.

This is HUGE. Today’s victory would not have been possible without Parole Officers like you taking time out of your lives and work to come to Columbus for our Lobby Days and meet face-to-face with legislators about the need to address caseloads and staffing within the Adult Parole Authority. 

But it gets better than that. The Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, Rep. Nathan Manning (R-Lorain), introduced an amendment to create the Offender Supervision Study Committee within the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.

  • Within the creation of the committee, there are requirements for membership of the committee to include an active parole officer, among others. 
  • There’s also a requirement that the group shall provide a recommendation to the General Assembly of changes to the revised code regarding all issues related to the supervision of offenders, including issues related to parole, community control, probation, community corrections, transitional control, and issues related to interstate compact policies.

Through our Union, Parole Officers now have a seat at the table going forward. That’s the power of collective action! 

The process still has many steps – but this is a major victory for our members. The next step will be a vote by the Ohio House of Representatives, then the bill will go to the Senate and eventually to Governor Kasich for his signature. I will keep you updated as the process moves forward. 

Rally for $15 Minimum Wage Attempts to Gain Attention of Ohio Lawmakers (Video)

Workers at Cambridge Place Assisted Living in Ohio Vote to Join SEIU District 1199

SEIU 3On May 11th, workers at Cambridge Place, an assisted living center in Cambridge, Ohio, voted by a substantial margin to join SEIU District 1199. Workers at this facility voted for a greater voice in their workplace and will now work together to negotiate their first contract.

Employees at Cambridge Place work hard each day to provide the best possible care for residents. Congratulations to the workers at Cambridge Place who stood united during the campaign and welcome to SEIU District 11199. 

We are stronger together. If you are interested in joining SEIU District 1199, contact us here

Cleveland Area SEIU District 1199 Members Win County Party Central Committee Seats

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On May 8th, in Cleveland, several SEIU District 1199 members won precinct committee races and will sit on the Central Committee of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. 

In addition to many local partners, members who won precinct seats include:

Carol Ford – Healthcare Ohio Member Vice President [Cleveland 02-E]
Michele Burk – Executive Board Member [Cleveland 13-H]
Lynn Radcliffe – Retiree Member Vice President [Euclid 08-A]
Carolyn Jones Smith – SEIU District 1199 Retiree [Cleveland 10-N]

SEIU District 1199 affiliated fight for $15 leaders and supporters who won seats include: 

Maria Sapia [Cleveland 06-D]
Michael Seals [Cleveland 07-M]
Anita Whitfield [Euclid 01-D]

Congratulations to these members and others who will have a greater role in the local political process moving forward.  

Vote “YES” on Issue 1 for Fair Districts (OH)

Issue 1 has been endorsed by the members of SEIU District 1199, in addition to the Ohio Democratic Party, the Ohio Republican Party, civic groups, and citizens from across Ohio. Issue 1 is on the May 8th primary ballot. 
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New maps will be drawn for congressional elections in 2022. In 2010, redistricting and the process at the Ohio Statehouse divided Ohio’s voters unfairly. When districts are gerrymandered by the political party in control, they are created to give one party an advantage at the expense of fair representation for Ohio’s voters. 

Some districts are drawn so that they become “noncompetitive” and only one political party can win. Areas with high support for a party may also be condensed into a single district to prevent those voters from having a greater voice.

Issue 1 mandates safeguards for the approval of 10-year congressional maps. Most importantly, this process means that 10-year maps require at least some support from both political parties. Without minority party support, only 4-year maps can be drawn and those maps must follow new rules.

Issue 1 is a reform to limit the influence of partisan politics and create districts that are fair. The issue is bi-partisan and has been endorsed by the coalition that first advanced redistricting reform. For additional information, visit the website for Yes on Issue 1 or this voter guide from the Dayton Daily News. 

Observing Workers Memorial Day in 2018

This Workers Memorial Day, on April 28th, we recognize workers that fought for safety protections, as well as those who lost their lives or were injured at work. Many members of SEIU District 1199 work in jobs with potential for injury.

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In 2018, workplace protections are at-risk. With support from business and lobby groups, the Trump administration has moved to weaken and eliminate regulations meant to protect working people.

We urge that agencies that protect safety for working people are fully funded. In West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, regulations that protect our union brothers and sisters, in addition to all workers, must remain in place.

These issues are particularly important as anti-union special interests have renewed a push to make Ohio a “right-to-work” state. In states that have passed “right-to-work,” workplace safety has also declined.

Over 40 years ago, brave union members and others pushed the Congress to pass a workplace safety law, known as the OSH Act. This year, we continue to declare that every worker has a right to a safe job. We stand united for workplace safety measures that provide vital protections. 

To read more about Workers Memorial Day, visit this page by the AFL-CIO. 

Voter Guide 2018 – Endorsed Candidates

The members of SEIU District 1199 are proud to endorse the following candidates and issues for upcoming general election. In West Virginia and Ohio, the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th. In Kentucky, the primary will be held on Tuesday, May 22nd.

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West Virginia – U.S. Congress 
3rd Congressional District – Richard Ojeda

Ohio – Statewide Candidates and Issues
U.S. Senate – Senator Sherrod Brown
Governor and Lt. Governor – Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton 
Secretary of State – Kathleen Clyde
State Treasurer – Rob Richardson
Ohio Supreme Court – Judge Melody Stewart
Ohio Supreme Court – Judge Michael P. Donnelly

Ohio – U.S. House of Representatives 
1st Congressional District – Aftab Pureval
12th Congressional District – Danny O’Conner
13th Congressional District – Congressman Tim Ryan 

Ohio Statehouse  
House District 31 – Representative Brigid Kelly
House District 48 – Senator Scott Oelslager
Senate District 33 – Representative John Boccieri
Senate District 35 – Senator Kenny Yuko

Kentucky Statehouse
Senate District 18 – Senator Robin Webb

Kentucky – Floyd County
County Judge / Executive – M. Bryan Lafferty
County Magistrate District 2 – Randy Davis

 To register to vote for the general election in November 2018, see our issues and action page.

Ohio’s Working Families Need Richard Cordray As Governor

SEIU goes “All In” in support of Cordray, plans aggressive get-out-the-vote effort.

Cordray_SuttonCOLUMBUS, OHIO – After month of interviews, questionnaires and two candidate forums, the members of the Service Employees International Union District 1199 are proud to endorse Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton to be the next Governor and Lt. Governor for the State of Ohio.

“Richard Cordray has a proven record of standing up for working people in the great buckeye state,” said Becky Williams, President of SEIU District 1199. “As Attorney General, Richard Cordray fought for Ohio’s home care providers, demanding they be paid overtime and receive all other benefits afforded to employees. He worked with SEIU members and business leaders to help guide the former Forum Health hospital system through bankruptcy and helped save more than 1000 good-paying, middle-class jobs with benefits in the Mahoning Valley.”

“Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton will be fierce defenders of the poor and working class and we are confident they will fight to ensure all Ohioans have equity and fully equality,” continued Williams. “Our members will be putting their feet in the streets to get out the vote for our endorsed candidates from now until November.”

In addition to endorsing Cordray, SEIU District 1199 will be doing grassroots organizing and mobilization to turn out voters ahead of the May primary and November general elections.

SEIU District 1199 Endorses Sherrod Brown For U.S. Senate

The original statement from Team Sherrod with Senator Sherrod Brown’s campaign can be found here.  

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COLUMBUS – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH endorsed Sherrod Brown for reelection to the U.S. Senate. SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH represents nearly 30,000 workers across Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. In Ohio, SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH represents nearly 13,000 workers in the healthcare field, nearly 4,000 state of Ohio employees across 18 Ohio agencies and nearly 5,000 other public sector workers.

“The members of the Service Employees International Union are proud to stand with Sherrod Brown because he fights every day to improve the lives of Ohio’s working people and their families,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs for SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “Sherrod’s plan for good jobs in Ohio means that no matter who you are or where you are from, you will have the ability to earn a respectable living, provide for your family and retire with dignity.”

“In contrast, Congressman Jim Renacci works for the wealthy and well-connected, not Ohio’s working families,” said Caldwell. “Renacci has spent his career in Washington doing the bidding of his donors at the expense of the people of Ohio. That’s why working families can’t trust Jim Renacci.”

“Thank you to the working men and women of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH for their support,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “People in Ohio and across the country have less and less to show for the hard work they put in each day. I’m proud to stand alongside these workers as we fight to change that by seeking better wages and workplace protections that will give all workers and their families the chance to succeed.”

A Report on Memphis by Member Leader Adreana Tartt

As an African American female raised by a father who was a local civil rights leader fighting within his workplace for workers’ rights, I felt like I was on sacred ground.

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It was a reflection and pilgrimage of sorts to hear from those elders and trailblazers of the past. I was particularly moved by the labor and faith leaders panel hosted at the Mason Temple, Church of God in Christ Headquarters. I had not known about the Historic Mason Temple and the meetings that were coordinated and held in the solemn place. I paused and gave reverence to those who went before me in the historic halls of the building. I knew the “Church” had played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement, however, I always associated the Baptist denomination with spearheading various meeting locations. I had once been a part of the Church of God in Christ in my formative years and was familiar with its moral commitment and teachings of service to God, neighbor and community. But, to be inside the Temple and hear from the labor, faith and political leaders was very moving, energizing, and inspirational.

To witness these leaders of our time evoke a collective clarion call to “action” was exhilarating. There was a realization that we were fighting many fronts, and we would have to come together to win the fight. We are all in this thing together! The attacks on unions, worker’s rights, and human rights, civil rights, the environment, and the most vulnerable of our communities, are all targets of corporate interests, ALEC, and billionaire influence.

Mary Kay Henry was brilliant in her detailed proclamation, highlighting our fight as well as the COO from the Church of God in Christ sharing how important it was to develop a strategic plan in which we could all be a part of. I felt affirmed in our present fights and the legacy on which we stand. We are on the right side of justice that Dr. King so eloquently spoke about. He said the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. I would reiterate what I heard from our leaders, and share with my fellow brother and sisters that we are all in this together.

In order to win we must educate ourselves and join together in this fight. At the end of the commemoration event, the strongest symbol of the commitment to collective action was the witness of the black sanitation workers at the rally. They were the shoulders that we stood on and we give them reverence and honor as we reflect on the past and move forward.

The grand march was then welcomed and proceeded by Richard Trumka with the AFL-CIO, labor, faith, and political leaders, accompanied by our local President Becky Williams and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry walking by our side. It was Grand! To see all of our labor and allied groups marching together down the streets of Memphis. Yes, I must say… I had a good time and we are stronger together!

In Solidarity,
Adreana Tartt 

Adreana Tartt is a member leader with SEIU District 1199 and Delegate at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Photos from the trip can be found at our Flickr page

Parole Officers Union Appalled By Inaction On Reagan Tokes Act

Parole Officers Union Appalled By Inaction On Reagan Tokes Act
SEIU District 1199 says without SB202, SB 201 does little to keep our communities safe.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to the passage of Senate Bill 201 by the Ohio Senate, SEIU District 1199 President Becky Williams issued the following statement:

“Today, the Ohio Senate chose to turn their backs on the safety and security of our Ohio’s families by refusing to address the real threats caused by the lack of appropriate caseloads for Ohio’s parole officers and failing to fix the broken system that monitors violent offenders released from prison.”

“The passage of Senate Bill 201 is an opportunistic political move in an election year that does nothing to keep our families safe once violent offenders are released into the community. While released offenders are subject to “post-release control”, just as they are now, without SB202/HB365, parole officers still will not have the staffing or the technology to properly monitor these offenders upon release.”

“On behalf of Ohio’s parole officers, we call on the Ohio House to reject Senate Bill 201 until such time as they can adopt a comprehensive approach to fixing our broken system like House Bill 365.”

Adult Parole Authority Lobby Day in Columbus

APAOn Wednesday, May 16th, the union will be holding an Adult Parole Authority Lobby Day for SEIU District 1199 members We will provide lunch and refreshments for all Parole Officers that attend. We will focus on two issues: 

  • Reagan Tokes Act (HB365/SB202) 
  • OPERS Law Enforcement (25&Out) for Parole Officers

When: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 from 10AM to 2PM. 
Location: We will meet at SEIU District 1199 (1395 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43215) and carpool to the Statehouse. 
Registration:  Register for the APA Lobby Day Here

 If you have any questions, please reach out to Anthony Caldwell at acaldwell@seiu1199 or call 877-419-7348. 

We Rise – Update Your Membership in 2018

This year, we are asking members to submit an updated membership card. Most importantly, updated membership helps to ensure that our chapters and Union remain strong. We are stronger together!

The membership form is now available online and it is quick and easy to complete.  Membership also provides access to the Union’s benefit programs, a free community college benefit, the scholarship program, and more. 

Visit the membership form online to submit updated information. 

Rainbow Terrace Apartment Fire Donation Drive in Cleveland

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Members and staff in Cleveland are currently collecting donations for families impacted by the fire at Rainbow Terrace Apartments. On March 26th, the fire destroyed the possessions of residents and left 30 families displaced

What: Rainbow Terrace Fire Donation Drive For Impacted Families. 
When: Ongoing / Drop-off on Friday, April 13th, 2018. From 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. 
Location: SEIU District 1199 Union Hall @ 1771 East 30th Street in Cleveland. 

Items being collected include household wares, gently used clothes, canned goods, and other essential items. Donations will be distributed through a partner group and are being accepted at the Cleveland office this Friday on April 13th, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Samara Knight, SEIU District 1199 Director for Civic Engagement, at sknight@seiu1199.org or 877-419-7348. 

Victory Report: SEIU District 1199 Member With Cleveland Area Health Care Employer Wins Back Job

Recently, a dedicated employee in the Cleveland-area was placed on unpaid leave. He reached out to his Union and multiple issues were discovered with the way the issue was approached by the employer.

Working together, the Union helped the employee show that the facility failed to follow the procedure outlined by the contract, give notification, and properly review the issue. Ultimately, the employer agreed to waive the dispute and pay all back pay and benefits for lost time.

About the incident, the worker said, “I cannot thank you enough. Without you, I would still be off work without pay. I didn’t know anything about the Union before now but from now on, I will tell all my co-workers how the Union has our back.”

If you believe labor law or your contract are being violated at work, do not hesitate to call the Member Resource Center. The MRC is open from 8:30AM to 8:00PM every Monday through Friday. “Your MRC has your back!”

SEIU District 1199 Submits Comments on Medicaid Work Requirements

Today, SEIU District 1199 submitted comments to the Ohio Department of Medicaid on proposed work requirements for Medicaid.

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The comments share the concerns of other advocacy groups, consumers, and policy experts. Medicaid work requirements would be counterproductive and increase costs for Ohio’s safety-net and rural hospitals, create an undue paperwork burden, lead to the exclusion of some low-wage workers from Medicaid, and decrease access to care. 

A copy of the comments can be found here: SEIU District 1199 comments to the Ohio Department of Medicaid on proposed work requirements