State of Ohio

SEIU District 1199’s State division represents nearly 4,000 workers in 18 different agencies. These state agencies include the Ohio Board of Nursing, the Ohio Department of Aging, the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Medical Board, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Pharmacy Board, the Ohio School for the Blind, the Ohio School for the Deaf, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, the Ohio Veterans Home, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

State Contract (2018 – 2021)
Union Benefits Trust 
State Chapter Basic Delegate Training (3/24/21)
State Chapter Intermediate Delegate Training (5/26/21)
State Chapter Advanced Delegate Training (7/21/21)

Filing a Grievance State Member Webinar
State Chapter Mediation Dates for 2020
• Lookup and Contact Your Elected Officials

State Employee Development Fund

The Employee Development Fund (EDF) renewed on July 1, 2020, with $750,000 in additional funding for FY21. We have been provided with the following update, which is current as of 1/16/21: 

Amount Paid (as of 1/2/21): $411,462
Amount Approved (as of 1/16/21): $39,457.89
Amount Submitted (as of 1/16/21): $107,962.31
Total Expended: $558,882.20

Budget + Rollover (FY21): $831,149.07
Total Remaining: $272,266.87
Percent Remaining: 33%

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Member Resource Center.

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. 

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Today, on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, I want to thank you for everything that you do on behalf of the people of Ohio. As parole officers with the State of Ohio, the work you do is vital and critically important. Thank you for your brave work and service on behalf of the public. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President  
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

State Chapter Newsletter – January

State NewsletterCOVID19 Chapter Update. The pandemic has dramatically impacted many members with the State of Ohio and countless workers have fallen ill with COVID19. Many members with the State of Ohio DRC and now DYS have also lost a co-worker or co-workers. Working together with member leaders, we have spoken out for additional personal protective equipment and safety measures as COVID19 has spread through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction system, as well as other workplaces where members are represented with the State of Ohio. The Union has also emphasized the importance of work-from-home status for as many members as possible. While we recognize that this is an impossibility for many members, we believe that those members who are able to do so, should be able to continue to work remotely.

● Union Negotiations. Our Union sisters and brothers with OCSEA have already started bargaining. To keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming contract negotiations advance we are asking all state bargaining unit members to submit updated personal email addresses and contact information online. The member-led negotiating committee will meet again this month in January 2021. We have heard the rumors regarding the insulting offers that have been made by the State of Ohio at the table. This, in the middle of a pandemic when all of you have risen to the occasion and shone brightly to provide your services to the citizens of our great state. We continue to closely monitor the negotiations and will share any factual information as it becomes available. In the meantime, the best way to protect and defend our membership and to make improvements and fight back against concessions is to have a strong, united membership that rises in solidarity. If you or someone you know has not yet completed their membership application, know that they can easily sign a membership card online. By signing a membership card, new members are sending a firm signal to the State of Ohio that they are willing to stand united for improvements in their contract and will not sit idly by while their livelihoods and protections are attacked, devalued, and stripped away.

● The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. We have heard reports that underscore the need to stand strong together and united for upcoming negotiations. Non-Union employees with the State of Ohio have already been forced to accept concessions with no recourse. Recent events show that bureaucrats with the State of Ohio will continue to try to balance the budget on the backs of us, the working class workers, even while many are on the frontlines in this crisis. 

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) language Article 35, Emergencies. We believe that the current state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine falls well within the intent of this language and that all members who work during this declared emergency are entitled to the $8 per hour stipend referenced in the CBA. Send a message to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and ask him to honor the contract and grant the emergency pay that was mutually agreed upon. We will continue to keep you updated as the grievance moves through the process. The State of Ohio has not provided available dates as of yet for this grievance to be heard.

Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund (EDF) for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. Additionally, $88,149.07 was left remaining at the end of FY20, which has now rolled over. As of December 19th, 45% of the balance remains available for reimbursement. Funding for the Educational Development Fund was negotiated by member leaders as a part of your collective bargaining agreement and is just one more example of how your Union negotiates benefits for your collective good. 

State Chapter Adult Parole Authority Member Compensated for Medical Bill. A member with the State of Ohio had an auto accident and a supervisor ordered the member to have a medical evaluation performed. As the member was not injured, their health insurance company refused to pay for a significant hospital bill. This put the member in the unfortunate situation of having followed their supervisor’s direction and through no fault of their own, the member received a medical bill that neither their insurance company nor workers compensation would cover.  After working with the Union to file a grievance, a mediation was held and the State of Ohio agreed to compensate the member. Without a Union this member would have had no recourse.

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, Ohio.

Member Resource Center – State of Ohio Chapter
The Member Resource Center has provided assistance to a substantial number of members with the State of Ohio. Members have stood with their co-workers to win grievances, which relate to workplace health and safety, protection of the public, and fundamental fairness, among other issues. Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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 – Working People Need Relief

 New SEIU1199WKO Logo

PPE For Healthcare Workers

 PPE Now

 

“Ohio National Guard now in 13 state prisons after uptick in COVID-19 cases among staffers.”

“Union supports remote work for state employees.”

State Newsletter — December 2020

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Reagan Tokes Act – Ohio Adult Parole Authority Members. In November, members and leaders with the Union attended a committee hearing at the Ohio Statehouse regarding the Reagan Tokes Act. As you may know, the bill includes provisions for GPS monitoring and caseload sizes for parole officers. Much of the work and changes that have been accomplished have been due to work by members with the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and SEIU District 1199. Stand with members at the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and send a message to your legislators in support of this bill

● The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. Non-Union employees with the State of Ohio have been forced to accept concessions with no recourse. If you are a non-member, you can sign a membership card online. Recent events show that bureaucrats with the State of Ohio will continue to try to balance the budget on the backs of us, the working class workers, even while many are on the frontlines in this crisis. 

Union Negotiations. To  keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming contract negotiations advance we are also asking all state bargaining unit members to submit updated personal email addresses and contact information online. Preparations for negotiations with the State of Ohio are underway and the member-led negotiating committee met on Tuesday, November 10th.

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) language Article 35, Emergencies. We believe that the current state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine falls well within the intent of this language and that all members who work during this declared emergency are entitled to the $8 per hour stipend referenced in the CBA. Send a message to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and ask him to honor the contract and grant the emergency pay that was mutually agreed upon. We will keep you updated as the grievance moves through the process.

Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund (EDF) for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. Additionally, $88,149.07 was left remaining at the end of FY20, which has now rolled over. As of November 21st, 44% of the balance remains available for reimbursement. Funding for the Educational Development Fund was negotiated by member leaders as a part of your collective bargaining agreement and is just one more example of how your Union negotiates benefits for your collective good. 

State Member Returns to Work After Arbitration Decision. A nurse with the State of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction was terminated in March 2018. The Union and the worker maintained that she was simply doing her job as a Union representative. An arbitrator issued a report concluding that the termination was wrongful and ordered the member back to work. The Union is currently working with the member to collect back pay for time that the member was on leave. 

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, Ohio.

Member Resource Center – State of Ohio Chapter

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The Member Resource Center has provided assistance to a substantial number of members with the State of Ohio. Members have stood with their co-workers to win grievances, which relate to workplace health and safety, protection of the public, and fundamental fairness, among other issues. Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

Ohio DRC and COVID19 Crisis

Statement on Recent COVID19 Cases Among Staff at Ohio DRC Facilities

SEIU District 1199 continues to encourage work-from-home status for as many workers as possible, especially as community spread and COVID19 transmission increase, which may result in greater risk to workers with the State of Ohio.

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 
For more information, contact: Joshua Norris at (877) 419-7348

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Between November 8th (view data) and December 9th (view data) reports from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction show that 1,232 staff members with ODRC have tested positive for COVID19. “Workers with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction are going to work every day and system-wide over 1,232 staff members have tested positive for COVID19 since November 8th,” said Joshua Norris, an Executive Vice President with SEIU District 1199. “As of November 8th, there were just 1,700 staff cases but there have been 2,932 staff cases at present,” continued Norris.  

“Facilities with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have reported 2,932 positive tests among staff with over 120 lives lost, including 7 staff members,” said Norris. “Public employees with the State of Ohio have been bravely working on the frontlines of this crisis,” continued Norris.  

SEIU District 1199 continues to advocate for as many members as possible to be granted work-from-home status, especially given the recent spread of COVID19. Heightened levels of community spread may result in increased COVID19 cases in such settings and increase transmission of the virus among staff and others.

SEIU District 1199 represents health care workers and staff members who provide services on behalf of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. SEIU District 1199 also represents workers with OhioMHAS Recovery Services.

Update — Ohio House Committee Passes the Reagan Tokes Act

APA Hearing
Today, we cleared one of the final hurdles of passing the Reagan Tokes Act into law, which would make long-awaited reforms to post-release control and giving frontline parole officers a seat at the table on a newly created committee designed to make recommendations.

Now, we need you to activate your networks of colleagues, family, friends and other supporters of parole reform to call on members of the Ohio House of Representatives to pass House Bill 215 before the end of the year.

Click here to send an email to your State Representative right now asking them to vote for House Bill 215 (The Reagan Tokes Act) and then share it with anyone you know.

Don’t let the hard work of our Union parole officers go to unfinished. We need everyone to take this opportunity to have your voices heard on this important legislation.

In Solidarity,

Josh Norris, Executive Vice President
Kristie Branch, Ohio State Chapter Director

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.

Reagan Tokes Act Committee Hearing

State Chapter Newsletter – November 2020

State Chapter Newsletter November 2020The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. Non-Union employees with the State of Ohio have been forced to accept concessions with no recourse. If you are a non-member, you can sign a membership card online. Recent events show that bureaucrats with the State of Ohio will continue to try to balance the budget on the backs of us, the working class workers, even while many are on the frontlines in this crisis. Preparations for negotiations with the State of Ohio are underway and the member-led negotiating committee met on Tuesday, November 10th. We will keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming contract negotiations advance. 

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) language Article 35, Emergencies. We believe that the current state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine falls well within the intent of this language and that all members who work during this declared emergency are entitled to the $8 per hour stipend referenced in the CBA. Send a message to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and ask him to honor the contract and grant the emergency pay that was mutually agreed upon. We will keep you updated as the grievance moves through the process.

Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund (EDF) for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. Additionally, $88,149.07 was left remaining at the end of FY20, which has now rolled over. As of November 7th, 56% of the balance remains available for reimbursement. Funding for the Educational Development Fund was negotiated by member leaders as a part of your collective bargaining agreement and is just one more example of how your Union negotiates benefits for your collective good. 

State of Ohio Member Successfully Challenges Termination and Receives Settlement. A member was terminated for reasons that were believed to be unjust. The dedicated member had been with the State of Ohio for a significant period of time. The member worked with the Union to challenge the dismissal. Though employment without a Union is at-will, through the process outlined by the contract, the member was granted a $7,500 payment. As a part of the settlement, the member was able to substitute a resignation for the termination. 

State of Ohio Member Receives Improperly Denied Overtime Payment. A member who works as a nurse late at night was denied overtime pay due to a technical software glitch that improperly placed hours that should have been counted as overtime. Through the grievance process, the member was able to show that an error had occurred, which may also help other members and the grievant with proper payment for overtime hours. 

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, Ohio.

Member Resource Center – State of Ohio Chapter

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The Member Resource Center has provided assistance to a substantial number of members with the State of Ohio. Members have stood with their co-workers to win grievances, which relate to workplace health and safety, protection of the public, and fundamental fairness, among other issues. Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

Veterans Day 2020 – We Honor and Thank You

We Honor Your Service and Sacrifice

SEIU District 1199 is proud to represent many Union members who have served our nation. This year for Veterans Day, we would like to share photos to honor those with military service backgrounds. 

As you may know, the Union started a Veterans Caucus last year and members can sign up online. If you send us photos from your military service, we would like to spotlight and honor member veterans on social media. 

Send any service related photos to be shared online on Veterans Day by sending them to media@seiu1199.org. Together, we thank you and honor your service and sacrifice. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH