Issues & Action

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

Union Solidarity Rally for St. Mary’s Medical Center Workers


Hospital workers at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia, are fighting for recognition of their Union as they work to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions.

Despite overwhelming support by hospital workers, St. Mary’s Executives are pulling every dirty trick in the book to divide workers and putting out fake, false and misleading information about the Union.

On August 13th, join us at 28th Street and 3rd Avenue as we rally together in support of St. Mary’s workers. 

What: Union Solidarity Rally for St. Mary’s Workers 
: Monday, August 13 from 3 PM – 4:30 PM
Where: 28th Street and 3rd Avenue in Huntington 

Sign this petition to stand with hospital workers at St. Mary’s Medical Center

SEIU District 1199 Staff Sponsor “Let’s Do Lunch” at the City Mission in Huntington

Staff with SEIU District 1199 recently voted to donate $2,000 to “Let’s Do Lunch” with the Huntington City Mission. The donation is funded through voluntary staff contributions and will help provide lunch for a week at the shelter.  

The lunch program regularly serves around 200 individuals a day. The Huntington City Mission provides critical services to homeless individuals in the local area. If interested in donating to the Huntington City Mission or sponsoring “Let’s Do Lunch,” please join us and visit their website at the link above. 

Action Alert – Union Strong Buttons and Decals

Member Action Alert 2
To stand together, members with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH can now request buttons and household decals. You can contact the Member Resource Center with a request for you, your coworkers, and/or everyone at your worksite. 

SEIU button decal
If you are a member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH, call 877-419-SEIU, email, or you can make your request online with the Member Resource Center. We are stronger together. 

Medical Assistants at St. Vincent Charity Hospital Join SEIU District 1199

Medical assistants at St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland recently voted to join SEIU District 1199. Like the other members at the hospital, these health care workers care deeply about the mission of St. Vincent and joined SEIU District 1199 to have an increased voice at work. 

Congratulations to these workers and welcome to SEIU District 1199. If you are interested in forming a union at your workplace, visit our page on joining our union. We are stronger together. 

Reagan Tokes Act Clears House

SEIU Conservative Members

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. 

Here’s one way to take a stand and support unions:

Step 1: Make a sign with the word UNION, like in the iconic movie Norma Rae. 
Step 2: Have someone take your photo or take a selfie holding the sign. This could be at your home, outside, or anyplace convenient and/or meaningful for you.
Step 3: Post the picture to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. Post the photo with the hashtag #Union. If you’re located in Ohio, West Virginia, or Kentucky, show your support and tag SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH.
Step 4: Encourage others to take a stand as well. Share this page and there is also a flyer here that may be helpful.

Email your photos and we will share via our social media channels. You can also check out some of the early submissions on our Instagram page.

We are stronger united – together we rise!

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



Action Alert – Update Your Registration or Register to Vote Online for November

Member Action Alert 2
In West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, voters have the option to register to vote online. This is an important election cycle and we must make our voices heard. Below are the voter registration deadlines for the November 6th election: 

• Ohio | October 9th Deadline | Register |
• Kentucky | October 9th Deadline | Register |
• West Virginia | October 16th Deadline | Register |

Make sure your registration is up to date. We are stronger together. 

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

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

Member Action Alert 2
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 Leader [Euclid 08-A]
• Carolyn Jones Smith – SEIU District 1199 Retiree [Cleveland 10-N]

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. 

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 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.