Update – Paid Family and Sick Leave
This week, the U.S. Congress passed a new bill called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill was signed into law earlier today. This law will offer paid sick leave and expanded family leave, in some circumstances.
This law offers up to two weeks of unpaid leave and ten weeks of paid leave at 2/3 pay for some workers who cannot work or tele-work and due to school or child care closures. Such leave is not available to workers with employers that have 500 or more employees. Health care workers and first responders may be excluded. See below to speak out.
The law also offers two weeks of paid leave for some workers who must isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. This leave is also not available to workers with employers that have more than 500 employees. Health care workers and first responders may be excluded. See below to fight back.
SEIU District 1199 stands with all workers. Members are sending letters to members of the U.S. Congress to demand that paid leave should be available for all workers and so that health care workers have access to important safety equipment.
During this crisis, your Member Resource Center is standing by to assist members at 877-419-7348. We will continue to stand up and speak out together.
Becky Williams – President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH
Together, We Are Union Strong
Your Union is standing with you in this time of crisis. Together, members of SEIU District 1199 and workers across our country will beat COVID-19, just as we did with epidemics of the past. From staffing issues to paid leave and safety, standing together is more critical than ever.
Update for Members on COVID-19
SEIU District 1199 is proud to represent health care workers and others who work on behalf of the public. Members of the Union stand with their co-workers every day for fair wages and benefits, in addition to speaking out on behalf of the public in regards to issues such as safety.
We know that many members are concerned about COVID-19, which is a new risk for workers, the public, and our families. While we don’t yet know the impact of COVID-19, it is important to be prepared. I want you to know that we are ready to stand with you.
At the national level, SEIU is fighting for expanded unemployment insurance and paid sick leave for workers who are unable to work due to exposure and/or illness related to COVID-19. It is also imperative that workers have the proper training and equipment, if needed, to stay safe while providing vital services.
Your Member Resource Center is open Monday through Friday. If you face issues on the job related to COVID-19, please know that we will be working overtime and are here to stand with you. The Member Resource Center can be reached by calling 877-419-7348.
Becky Williams – President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH
New Contract Negotiated by Members With Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County Ensures Good Union Jobs
Over the weekend, members with the Public Librarians Association of Youngstown at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County ratified a new contract with no concessions and several improvements. This new agreement shows that negotiations conducted in good faith can benefit all parties. This contract is also meaningful for the community, as it comes at a time when Youngstown and the greater area need good union jobs.
Workers negotiated a new 5-year contract with the following terms:
• Wage Increases. There will be a 2.5% increase in each year of the agreement.
• Wage Scale and Longevity. Members will receive a 2% base rate increase in 2021 and 2023. There will also be a 3% increase for those at the top of the wage scale. The contract includes an annual off-scale bonus of $600 for full-time bargaining unit members and $400 for those who are part-time.
• Sick Time. The new contract includes an increase in sick time accrual.
• Ratification Bonus. Full-time members will receive $1,500 and part-time members will receive a $900 ratification bonus.
• Paid Union Orientation. Union orientation will help member leaders keep the chapter strong.
• Member Resource Center. New language will assist with the provision of enhanced representation through the Member Resource Center.
Members negotiated this contract together and the terms reached will benefit the entire bargaining unit over the length of the agreement. We are stronger together.
Solidarity Newsletter – March 2020
Member News and Grievance Victories
• ResCare Member in Ohio Granted Retroactive Pay. A member with ResCare in Belmont County believed that their pay was not being calculated properly, as they were missing a wage increase and not receiving “PILOB,” an optional hourly add-on in lieu of benefits. The member contacted the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. Working with the Union, the member’s rate was updated and retroactive pay totaling over $1,500 was issued.
• Ohio Nursing Home Members Secure Breaks. At a recent meeting with management, members with a nursing home in the Youngstown area expressed concern that members of the bargaining unit were not able to take necessary breaks. Having a Union means having a voice and after raising this issue as a group, management agreed to implement new scheduling procedures.
• West Virginia ResCare Member Successfully Challenges Corrective Action Plan. A dedicated member with ResCare in Cabell County was issued a corrective action plan. The member believed that the plan was unfounded and joined together with the Union to file a grievance. As an outcome of the grievance, the corrective action plan was removed from the member’s employment file entirely.
• Cleveland Community School District Member Awarded Job Transfer. A member with CMSD wanted to transfer to a new school but believed the contract was not being followed in regards to transfers. Working together, the Union found that the contract was not being followed in this area. As a result and as mandated by the contract, the member was awarded the transfer.
• Ohio Nursing Home Member Returns to Preceptor Program. A member with a nursing home in Ohio was given a warning and removed from a training program, which was an important opportunity. The member believed the removal was unfounded and worked with the Union to file a grievance. In a successful outcome, the member has returned to the program.
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!”
Update for Members on COVID-19 (2/27)
We have heard the concerns of members, partners, and allies regarding the recent spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19. SEIU District 1199 is proud to represent health care workers and others who work every day on behalf of the public.
While recent reports show that the outbreak is not yet a serious threat in our region, we also know that it is important for everyone to have the facts and to be prepared. At this link is a fact sheet on COVID-19.
If you have any questions or need assistance, visit this page by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or you can contact them at 800-232-4636.
Tri-C Members Unite to Negotiate Contract With Improved Wages, Benefits, and Terms
Cuyahoga Community College (FT) members recently stood together to negotiate a new contract agreement. Members with Tri-C work every day on behalf of the students of the college and their community. Nearly 70% of bargaining unit members participated in the ratification vote.
The contract includes the following terms:
• Wages. A wage increase for the first year will be retroactive back to January. Members negotiated annual wage increases. Additionally, the contract ensures higher milestone increases and a top of the scale increase. Members of the bargaining unit will all receive a $750 ratification bonus.
• Lactation Rooms. This was a significant issue for members of the bargaining unit and negotiating committee. Under the new contract, lactation rooms must be clean, private, and accessible.
• Compensatory Time. Members will able to choose between taking compensatory time or overtime.
• Representation. There will now be a 30 minute paid union orientation time. Additionally, the new contract includes language that will help provide enhanced representation through the Member Resource Center and other terms that will help member leaders keep the chapter strong.
Members with Tri-C (FT) worked diligently to negotiate this contract, which will make a difference for themselves, their families, and their community. We are stronger together.
Convention Delegation Election Results
Elections for the Delegation to the SEIU 2020 Convention were held between January 1st and January 31st. The final results are listed at this link. The Executive Board Caucus Slate will represent SEIU/District 1199 at the Convention in Chicago, Illinois, April 24-27, 2020. Congratulations to all Union Sisters and Brothers who received votes.
College Programs for Union Members
SEIU District 1199 offers discounts for members and eligible family members through arrangements with colleges. These programs include a range of benefits with Columbia Southern University, Southern New Hampshire University, Central State University, and Eastern Gateway Community College.
Membership with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH provides access to the member benefit programs detailed below. You can sign a membership card online at this link.
Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community College. Eastern Gateway offers a free online Associate’s Degree college benefit for members and retirees, in addition to eligible family members. If you live near Youngstown or Steubenville, you can also can participate in this program and take classes on campus.
Ohio’s Central State University. Union Plus, one of your Union’s member benefit programs, has partnered with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio. Central State University is now offering a program for Bachelor’s Degrees for members and eligible family members. This program is available online at a reduced cost or low/no cost (e.g. depending on grants). The program is open to students with an Associate’s Degree or 60 credit hours of coursework in a related major. Additionally, students who have a degree from Eastern Gateway Community College can now transfer into the Bachelor’s Degree program at Central State University.
Southern New Hampshire University. SNHU offers Bachelor’s Degrees and Associate’s Degrees for $3,000 a year for members and eligible family members.
Columbia Southern University. Columbia Southern offers Associate’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, Mater’s Degrees, and Doctoral Degrees. SEIU District 1199 has a tuition discount agreement for members.
If you need assistance with your member benefits or a workplace issue, you can always contract the Member Resource Center. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”
Spread the Love Peanut Butter Drive
1 in 5 children live at risk of hunger. With your help – we can spread love and hope to children and families in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Please bring in a jar of peanut butter or other shelf-stable alternative and give it to your delegate, executive board member, or organizer. We will combine your donation with donations from our co-workers and deliver those to Head Start children and families in need.
SEIU District 1199 Members Endorse Avon Library Levy Issue 12
Last week, members with SEIU District 1199 voted to endorsed Issue 12, a levy for the Avon Library, which is a part of the Lorain Public Library System. This 2-mill levy would increase the current levy by .8 mill and is needed for branch expansion and to make improvements.
SEIU District 1199 has represented members with the Lorain Public Library System since 1987. Issue 12 will be on the ballot in Avon on March 17, 2020.
Cleveland Library Workers Stand United for Improved Staffing and to Stop Outsourcing, Issue 10-Day Strike Notice
Workers at Cleveland Public Library say taxpayers approved increases in taxes in order to support programs and services for the community, not to give massive pay increases and bonuses to top executives.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – Today, Union Librarians, Library Assistants, Clerks, Custodians, maintenance workers, and a wide range of support staff at the Cleveland Public Library have issued a 10-day notice of their intent to strike after months of negotiations with top executives have failed to yield a fair contract that respects the dignity of their work and supports the public services they provide. Instead, proposals by Cleveland Public Library administration would outsource Cleveland jobs, and make it more difficult for front line staff that is already stretched to provide valuable services and programs to the community.
“My co-workers and I are committed to providing the best possible service to the people of our community. We are dedicated professionals who care deeply about our neighbors,” said Debbie Hajzak, an Outreach and Programming Services Project Coordinator for the Library and Member Vice President with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “We have done everything we can to avoid going on strike, but enough is enough. We can no longer stand by while the executives of “The People’s University” line their own pockets at the expense of the public. We are standing up for the work we do and for the service we provide to our community. We will not allow the Library to replace dedicated public servants with volunteers, outsource work, and continue to add executive positions while they keep frontline and support staffing at a bare minimum at best.”
Despite voters giving overwhelming approval to Issue 60 in 2017, the recent levy campaign in support of library services and programs, Cleveland Public Library has used those resources to give massive pay increases and huge bonuses to their top executives, in addition to luxurious benefit packages. At the same time, more than 100 bargaining unit positions have been eliminated over the past 10 years, leaving most library workers doing double- and triple-duty in service to the community as demand for library programs and services continues to increase.
“The Cleveland Public Library went to the citizens of Cleveland to ask for an increase in millage and the residents supported this levy increase overwhelmingly, and in return library executives have chosen to give large payouts to top administrators, many of whom are not residents of Cleveland. Library executives continue to ignore the needs of the hard-working people that make this library the Five Star premiere organization that this administration so often boasts about,” said Erick Walker, a Senior Subject Department Clerk at the Cleveland Public Library and Executive Board Member with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “Taxpayers approved increases in taxes in order to support the services we provide to our neighbors and our community, but instead Cleveland Public Library executives have shifted their priorities from public service to self-service. It’s time they get their priorities straight.”
With a vote of support from bargaining unit members of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH at the Cleveland Public Library, notice has been served to library executives and the State Employees Relations Board (SERB) that unless an agreement can be reached, workers will be on strike beginning at 12:00 pm on February 4th, 2020. With only one bargaining session remaining on Thursday, January 23, workers remain willing to meet up to the day of the strike, and after, if necessary.
To ease the burden on striking library workers, the Executive Board of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH voted to increase strike benefits to offset some of the cost of lost wages for bargaining unit members who work shifts on the picket line outside of each of the 28 strike locations.
Cleveland Public Library plans to spend up to $175,000 on lawyers and propaganda to further discredit the dedicated workers of the Cleveland Public Library, but the people of Cleveland stand with library workers.
Take Action – Stand With Cleveland Public Library Workers
The women and men who work at the Cleveland Public Library proudly serve our neighborhoods and community every day, providing vital resources, services and information for people like us. However, decisions by Cleveland Public Library executives have eroded staffing, increased workloads and ignored the concerns of employees about safety at branches throughout the city.
Take Action to Stand With Cleveland Public Library Workers
1. Contact Cleveland Public Library. Call the library at 216-623-2827 and leave a Message for Executive Director Felton Thomas Jr. and the Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees. Ask them to bargain in good faith for a contract that keeps everyone safe and respects the dignity of their work.
2. Tweet to Show Your Support. Tweet these two messages of support to stand with Cleveland Public Library workers.
3. Write a Letter to the Editor. Submit a letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer to stand with SEIU District 1199 members who are fighting for a fair contract with the Cleveland Public Library. Make letters clear, concise, and under 200 words. Letters can be submitted at this link. A post with details on bargaining is also available here.
4. Sign the Petition. Submit your name in support of the SEIU District 1199 members with the Cleveland Public Library. Sign the petition here.
5. Share Social Media Posts. Visit the Facebook and Twitter pages for SEIU District 1199 and share recent posts to stand in support with the library workers.