Issues & Action

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

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

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. 
vote yes issue 1
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.


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. 

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.  


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.

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. 

Rainbow Terrace Apartment Fire Donation Drive in Cleveland

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 or 877-419-7348. 

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.

SEIU stronger together
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

SEIU District 1199 Member Leader Speaks at Statehouse on Minimum Wage Bill

Columbus (OH) – Today, three legislative leaders announced at a press conference a proposal to incrementally increase Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

SEIU District 1199 member leader Chaundra Kidd, a health care worker from Cleveland, spoke about the importance of a living wage to her family and working people across Ohio. She said, “No one who works full-time in our state should live in poverty.” She continued, “I want a better future for my family, but I can’t do it making less than $15 per hour.”

According to research by Policy Matters Ohio, 1.8 million workers across Ohio would benefit from a $15 minimum wage. Over 700,000 children have a parent who would get a raise. Finally, boosting Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 would reduce pay disparities and increase pay for 41% of working women.

The bill is being introduced by State Senator Schiavoni (Boardman), Senate Assistant Democratic Whip Cecil Thomas (Cincinnati), and House Assistant Democratic Whip Brigid Kelly (Cincinnati). This bill is the first state legislation in Ohio that would provide a direct path to $15. The proposal calls for a $12 an hour wage, which would then increase annually and reach $15 in 2025.

For photos of the press conference, additional photos are posted on Flickr here. 

Working People’s Day of Action and Rally for Good Union Jobs

cover story
Day of Action highlights how SEIU members are ready to stick together in their Union

COLUMBUS, OH – Despite heavy rain, thousands of workers rallied outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Saturday, February 24th to send a message to state lawmakers that no court case, no legislation, no propaganda campaign (and no rain) can stop us from sticking together.

“Because we are united in our Union, we have had the power in numbers to win higher wages, better benefits, secure retirements and safer working conditions for millions of working people in Ohio and across the country,” said Adreana Tartt, a member leader with SEIU District 1199 and Delegate for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “We know they are trying to divide us, but we won’t let them. We are going to stick together, no matter what. We are stronger together.”

The Working People’s Day of Action was also the official launch of our SEIU District 1199 State of Ohio contract bargaining campaign. Hundreds of workers packed the Columbus Union Hall to stand in solidarity with their sisters and brothers ahead of the rally.

For a full recap of the Working People’s Day of Action event, checkout this video from the rally. 

Working People’s Day of Action – Together We Rise

Members of SEIU District 1199 Collect $4,500 for Hurricane Recovery Efforts

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Lisa Work, an SEIU District 1199 Member and library assistant, was thinking about ways to help. She had an idea for a program under which the library could donate library fees to hurricane recovery efforts. She brought her idea to Lorain Public Library System Director Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz and found support. 

The Board of Trustees with Lorain Public Library voted to endorse and implement the idea last October. Then last week on February 2nd, a check with proceeds from the collection program was presented to El Centro by Lisa Work and Director Diamond-Ortiz. 

Through the program, $4,500 was collected and contributed to the Hurricane Maria Relief Fund for Puerto Rico managed by El Centro de Servicios Sociales. Lorain has a substantial Hispanic-origin population and many families from Puerto Rico have now resettled there in the wake of the hurricane.

Public libraries play a critical role in our communities. Thank you to Lisa Work and staff with the Lorain Public Library System for everything that you do. 

Working People’s Day of Action Rally

Day-of-Action-Logos_Main-01-01Mark your calendars to participate in the Working People’s Day of Action on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. This rally is part of a National Day of Action being held in 10 cities across the U.S. to protect workers’ freedoms and support strong unions.
• What: Working People’s Day of Action Rally
• Date: Sat., February 24
• Time: Gathering begins at 10:30 a.m.; rally begins at noon
• Location: Ohio Statehouse, Columbus, OH
Why are we rallying?
Just like with the dangerous Senate Bill 5, politicians at the Statehouse are trying to take away collective bargaining rights again and want to make Ohio a Right to Work state. But, instead of legislation this time, they want to put the attacks before Ohio voters with six proposed anti-worker ballots initiatives. Nationally, a U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31, would make the entire country Right to Work for public employees if the court sides with anti-union groups like the Koch Brothers, ALEC and the National Right to Work Committee. The Court will hear oral arguments on the case on Feb. 26, two days after the Working People’s Day of Action!
For these reasons and more, we need a strong showing of workers–public and private–against these attacks at the event on February 24! These attacks on public employees are no more than attempts to divide workers and limit our power! Because, as we all know, unions give workers a powerful voice to speak up—speak up for fair wages, affordable health care, a dignified pension and strong public services!
And that’s why America needs unions now more than ever!! Just like we did when we took down Senate Bill 5, when we join forces and stick together, WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE!
Transportation: Interested in carpooling? Want to ride a van or bus to Columbus?
Contact our Member Resource Center for more information at 877-419-7348 or by emailing

SEIU members say now is the time to fix Ohio’s rigged political system.

red-blue-fdfe_1Members of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH endorse Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio constitutional amendment ballot campaign.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Members of SEIU District 1199 are proud to endorse Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio, a non-partisan, anti-gerrymandering coalition working to pass Congressional redistricting reform.

“Now is the time to end rigged elections and partisan politics as a result of gerrymandering in Ohio,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs for the Service Employees International Union District 1199. “The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio ballot initiative will ensure Ohio’s Congressional districts are drawn the way our founders intended, fairly and without favoring any politician or political party.”

The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio proposed constitutional initiative builds on the success of the bipartisan Issue 1, which was endorsed by 71.5 percent of Ohio’s voters in the 2015 general election. It would transfer from the legislature to the new bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission responsibility for drawing new district lines, and would allow any Ohio citizen to submit a proposed plan for the Commission’s consideration. Any plan would have to receive at least two votes from the representatives of each party on the 7-member Commission in order to be adopted. The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio amendment would also require that any plan must strictly follow a series of good-government criteria.

“Together, we will be an unstoppable force for change that restores fairness to our democracy,” continued Caldwell. “The time of politicians choosing their voters is over. We are going to put the power back in the hands of voters and give Ohioans the freedom to choose their representatives.”

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH is the healthcare and social service union for West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. District 1199 represents nearly 30,000 healthcare, social service, and public sector workers. The union is part of the Service Employees International Union, an organization of 2-million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

You can learn more about Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio here:

Ohio State Member Vice President Nominations

SEIU 1199 By-Law Vote Results

A vote on changes to the by-laws of SEIU District 1199 recently ended.

For information on the outcome, please visit this page: By-Law Vote Results

SEIU 1199 Staff Give Back: Issue Holiday Donations to Causes Across Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky

Staff recently approved holiday donations to charities across the region represented by SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. The funding was gathered through voluntary staff contributions. 

stronger together
Donations are being issued to the following organizations and causes:

• $250 to the Facing Hunger Food Bank: Huntington, West Virginia
 $250 to the Cleveland Food Bank: Cleveland, Ohio
• $250 to the God’s Pantry Food Bank: Prestonsburg, Kentucky
• $600 to Choices for Domestic Violence: Columbus, Ohio
• $600 to the West Virginia Women’s Resource Center: Beckley, West Virginia
• $600 to Turning Point Domestic Violence Services: Prestonsburg, Kentucky
 $1,000 to the legal defense fund for Edith Espinal: Columbus, Ohio
• $2,000 to the International Rescue Committee: Relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Job: Member Resource Center Representative

Job:  Member Resource Center (MRC) Representative. This is a FULL-TIME HOURLY position. 

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Summary: Member Resource Center Representative needed to work in Member Resource Center, fielding members’ calls and providing staff support.

Description: A Member Resource Center Representative is a 40-hour hourly position in the Member Resource Center at SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH and is responsible for the following:

  • Answering phones
  • Documenting calls and tracking grievances
  • Problem solving with members
  • Informing members of rights
  • Strike support
  • Training
  • Participate in collaborative team efforts
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Ability to operate a computer, proficiency in Microsoft Office and working knowledge of a database.
  • Ability to type 30 words a minute
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Solid organization skills, with an ability to stay focused and prioritize work assignments
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, capable of interacting professionally, both verbally and in writing
  • Strong analytical and judgment skills
  • Successful candidate shall possess a High School Diploma or GED

Desired Characteristics:

  • Ability to quickly grasp collective bargaining issues and human resource management principles.
  • Ability to understand and apply labor law and employment-related policies, practices and procedures.


SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH offers competitive wages, benefits, and training.


MRC Representatives may be required to work long and irregular hours, to work on weekends and holidays when necessary.

Who is SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH?

We’re nurses, caregivers, support staff and professionals. We work in hospitals, nursing homes, mental health and DD care facilities, social service agencies, Head Start programs, libraries, schools and other health and human service centers.

We’re 26,000 people united by our belief in the dignity and worth of workers. We organize to improve the lives of working people and their families and lead the way to a more just and humane society.

We’re part of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), America’s largest and fastest growing union. We’re the union of health care and social service workers in Ohio, West Virginia and eastern Kentucky: SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH.

If you want to put your mind and heart to work in the cause of a better world, there’s a role for you in SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH.

To Apply:

Email or fax to 614-461-1549, a résumé in which you respond to each of the criteria, a letter explaining why you want to do this work, and names with contact information of three references. Place “Member Resource Center Representative” in the subject line. Women and people of color are urged to apply.