Ohio Public Employees

SEIU District 1199’s Public division represents nearly 5,000 workers. These workers are employed in a variety of fields including higher education, Head Start programs, community action agencies, county government, and libraries.

Members Unite and Start Year With Victories

Union Victory Report Graphic
Members with SEIU District 1199 are united for good jobs and quality care. An important benefit of union membership is collective bargaining and the grievance process. Below are some of the recent victories won by health care and public sector members of the union.

Candlewood Park Healthcare (East Cleveland, Ohio): The dietary workers at Candlewood Park received new uniforms and a $50 shoe allowance after a flood damaged their work clothing.

Spring Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation (Toledo, Ohio): Health care staff at Spring Meadows ratified their first contract with new management at the facility. Additionally, 18 workers at the facility signed PAC cards to contribute to the union’s political work.

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center (Cleveland, Ohio): A worker at the hospital won his job back after a wrongful termination.

Ivy Woods Manor (North Lima, Ohio): A 30 year employee of Ivy Woods Manor was reinstated with back pay.

Avenue Care and Rehabilitation (Warrensville, Ohio): A worker at Avenue Care worked with the union to get a final warning reduced to a written warning.

Eliza Jennings (Cleveland, Ohio): A worker won pay for a floating holiday that had not been recognized.

Columbus Healthcare Center (Columbus, Ohio): Workers at the Columbus Healthcare Center had been struggling after the heat went out in the break room. After standing united as coworkers and contacting the union, another room was provided by management while repairs are made.

Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, Ohio): After a worker passed away, back pay was secured for the family. 

Portage County Library (Portage County, Ohio): Working with the union, a Portage County Library staff member won back floating holiday hours that were lost improperly. 

Announcing New Free College Benefit For SEIU District 1199 Members With Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community College

SEIU District 1199 is proud to announce a new college benefit with Eastern Gateway Community College. This benefit is open to eligible members, retirees, and their families. Eastern Gateway Community College is a part of the University System of Ohio.

This program fills the gap between federal, state, or employer education grants the student receives and the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for certain online programs. It is open to eligible members and retirees, in addition to their spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, and dependents. 

The following programs are now offered: 

• Associates Degree: Accounting, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Individualized Study, and Paralegal.
• Certificate: Business Management, Patient Home Navigator. 

For more information and to enroll, visit SEIU Member Benefits. Apply today! Classes start January 16, 2018.

 

State of Ohio Workers Win Back Pay For Wrongfully Denied Overtime

Two State of Ohio employees who are members of SEIU District 1199 recently won back pay for wrongfully denied overtime. State workers are on the front lines of public safety, state programs, and critical services. The grievance process is an important right guaranteed by union membership and collective bargaining.

Employees with the State of Ohio Department of Health worked extra hours during an emergency related to opiate overdose kits. These employees worked extra hours to help notify citizens of potential danger with the kits. After working overtime, pay was denied. They then worked with their delegate to file a grievance and with labor law on their side, the employees were granted back pay for the overtime hours.

If you are a member of SEIU District 1199 and have an issue with your contract or violations of labor law at work, the Member Resource Center is open from 8:30AM to 8PM every Monday through Friday. You can reach the MRC by calling 877-419-7348. “Your Member Resource Center has your back!”

SEIU District 1199 Update: “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

Three months ago, SEIU District 1199 opened a Member Resource Center to enhance representation for all members of the Union. In this short time, the Member Resource Center has successfully handled a substantial volume of calls, inquiries, and requests for assistance.

mrc_footerRepresentatives with the MRC are standing by to assist members with everything from getting a copy of your contract to registering to vote or even to register for a Union event.  Efficiency and successful resolution of grievances is a top priority — 125 grievances have been opened and half of those have been resolved with many victories. The Member Resource Center offers added hours and is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM. 

The Member Resource Center is in a pilot-phase with full representation for workers with the following units: ResCare (Ohio), and ResCare (West Virginia), the Office of the Ohio Public Defender, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety. 

If you need assistance with an issue at work, do not hesitate to call the MRC at 877-419-7348.  “Your Member Resource Center has your back!”

Health Care Insurance Coverage: Open Enrollment for 2018 Ends December 15th

If you or a family member need health care coverage for 2018, don’t forget to get covered. There are affordable plans available this year for residents of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. You must take action by December 15th. Please share this message with family and friends.

If you don’t sign up during the open enrollment period, you will not be able to sign up for coverage effective until 2019 (without a qualifying change). Last year, 8 in 10 people qualified for financial help. The open enrollment period is shorter this year so it is important to get covered now.

To find coverage, visit Healthcare.gov. If you need assistance, you can also call 1-800-318-2596.

New Report: Attacks on Public Sector Unions Harm Working People and Key Services, Wisconsin Shows

In the report “Attacks on Public-Sector Unions Harm States,” the Center for American Progress details the impact of “Act 10,” a law that gutted public sector unions in Wisconsin. After a dramatic weakening of collective bargaining, the wages and benefits of teachers and Wisconsin’s educational system have been compromised.

The Supreme Court is expected in 2018 to decide Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. While supporters of “right-to-work” and efforts to limit public sector unions have often claimed these laws benefit working people, findings from Wisconsin are troubling. Action by the Supreme Court could soon bring “right-to-work” for public sector workers nationwide. 

Specifically, in the short time since anti-union measures were passed in Wisconsin, the report found:

• In just the first year of the law, compensation for Wisconsin teachers fell by 8.2%, benefits for Wisconsin teachers were cut by 18.6%, and the median salary for Wisconsin teachers was reduced by 2.6%. Within 4 years, median compensation fell by $10,843 or 12.6%.
• The number of teachers leaving the profession has reached an all-time high. As a result, many experienced teachers have been replaced by new teachers with “less than five years of experience.”
• Teachers are not only retiring but moving school districts more frequently. With the loss of a “voice on the job,” turnover has increased, which is detrimental to academic achievement.

wisconsin data
Leaders in Wisconsin told the people of their state that restricting unions would be beneficial but the report concludes that “this theory was misguided.” The results can be seen across the public sector – services in Wisconsin have been impacted by high turnover and service quality has declined. This study and others show that attacks on unions and collective bargaining harm not only pay and benefits for union members but all people across our society. 

Cleveland Metro Schools: Open Enrollment Period Runs Through November 30th

If you work at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, don’t miss the 2018 open enrollment period. This years open benefits period closes on November 30th.  If you need to update your benefits, time is running short so don’t delay. The CMSD 2018 benefits open enrollment flyer outlines the key dates and details you may need to know. 

CMSD
CMSD benefit team members will be at the East Professional Center on Monday, November 20th and Monday, November 27th – see the flyer for contact details. If you need additional assistance, you can always contact your Union delegate. 

New Report: Strong Unions Key to Safer and Stronger Communities

_400-17 Strong Unions Report Share Graphic_Strong Communities
This week, a groundbreaking report was released titled “Strong Unions, Stronger Communities.” The report highlights the importance of unions to fixing the rigged economy and making our communities stronger. The report also shows the importance of strong unions to safety for us all.

“For instance, when unions are strong, wages are stronger – and not just for union members. When union density was at its height in the middle of the 20th century, so was the middle class. However, as union density has shrunk since the 1970’s, a larger share of income has gone to the top 10 percent.”

Unions give working people a voice on the job. With strength in numbers, working people are able to negotiate fair wages, advocate for those they serve, and establish better working conditions. Please read the report and share these findings with your friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

SEIU 1199 Member Resource Center Offers Enhanced Hours and Immediate Assistance

If you need assistance or information, call the Member Resource Center at 877-419-7348. Your new Member Resource Center has enhanced hours and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM.

MRC Flyer
If you need a copy of your contract, information about handling issues at your shop, details on early voting or registering to vote, to RSVP for an SEIU District 1199 event, assistance with a grievance, and more, your Member Resource Center is ready to help. You can contact the MRC online, over the phone, or by email.

Your Member Resource Center has your back! For additional contact information and to learn more about the MRC visit here: http://www.seiu1199.org/MRC.

2017 Scholarship Winners

West Virginia

Mason Anderson, son of Amy Anderson, American Red Cross

Ivy Hurt, Cabell Huntington Hospital

Alexis Saunders, daughter of Katherine Brunny, ResCare – West Virginia

Kevin Simpkins, son of Megan Simpkins, Cabell Huntington Hospital


Kentucky

Abby Collins, daughter of Karen Collins, Highlands Regional Medical Center


Ohio

Greg Anderson, son of Deborah Anderson, ZEPF Center

Melissa Brown, Frontline Services

Austin Capser, son of Cheryl Capser, ZEPF Center

Emily Corrin, daughter of James Corrin, Ohio Adult Parole Authority

Tyler Cox, son of Eileen Cox, Stark County District Library

Michelle Fairley, Mercy Regional Medical Center

Jennifer Gilmore, Northside Medical Center

Dylan Jordan, son of Sara Jordan, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Nicholas Lamb, son of Shelly Lamb, Cleveland State University

Matthew Maldonado, son of Rolando Maldonado, Mercy Regional Medical Center

Hayden Miller, son of Robin Miller, Ohio Dept of Job and Family Services

Nuurah Parsons, daughter of Arcelia Armstrong, Rescue

Nicole Potocki, daughter of Therese Potocki, Frontline Service

Pauline Reid, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Catherine Rogers, daughter of Diane Rogers, University of Cincinnati

Shauntia Smith, daughter of Lashanda Thompson-Smith, Kent Health Care

Erin Underwood, Mercy Allen

Shayla Winford, Ohio Living – Park Vista

Welcome Packet & Video for New 1199 Members

“Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

OFFICIAL SEIU1199WVKYOH MRC LOGO FINAL

The Member Resource Center
The new SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH Member Resource Center has officially opened. The Member Resource Center can help you with getting a copy of your contract, Union orientation materials and welcome information, a form for filing a grievance, delegate manuals, registering to vote, training information, signing up for Union events, and more. The Member Resource Center is ready to assist with the information that you need.

Get More Information and Learn More
Visit the main Member Resource Center page for a video, contact information, and more information about this new member resource.

Congratulations Regina Macklin

Congratulations to Cincinnati State member, Regina Macklin. She was unjustly terminated and received her industrial justice. Arbitrator Passmore ruled that the College did not have just cause to terminate Ms. Macklin and ordered that she be returned to work and ordered that she be compensated for all lost monies and benefits. This is the third straight arbitration victory at Cincinnati State for unjustly terminated members and proves that when workers stick together and enforce the just cause provision of their contract, workers can win. Welcome back Regina and congratulations again!!!!

Supporting Documents:

Macklin Arbitration Award

2017 SEIU District 1199 WKO Election Results

To view election results click on the link below.

2017 Results

SEIU/1199 Election Materials – 2017

Please use the links below to view important information regarding the upcoming elections.

• By-Laws Change Vote Notification
 Final Election Schedule
 Candidates

Legislative Update for June 5th, 2017

 

FEDERAL

  • President Trump pulls U.S. out of Paris Climate Accord- On Thursday, President Trump announced the United States will pull out of the Paris Agreement on combating climate change. This decision fulfilled one of his key campaign pledges but dealt a devastating setback to international efforts to curb global warming. With his withdrawal decision, the U.S. joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries outside the agreement to combat climate change. Other countries, led by the European Union, China and India, pledged to forge ahead in the effort without the U.S. But the loss of the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases will have a traumatic effect on the fight against global warming.

OHIO

  • Franklin County Judge tosses out law preventing municipal minimum wage increases-A Franklin County judge has blocked portions of the law passed last year (SB 331, initially meant to regulate the sale of dogs from pet stores) that stopped a movement to raise Cleveland’s minimum wage to $15 and limited municipalities’ home rule rights to decide where cell phone antennae and equipment can be placed. The decision, posted Friday by Common Pleas Judge Richard A. Frye, said the law violated the Ohio Constitution’s one-subject rule by adding extra provisions having nothing to with the original intent of the law. Frye ruled that the parts of the law the address “animal welfare and protection” can stand. The rest are unconstitutional. The state legislature may choose to pass the same provision in a separate bill with more opportunity for public input and transparency.

ACTION ALERT: Due to delays in the Budget schedule, our 3rd Lobby Day has been moved to Tuesday June 27 from 9am-2pm.

Sign up via the Member Action Center: 1) Online at: http://www.seiu1199.org/mac/  2) By phone by calling 1-877-419-7348 (SEIU)  3) Send an email tomac@seiu1199.org

 

  • State Budget-Senate Republican leaders are currently considering over 1,000 amendments submitted from Republicans, Democrats and the Kasich Administration to the State Budget bill, House Bill 49. We are expecting Senate leadership to reveal their vision for the State Budget next Monday June 12. The Senate will hold another round of amendments before their vote on the Senate Floor expected Wednesday June 21.

 

  • President Williams speaks out against House Bill 2– House Bill 2 weakens protections for employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. It has passed committee in the House of Representatives and is expected to be voted on this week by the full House. President Williams released the following statement:

“All employees have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment based on age, sex, race, disability, military status and religion. However, if an unlawful discriminatory practice occurs, we should be pushing for more paths for workers to hold their employer and, if appropriate, individual supervisors and managers accountable for their actions. Any bill that adds procedural or bureaucratic roadblocks and barriers to an already burdensome process impedes on the rights of all working people and should be considered a harmful invitation for further attacks on protections for the workforce.”

“We proudly stand with the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and the Ohio NAACP in opposing Substitute House Bill 2 and ask our lawmakers to vote ‘NO’ to protect the rights of working people across the State of Ohio.”

  • Public Director Josh Norris speaks out against conditions at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility- “We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of OCSEA protesting the unsafe working conditions at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. Overcrowding of inmates at the facility has led to increased violence while low staffing levels have left our members more vulnerable to incidents and assaults.”

“The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility is not alone in its issue of overcrowding. Ohio’s prison system is currently operating at 132% of capacity; over 11,000 more inmates than the system was built for. These conditions, along with tighter budgets from the state, have resulted in dangerous staffing levels for OCSEA’s corrections officers and other 1199 members charged with maintaining a safe and orderly facility where inmates can participate in rehabilitative services to avoid recidivism. Prisons are resorting to the hazardous practice of mandatory overtime to reach minimum staffing requirements, leaving fatigued officers, case managers, nurses and other employees on duty for hours longer than scheduled.”   

“The opioid epidemic and increasing drug use within the prisons has contributed to overcrowding and acts of violence within its walls.  Some of these same conditions led to the Lucasville prison riot nearly 25 years ago, and projections of even greater incarcerated populations increases the threat of violence exponentially.”  

“We also need to work to insure that the parole officers and others Union members responsible for overseeing these offenders once they are released have the necessary tools and resources to do this. Caseload sizes outside the prisons are just as bad as the overcrowding within the institutions, but often more dangerous as these same offenders are now out in our communities.”     

“Though the recent efforts to change sentencing rules to reduce incarceration for low level offenders is a step in the right direction, something must be done now to establish safe staffing and caseload levels and protect workers in our prisons and parole officers to ensure each and every employee makes it home to their families at the end of their shift.”

  • Pension Update-The School Employees Retirement System has proposed making changes to its system of annual cost of living (COLA) increases. Currently, SERS retirees receive a 3% COLA increase each year. The SERS Board would like to freeze these increases for all retirees for the next two years, then tie the increase to the consumer price index (CPI), capped at 2.5%. Both the Ohio Senate and House have introduced bills, SB 151 Hite and HB 242 Carfagna, to allow SERS to make their COLA increases optional, and tie them to the CPI, capped at 2.5%. These changes could also be added as amendments to the State Budget Bill.

 

o   HB 242 has been scheduled for sponsor and proponent testimony this Wednesday June 7th in the House Aging and Long Term Care Committee at 10am.

o   Call Chairman Steven Arndt at 614-644-6011 and tell him these pension changes will hurt thousands of retirees who are already struggling to pay for their basic needs on a fixed income. Stop hearings on HB 242!

 

ACTION ALERT: Join SEIU 1199 along with our brothers and sisters from AFSCME and OAPSE to protest changes to the School Employees pension system. Together, we will tell our lawmakers to PROTECT OUR PENSIONS!

 

When: Wednesday June 7, 12:30-2pm

Where: Statehouse, Capitol Square. Meet at the Sheraton Courtyard facing State Street. At 1:00pm, we’ll line the path legislators take to go to Session on the South Steps of the Statehouse. At 1:30 we’ll walk two blocks to SERS Headquarters and demand our voices are heard by the new Executive Director.

 

These employees and retirees worked hard to earn their pensions. Together, we can stop the legislature from taking away this important increase, meant to help families cover their bills amid the rising cost of basic necessities.

 

WEST VIRGINIA

 

  • State Budget-The West Virginia Legislature continues to deliberate over the State Operating Budget. A new budget must be approved by June 30, or state agencies and services could shut down while state employees are furloughed.

Letter to Cincinnati State Chapter

Sisters and Brothers of the Cincinnati State Chapter,

We wanted to take this opportunity to share some exciting and great news regarding the recent enforcement of your collective bargaining agreement through the grievance and arbitration procedure.

Union member Rochell Prater was victorious and secured industrial justice in a recent arbitration decision delivered by Arbitrator Furman. The Arbitrator agreed with the Union that the college had not satisfied its contractual obligation to meet the 7 tests of just cause in disciplinary matters and overturned the colleges unjust termination of Ms. Prater and awarded her all lost wages and benefits and seniority.

In yet another victory, long time Cincinnati State Union member Paula Harnist won her recent arbitration. Arbitrator Klein also determined that the college had failed to satisfy their contractual obligation to terminate members only for just cause. The arbitrator awarded all lost wages, benefits and seniority to member Harnist as well.

These victories outline the continued importance and value of contract enforcement and where the grievance process can deliver industrial justice to Union members who have been unjustly harmed in violation of your contract. Copies of each decision is available below.

Congratulations and welcome back to both Rochell and Paula!!!

Attachments:

 

Legislative Update – 5/31/2017

Federal

  • Minimum Wage– Senators Sanders and Murray and Representatives Scott and Ellison are going to introduce the Raise the Wage Act, the new federal minimum wage bill.  If enacted, this legislation would raise the federal minimum wage to $9.25 this year and increase it over the next seven years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2024.  

 

  • American Health Care Act (AHCA)– According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the revised Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will leave 23 million more people uninsured in 2026 than if that act, also known as Obamacare, were to remain in place. The GOP bill would also reduce the deficit by $119 billion over 10 years. The CBO’s assessment shows that the deficit would fall and premiums would fall for some Americans, but the report also raises potential concerns about the bill. The agency reports that the bill could destabilize individual insurance markets in some states, leaving unhealthy Americans unable to buy insurance. The bill is currently in the Senate, where different groups are looking to make further changes to the bill. Ohio Senators Portman and Brown say they oppose the bill as passed by the house.

 

  • Trump Budget– Last Tuesday, the Trump Administration released its first full budget which proposes a staggering $1 trillion in cuts to a broad swath of non-defense programs, hurting working families and dragging down our economy. The proposal decimates programs that help families afford basics like healthcare, put food on the table, and keep a roof over their heads, while at the same time undermining our public education system, making it harder for working families to afford college, and putting our environment at risk—all to fund a deportation force, build a border wall and give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. Specifically, Trump’s budget:

 

o   Takes away healthcare from children, seniors, and people with disabilities: Trump’s budget decimates Medicaid with cuts of $610 billion over ten years, on top of the $1 trillion Medicaid cut in the House Republican healthcare bill.

 

o   Breaks his promise to preserve Social Security: Trump’s budget cuts $72 billion from Social Security income support and disability and other disability programs, which help seniors and people with disabilities replace lost wages when they fall on hard times. 

 

o   Pursues mass deportations of hardworking immigrant families: Trump budget spends  $1.5 billion on additional detention bed space and deportations, $2.6 million to start building a wall along the U.S. Mexico border, and $300 million to recruit and hire new immigration agents. The budget would also deny the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to households where any family member lacks a social security number

o   Takes away food assistance and undermine the economic security of children and other vulnerable Americans: Trump’s budget cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) by an unprecedented 25% – almost $200 billion over 10 years – and  the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) by $21 billion over 10 years.

 

o   Puts the care and healthy development of children at risk: While the Trump budget maintains funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start, it calls for eliminating the CCAMPIS program, which funds child care for parents enrolled in college, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after-school program and the Pre-school Development Grant Program. 

 

o   Puts the dream of higher education out of reach for millions, including dedicated public servants: Trump’s budget steals $3.9 billion from the Pell Grant reserve fund and freezes the maximum award so inflation will chip away at the program’s effectiveness.  It also phases out subsidized loans for education loan borrowers while they’re still in college, which could cost borrowers an additional $27 billion, and eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for faculty, social workers, and of others who have dedicated their life to public service.  

 

o   Cuts funding for job training and other job assistance programs: Trump’s budget makes a 20% cut to the Department of Labor including a 43% cut to key job training programs funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) . This could cause 571,000 workers to lose access to critical job training, career development, and job search assistance services. 

 

o   Takes infrastructure money away from state and local governments: Trump’s budget makes cuts to the Highway Trust Fund and eliminates the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants — all to fund tax breaks for Wall Street elites under the guise of an infrastructure plan.

 

o   Undermines our public education system: Trump’s budget cuts $8 billion from the U.S. Department of Education, an overall reduction of 13 percent, while spending about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.

 

o   Takes away affordable housing: Trump’s budget makes deep cuts to rental assistance that would eliminate housing vouchers for more than 250,000 lower-income households.

 

Ohio

  • Pension Update-The School Employees Retirement System has proposed making changes to its system of annual cost of living (COLA) increases. Currently, SERS retirees receive a 3% COLA increase each year. The SERS Board would like to freeze these increases for all retirees for the next two years, then tie the increase to the consumer price index (CPI), capped at 2.5%. Both the Ohio Senate and House have introduced bills, SB 151 Hite and HB 242 Carfagna, to allow SERS to make their COLA increases optional, and tie them to the CPI, capped at 2.5%. These changes could also be added as amendments to the State Budget Bill.

 

ACTION ALERT: Join SEIU 1199 along with our brothers and sisters from AFSCME and OAPSE to protest these changes to the School Employees pension system. Together, we will tell our lawmakers to PROTECT OUR PENSIONS!

 

When: Wednesday June 7, 12:30-2pm

Where: Statehouse, Capitol Square. Meet at the Sheraton Courtyard facing State Street. At 1:00pm, we’ll line the path legislators take to go to Session on the South Steps of the Statehouse. At 1:30 we’ll walk two blocks to SERS Headquarters and demand our voices are heard by the new Executive Director.

 

These employees and retirees worked hard to earn their pensions. Together, we can stop the legislature from taking away this important increase, meant to help families cover their bills amid the rising cost of basic necessities.

 

  • State Budget-This week Senators will submit their amendment for consideration in the State Budget Bill. SEIU 1199 has been working closely with key members in the Senate to ensure make sure amendments offered are within the interests of our members, their families and their communities.

o   Specifically, a budget amendment will be offered by several members of the Senate to include our Parole officers in a special OPERS pension plan for law enforcement officers.

 

West Virginia

  • Right-to-Work (is Wrong)-A date has been set for arguments regarding the future of West Virginia’s right-to-work law. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals will hear Patrick Morrisey, Attorney General v. West Virginia AFL-CIO, et al., on September 5, the day after Labor Day. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 in February 2016, overriding a veto by then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act went into effect July 1. The law would have prohibited requiring workers being union members or paying union dues in order to be employed but has been on hold since a judge ordered an injunction on the legislation.

 

  • Budget-The State Budget Bill was introduced and had a first reading on Wednesday May 25. The legislature is currently in recess until June 5.

 

Kentucky

  • Right-to-Work (is Wrong)– The Kentucky State AFL–CIO and Teamsters Local 89 jointly filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court seeking injunctive relief from enforcement of unfair and discriminatory provisions of House Bill 1 – The Kentucky Right to Work Act. Plaintiffs believe that HB 1 violates the Kentucky Constitution and is bad for Kentuckians. Plaintiffs are confident the Kentucky courts will invalidate this pernicious statute, will restore to unions and companies in Kentucky the freedom to bargain to preserve strong unions as they have done successfully for many decades, and will halt this effort to drive down Kentucky wages.

Legislative Update for May 22, 2017

Federal

Budget

  • Trump administration will release their budget blueprint on Tuesday, May 23, which will build on the “skinny budget” released in March. 
  • There are indications that Tuesday’s Trump budget will propose an additional $800 billion in cuts over 10 years to means-tested, mandatory programs like Medicaid, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and child nutrition programs.
  • These proposed cuts would be on top of the $880 billion Medicaid cutin the Republican House-passed healthcare bill and the $54 billion of cuts already proposed in the skinny budget—all to pay for a border wall and tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

ACA Repeal/Replace

  • The Congressional Budget Office score on the AHCA will come out next week, and will contain with details on how the bill passed by the House will impact each state.
  • Despite the chaos in the Trump Administration, groups of Senators continue to meet on creating a Senate repeal/replace bill. Medicaid funding caps for the states, an eventual end to Medicaid expansion and cuts to the program itself remain on the table.
  • Republican leadership want a new bill by July Recess

Ohio

  • Lobby Day Success! Healthcare, State and Public Members from across the state came together for a Day of Action at the Ohio Statehouse to speak with elected officials about the issues facing their communities, their workplaces and their families. We also heard presentations about the threat of Right to Work (is Wrong) policies in Ohio and what members can do to push back against false messaging.
  • Our Lobby Day participants made Republican leaders nervous with their presence at a hearing on a bill to sunset and possibly privatize state agencies. House Bill 51 was up for a vote in the House State and Local Government Committee. To avoid the public eye, Republican leaders scheduled the hearing in the smallest hearing room in the Statehouse, and “technological difficulties” prevented our members from listening to committee in the overflow room.
  • Budget– The Senate continues to hold hearings on the biennial budget bill. The Senate must submit their first round of amendments to the bill by May 31.

Action Alert: The Ohio Nurses Association is holding this rally to bring attention to the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime for nurses.
Where: Ohio Statehouse, West lawn along High Street
When: Wednesday, May 24 at 3 p.m.
Why:

  • We need to eliminate the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime and its impact on providing safe care to patients.
  • Patients have died from errors caused by fatigued nurses
  • Nurses have died from this practice driving home drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel

Facts:

  • Across Ohio, nurses are being forced to work 14, 16 and even 24 hours while physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted.
  • Statistics show that nurses working over 12.5 hours are 3x more likely to make an error, contributing to medical errors being the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.

Let’s join together and tell Ohio’s lawmakers that patients and nurses deserve better. Ohioans deserve safe, quality care. Together we can make Ohio the 19th state to outlaw the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime.

 

West Virginia

  • Extraordinary Session-The West Virginia Legislature was unable to pass a balanced state budget during regularly scheduled session without the Governor’s veto. After a 10 day recess, the legislature was called back by the Governor on May 16 for “Extraordinary” Session. The legislature can only work on the state budget and a small number of bills impacting the state budget.
  • The Legislature must pass a new state budget by the end of the 2017 fiscal year, June 30, or face consequences of a shutdown and interrupted services.

Robert Reich: Why “Right-to-Work” is Wrong

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains the truth behind so-called “Right-to-Work” laws and how they hurt working families.