Ohio Healthcare

SEIU District 1199’s Ohio Healthcare division represents nearly 13,000 workers in a multitude of diverse fields. These industries include nursing homes, mental health facilities, hospitals, community organizations as well as supported living homes.

Solidarity Newsletter – March 2021

Solidarity Newsletter March 2021Member News and Grievance Victories
● Standing Together Amid the COVID19 Pandemic. Members with SEIU District 1199 have been standing with their co-workers as Union members in the pandemic. Together, members across many chapters have successfully negotiated new contract terms and agreements to help combat COVID19. 

● American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan is quickly moving through the legislative process. The plan includes hundreds of billions of dollars for states and local governments. This funding is vital for public services and employers where members work. Send a message to your legislators about this important plan.

● Cabell Huntington Hospital Members Receive Phone Call From First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. During the call, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden thanked several nurses for their work amid the COVID19 pandemic and spoke with them individually about their experiences during the crisis

 ResCare Member Successfully Challenges Wrongful Termination. A member with ResCare in West Virginia was terminated for alleged theft of work time. Management believed the member was at a personal appointment. The member and Union were able to show through text messages and documentation that management had false information. While the member had already found another job, management offered the member $1,500 and a neutral reference. 

● Cleveland Public Library Members Successfully Enforce Contract. Members with Cleveland Public Library recently filed a grievance around COVID19 policies and procedures. Two workplace committees cover COVID19 issues but only two SEIU members were a part of those committees. As an outcome of mediation, 8 members will have a voice as representatives or alternates. Minutes will also now be taken and shared with all members.

 ResCare Awarded Settlement Through Grievance Process. A member with ResCare in West Virginia was terminated but the member no direct connection with an event in question. The member had already found a new job but wanted to clear her name. Through the grievance process, the member was awarded a monetary payment and granted a neutral letter of reference.  

● Ohio Nursing Home Workers Issued Proper Payment. Under the new contract, nursing home members at the end of 2020 negotiated an increase in the hourly afternoon shift differential for LPNs. They also negotiated an increase in the hourly shift differential for night shift aides and LPNs, which was brought from $0.35 to $0.45. After they did not receive the increase, working together as co-workers and with the Union in 2021, the members were able to quickly get the pay they were missing recognized. Back pay was also issued to the bargaining unit members.

Member Resource Center Update

The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits

Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

Basic Grievance Chair Training

 

Delegate and Leadership Training for Northern Ohio Members (Virtual)

 

White Oak Manor Nursing Home Union Members Successfully Stand Together for Proper Payment

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Members with White Oak Manor, a long-term care facility in Ohio, have been working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, workers with the facility stood together to negotiate a new contract agreement. However, in 2021, members noticed that an increase in wages that had been negotiated under the new contract had not been issued following ratification.

Under the new contract, members negotiated an increase in the hourly afternoon shift differential for LPNs from $0.25 to $0.40. They also negotiated an increase in the hourly shift differential for night shift aides and LPNs, which was brought from $0.35 to $0.45. Working together as co-workers and with the Union, the members were able to quickly get the pay they were missing resolved. Back pay was also issued to the bargaining unit members.

Members with White Oak Manor had also experienced a delay in their routine paychecks. As Union members, they were able to get an agreement from management to cover any overdraft fees and get reimbursed, if such charges were associated with the payment processing delay. To have a Union, means to have a powerful voice. Together, we rise.

Nursing Home Member Leader Speaks Out

National Town Hall Events for SEIU Members on COVID19 Vaccines

Solidarity Newsletter — February

Solidarity February 2021● Mahoning Valley Hospital Member in Ohio Restored to Employee Status. A member in Youngstown was furloughed at the start of the COVID19 pandemic. The member was returned to work but only as a per diem employee, which was a contract violation. As a per diem employee, the member would have lost their substantial sick leave and personal time balances, which had a value of over $8,000. Standing with the Union, the member filed a grievance and was returned to the proper status with leave time restored. 

● Cleveland Public Library Members Win Class Action Grievance. Members with Cleveland Public Library have  contractual “special close” language that grants time and a half pay when members work while libraries are closed. The Board of Trustees for Cleveland Public Library tried to circumvent this contract provision by passing a special policy. Members stood united behind the grievance and three members participated in official proceedings. An arbitrator recently issued a decision in favor of the library members and found that they were owed over $62,000.  

● West Virginia Member With ResCare Receives Missing PTO Hours. A member with ResCare contacted the Union and believed that she was missing PTO hours dating back to October 2019. The member filed a grievance and just before mediation, ResCare confirmed that there were 120 PTO hours that were missing. The value of the PTO hours totaled approximately $1,200. 

● Standing Together Amid the COVID19 Pandemic.
Members with SEIU District 1199 have been standing with their co-workers as Union members in the pandemic. Together, members across many chapters have successfully negotiated hazard pay and other agreements to combat COVID19. 


● Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses Negotiate and Ratify First Contract.
Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital stood united in negotiations and throughout their organizing campaign that started in 2019 to form a Union and then ratify their first contract. The nurses, who have been on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic, negotiated significant improvements in important areas such as quality care, wages, and benefits. 


American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan would provide hundreds of billions of dollars for states, schools, and local governments. This funding is vital for public services and employers where members work.
Send a message to your legislators about this important recovery plan.

● Dedicated ResCare Member Returns to Work.
A member with ResCare was terminated after 12 years with the company due to a misunderstanding. Ultimately, 23 employees with ResCare called the Member Resource Center on the member’s behalf and 12 members wrote character reference letters to submit to ResCare. In a mutually agreeable settlement, the member returned to work and received $1,500 in backpay. 

Member Resource Center Update
The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits

Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

Take Action — American Rescue Plan

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SEIU Member Forum on COVID-19 Vaccines

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On Friday, January 15th, there will be a nationwide forum for SEIU members on vaccines for COVID-19. This 75 minute forum will feature a video from a vaccine roundtable. Members from across the Union will also be able to ask questions about vaccine development, efficacy, and safety.

This forum will include Dr. Alicia Fernandez, a Professor of Medicine at UCSF and general internist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Members can register for this forum and live Q and A online. Register for this event at this link, where you will also be able submit questions about the vaccines

As you may know, SEIU is encouraging all workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and has adopted 7 principals for the vaccination effort. The vaccines that are available will help make sure that all workers are protected. Together, we will work to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Solidarity, 

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

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to stay connected by phone and email. Members can make contact information updates online at any time. 

Stillwater Center Nurses Stand United for a Fair Contract and Quality Care in Pandemic

Stillwater Center
Members with the Stillwater Center recently stood united to bargain and ratify a new contract agreement. Nurses with the Stillwater Center have been working bravely during the COVID19 pandemic to provide the best possible care.

In their contract campaign, the nurses received support from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Numerous nurses have contracted COVID19 during the pandemic.

To have a Union means to have a voice and in the last year, the nurses also spoke out about needed protective equipment and COVID19 protocols. 

The nurses voted unanimously for the new contract agreement, which provides for a $600 ratification bonus and an annual wage increase for each of the next three years. The nurses also negotiated having Juneteenth as a paid holiday, as an alternative to Columbus Day. The new contract also includes updated language that may strengthen Union representation.

Together, Union members with the Stillwater Center and across the region are standing strong amid the COVID19 pandemic for fair wages and quality care.

Solidarity Newsletter – January

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● Cabell Huntington Hospital Member Challenges Suspension. A technical worker with Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, received a 5-day suspension after following guidelines. Some members must update their credentials, which must be available on a credentialing website by a deadline prior to expiration. Due to a delay in processing, the renewal was not immediately displayed, though updated prior to the deadline. The member worked with the Union and an arbitrator reduced the 5-day suspension to a single day.   

● Standing Together Amid the COVID19 Pandemic. Members with SEIU District 1199 have been standing with their co-workers as Union members in the pandemic. Together, members across many chapters have successfully negotiated hazard pay and other agreements to help combat COVID19. 

● RN Member at Northeast Ohio Hospital Negotiates Settlement. A member with Mercy Regional Medical Center was terminated in August 2020. The member filed a grievance and was able to negotiate a payout of accrued leave time, which totaled $3,627. Without a Union, a worker can be dismissed for any reason. However, as an outcome of the grievance, the termination was also amended to reflect a resignation.

● Certus Healthcare Members Stand United. Members with Certus Healthcare in Cleveland held a visibility action to raise awareness and pay tribute to Union brothers and sisters working on the frontlines as well as nursing home residents who have lost their lives or been diagnosed with COVID19. The event garnered local news coverage and members were able to share their experiences with the public.

● Member With ResCare Successfully Appeals Discipline. A dedicated member had worked with ResCare for 32 years. The member had no prior record of discipline and was issued a final warning for small infractions. The member filed a grievance and though the employer was not willing to remove the discipline, it was reduced to a 1st written warning in a settlement.

● Ohio Nursing Home Member Receives Settlement After Grievance. A member with a nursing home in Ohio had been terminated and filed a grievance. The member had already found another job but in a successful outcome, the member received a monetary payment and the termination was amended to reflect a resignation.

Member Resource Center Update
The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits
Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

SEIU District 1199 Encourages All Members to get COVID-19 Vaccine

The Service Employees International Union has released seven principles that it is calling on employers, public health officials, and elected officials to follow during distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The principles were proposed by a committee of local leaders representing SEIU members and adopted by the Union’s International Executive Board where I serve as Vice President.

The 7 principles for the vaccination effort are as follows:

1. Vaccines are a proven technology to prevent the spread of disease. The COVID vaccine is a critical tool to protect our families, ourselves, and our communities as we fight to put an end to this deadly virus. We encourage SEIU members to take the vaccine.
2. Vaccine distribution must be equitable and transparent and must prioritize communities hardest hit by the virus including essential workers, people with underlying health conditions and disproportionately impacted communities of color.  
3. Vaccines must be provided free of charge and workers should be provided with paid time off if the vaccination process requires them to miss work.
4. Employers must not use vaccines as a substitute for worker safety and infection control protocols nor for ensuring access to personal protective equipment.
5. Vaccine distribution plans must include education and outreach activities that involve essential workers and our communities deeply and meaningfully. 
6. Outreach and distribution plans must recognize the impact of structural racism in causing trauma and heightened levels of distrust about vaccination in Black and brown communities. 
7. The best approach to encouraging universal vaccination is through education and outreach, not through making vaccination mandatory.

SEIU District 1199 members across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, continue to call on government at all levels to take action to protect the health, safety, and financial security of working people. The principles outlined above are the latest step in working together to make sure that all workers are protected and so that we can bring an end to the COVID19 pandemic.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

We Rise – Update Your Membership

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. 

Take Action — Nursing Home Workers Need a Bill of Rights

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PPE For Healthcare Workers

 PPE Now

 

Take Action – Working People Need Relief

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Cleveland Nursing Home Workers Hold Solidarity Event at Cityview Nursing Home

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Workers will gather to hold ribbons while sharing their experiences and working conditions amid the COVID19 pandemic.

Staff Contact: Samara Knight – (216) 246-8772
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Nursing home workers with Cityview Nursing and Rehabilitation will gather on Wednesday, December 16th from 11AM to 1PM in remembrance and to share their experiences amid the COVID19 pandemic. The event will follow protocols for COVID19.

WHAT: Event With Frontline Nursing Home Workers in Cleveland, Ohio
WHERE: Cityview Nursing Home at 6606 Carnegie Avenue
WHEN: Wednesday, December 16th from 11AM to 1PM

“This pandemic has had a dramatic impact on these frontline workers. Workers have always struggled in the nursing home industry with low wages and short staffing,” said Samara Knight, an Executive Vice President with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “These workers have heroically worked through this crisis. It’s critical that they have a voice,” continued Knight. “We haven’t beaten the pandemic yet but it has to be a call to action to improve this industry. In the meantime, nursing home workers need hazard pay for the work they are doing,” concluded Knight.    

To date, Ohio Department of Health data shows that 30,219 nursing home residents have contracted COVID19, in addition to 20,822 nursing home workers. Currently, as of December 11th, Ohio Department of Health data shows that 4,689 nursing home residents and 3,082 nursing home workers have active COVID19.

At Cityview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Ohio Department of Health data states that as of December 11th, 16 nursing home residents and 14 nursing home workers have contracted COVID19 since April 15th. As reported by the Columbus Dispatch on December 10th, in Ohio, 4,074 people have lost their lives in nursing homes and long-term care facilities since the start of the pandemic.

Nursing Home Workers Face Staffing and PPE Shortages as COVID19 Cases Increase Among Staff and Residents

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CMS data and analysis by AARP and the Ohio University Scripps Gerontology Center show that nursing workers and their facilities need additional support with protective equipment and staffing.

Staff Contact: Anthony Caldwell at (877) 419-7348
For Immediate Release: Monday, December 14th, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Data shows persistent shortages of essential PPE items and staffing shortages continue as COVID19 cases increase in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and nationwide.

“According to the Ohio Department of Health, as of December 11th, 30,219 nursing home residents in Ohio have tested positive for COVID19 since April 15th. Additionally, 20,822 nursing home workers have tested positive for the virus in that same period,” said Becky Williams, President of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “As of the latest update from the Ohio Department of Health, 4,689 nursing home residents had COVID19 and 3,082 nursing home staff members had active COVID19,” Williams continued.

Data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is regularly being analyzed by AARP, recently showed the following for the four week period ending on 11/15/20:

• In Ohio, 28.9% of nursing homes did not have a one week supply of all PPE during the 4 week period ending on 11/15/20. During that same time period, 36.6% of nursing homes had a shortage of direct care workers.  
• 
In West Virginia, 35.2% of nursing homes did not have a one week supply of all PPE items during the 4 week period ending on 11/15/20. During that same time, 13.9% of nursing homes had a shortage of direct care workers.  
• 
In Kentucky, 21.8% of nursing homes did not have a one week supply of all PPE items during the 4 week period ending on 11/15/20. During that same time, 28.4% of nursing homes in Kentucky had a shortage of direct care workers.

“While vaccination efforts ramp up, nursing home workers need support, whether that means governmental aide at the national level for the industry as a whole or assistance with protective equipment, hazard pay, and staffing shortages regionally,” said Becky Williams. “Nursing home workers often do not make a living wage for the work that they do and they have been bravely caring for nursing home residents in this crisis,” Williams concluded.

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

View the AARP Public Policy Institute COVID19 Nursing Home Dashboard

Solidarity News — December 2020

Solidarity News December 2020Member News and Grievance Victories
● Member With ResCare in Lake County Granted Missing Pay. A member who worked for ResCare in Lake County took clients on outings. ResCare increased the pay for this work but the member was unaware of the change and did not receive proper payment. After working with the Union, the member was issued the pay that was owed.

● Northeast Ohio Hospital Member Issued Settlement. A hospital member was terminated and believed that the circumstances around the dismissal were unjust. The member and Union maintained that the termination was for improper reasons, including due to ethnicity. While employment without a Union is “at-will,” with a Union contract and through the grievance process, the member accepted a $10,000 settlement.

● Seniority for West Virginia Hospital Member Recognized After Grievance. A member with Weirton Medical Center in West Virginia, had worked for the hospital for 11 years and later returned to full-time employment there in 2019 after working elsewhere for several years. The member did not receive some benefits that were commensurate with their seniority. Working with co-workers and the Union, the member filed a grievance. As an outcome of the grievance, the member will receive PTO time at a higher rate dating back to the date the grievance was filed and will receive a higher pension match.

● ResCare Member in West Virginia Reinstated. A member with ResCare was terminated due to an unsubstantiated accusation. Through the grievance process the member was able to challenge the termination. As a result, the member was reinstated after the grievance proceeded to arbitration and it was found that the contract and due process were violated.

● Hospital Member in Youngstown Area Issued Pay After Contract Violation. A technical worker at a hospital in Ohio was sent home regularly due to low census at the start of the COVID19 pandemic. The member was singled out for being sent home due to low census and also hours in violation of the contract. The member worked with her delegate and co-worker and the hospital agreed to an $840 settlement.

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits
Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

Member Resource Center Update

The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

A Review From a Member: Free College Degree Program for Union Members

The Letter Carriers Free College Benefit | Letter Carriers Free College Benefit
“Being a Union member can allow you to take chances you never thought you would have the opportunity to take. It was a real benefit to be able to take these classes. I would encourage my co-workers and fellow members to take these classes and engage in studies that interest them.” – Krystin Berry, Healthcare Worker and Member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Krystin Berry, a member of SEIU District 1199, recently completed a Degree in Criminal Justice with Eastern Gateway Community College. She wanted to share her story to encourage other members to take this opportunity. This free benefit is open to members with SEIU District 1199 and their families.

“This criminal justice program allowed me to show my daughter that you can work, go to school, and be a good mom,” said Berry. She also has a bachelor’s degree and works far above full-time hours in important areas, including at a nursing home, as a substitute teacher, and with her church. “I learned a lot while taking these classes. You get to know the other students and interact throughout the program. The classes had about 20-25 students and the instructors were helpful with feedback on the course work.”

Currently, Krystin is also working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic as nursing home worker, though they have not had any residents contract COVID19 at her facility so far. “The classes were free of cost, which allowed me to pursue a degree in the area of criminal justice while still working. It was easy to enroll in the program – the most difficult part was transferring in prior coursework but I was able to get those credits recognized. The program was a great way to earn a degree to further myself and this also benefits my daughter,” she said.

Congratulations to Krystin Berry and thank you for sharing your story. Members can get additional details on college programs at this link.