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, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, the Ohio Veterans Home, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
 
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State Contract (2018-2021)
 
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APC Meeting Minutes
 

State Newsletter – December 2019

State Newsletter December 2019

State of Ohio – Union Chapter News
Department of Health Field Surveyors Reach and Approve Deal. Surveyors with the Department of Health recently voted to implement a grievance settlement recommended by neutral Mediator and Arbitrator Jack Buettner regarding the use of compensatory time. His official recommendation to the parties stated: “The procedure for the annual vacation canvass shall be continued. The quarterly vacation request procedure shall continue subject to the following modifications: For purposes of clarification regarding Section 15B, the agency will treat compensatory time requests the same as vacation requests.” Field surveyors can now request to use compensatory or vacation leave for shifts in the quarter. This victory is due to the surveyors that stood together and spoke out when the contract was being violated and leave requests denied.

Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. As of November 9th, 53% of the budget and $413,827.86 remains available for reimbursement. This fund was negotiated as a part of the contract and allows reimbursement for approved training and educational expenses. In 2018, members negotiated a substantial increase in funding for the Educational Development Fund as a part of the current contract due to the fact that in previous years the fund had been depleted far in advance of the July 1st renewal date.

Solidarity Winter Cookout in Columbus. All members of the Union and their family members are invited to a winter solidarity cookout on December 10th that will be held from 2:00pm to 7:00pm. There will be smoked BBQ and side dishes. We are also asking members to bring a covered dish to share. This event will be held at the SEIU District 1199 office at 1395 Dublin Road in Columbus. Register for this event at this link.

State Mental Health Worker Successfully Appeals Discipline. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services felt they had been wrongly issued a written reprimand. The member worked with their delegates to file a grievance. After the issue was fully considered, the employer agreed to remove the written reprimand entirely.

Member Receives Favorable Vacation Time Settlement After Work Injury. A highly dedicated state member was injured during a “code violet.” Due to the injury, the employer required the member to change their shift to an 8 hour light duty shift and use vacation time to make the change in scheduling. The member joined with his delegate to file a grievance. As an outcome of the grievance, the employer agreed to award back the related vacation time. 

State Worker With Recovery Services Wins Grievance Over Improper Leave Deduction. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services requested two days of personal time, which was approved. After taking the personal time, the member found out that the employer changed the leave request from personal time to sick time. The difference would have meant a reduction in pay for the relevant time. After filing a grievance, the employer agreed to switch back the time and reimburse the member.

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits – New College Program
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. Last month, Union Plus announced a new college program with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio, which is a benefit available for members and eligible family members. For details visit: seiu1199.org/mrc/your-benefits-as-a-member

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!”

State Chapter – Mediation Dates for 2020

State of Ohio Chapter Delegates,

At the end of this email you will find the 2020 SEIU District 1199 grievance mediation dates. As a reminder, or if you’re a new delegate, here’s how the mediation notification process currently works. Approximately five weeks prior to each mediation date, the MRC pulls a list of all mediation-eligible grievances and creates a draft mediation docket. At that time, all grievants and delegates with grievances on the docket receive an email notification of the upcoming mediation date and an explanation of what to expect and how to prepare for the mediation. The email includes a request that both the grievant and delegate reply to their MRC Representative as to whether they are able to attend the mediation.

Approximately four weeks prior to the mediation date, we remove from the docket anyone who has told us they cannot attend, and we send the docket to the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB). For those of you unfamiliar, OCB is under DAS, and its staff oversee all the interactions between state agencies and unions. They also send a representative to every mediation hearing, mostly for grievance-tracking purposes (they make all the changes on the grievance website after mediations).

Occasionally, OCB will add a grievance to the docket, and in that case, the MRC notifies the additional grievants and delegates approximately two weeks prior to the mediation hearing. This does not happen very often though.

It is YOUR responsibility to make sure your supervisor is aware that you will be attending a day of mediations and that your labor relations officer notifies your supervisor of your release. If your supervisor tells you he or she did not receive a release for the day, you must contact your Labor Relations representative. Labor Relations is responsible for releasing you- NOT the Union. (For many other events, the Union does secure your release, so this is often confusing.) That being said, once you speak to Labor Relations, if they refuse to release you, please contact your MRC Representative. Let us know if you have any questions!

ODRC & APA 2020 Mediation Dates

Wednesday, January 29
Tuesday, February 25
Tuesday, March 31
Tuesday, April 28
Thursday, May 28
Tuesday, June 30
Tuesday, July 28
Tuesday, August 25
Tuesday, September 29
Tuesday, October 27
Tuesday, November 24
Thursday, December 10

All-Agency (non ODRC) 2020 Mediation Dates

Tuesday, January 7
Thursday, February 13
Tuesday, March 17
Wednesday, April 15
Thursday, May 14
Thursday, June 11
Tuesday, July 14
Thursday, August 13
Thursday, September 10
Tuesday, October 6
Tuesday, November 17
Tuesday, December 15

In Solidarity,

Your SEIU District 1199 Member Resource Center
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Union Update – Compensatory Time and Vacation Leave for DOH Field Surveyors

Field Surveyors with the Ohio Department of Health made their voices heard and a majority voted to put into effect the recommendation of Mediator/Arbitrator Jack Buettner in regard to use of compensatory time. As a reminder, the recommendation was provided to resolve outstanding comp time grievances and stated the following: 

“The procedure for the annual vacation canvass shall be continued. The quarterly vacation request procedure shall continue subject to the following modifications: For purposes of clarification regarding Section 15B, the agency will treat compensatory time requests the same as vacation requests.”

Beginning TODAY, Tuesday, November 26th, you may request either compensatory or vacation leave for future available shifts in the quarter.  Comp or vacation requests submitted now through next Monday at 11:59 p.m. (current review period) will be considered next Tuesday, December 3rd. Ohio Department of Health management will send more information about the process later today.

Lastly, the ability to implement Arbitrator Buettner’s recommendation is in major part because a handful of Surveyors had the courage and drive to file grievances when their comp time requests were denied. It stands as a reminder of how important it is to take action and speak up when your Union contract is being violated. 

Update on the “Freedom Foundation”

Freedom Foundation 1Freedom Foundation 3Freedom Foundation 4

If the Freedom Foundation contacts you, take these steps to fight back:

  1. Visit We Are Ohio to read about the Freedom Foundation and stay updated.
  2. If you receive an email, forward it to media@seiu1199.org and let your local union leadership know.
  3. If approached by Freedom Foundation canvassers, either at work or at home, don’t sign anything and ask them to remove you from their lists.
  4. Reach out to other union members and let them know.

We will continue to update you about this group’s anti-union activity. 

State Employee Development Fund Update

The Employee Development Fund (EDF) renewed on July 1, 2019, with $750,000 in additional funding for FY20. We have been provided with the following update, which is current as of 11/9/19: 

Amount Paid (as of 10/26/19): $336,947.19
Amount Approved (as of 11/09/19): $25,729.54
Amount Submitted (as of 11/09/19): $17,789.77
Total Expended: $362,676.73

Budget + Rollover (FY20): $776,504.59
Total Remaining: $413,827.86
Percent Remaining: 53%

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

Filing a Grievance – State Member Webinar

We had a recent request from a member to post the following webinar. Union members who are interested in filing a grievance or assisting a co-worker with one, can always refer to this video on the State of Ohio’s grievance process. 

 

Winter Solidarity Cookout (Columbus)

 

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.

Free College Benefit SEIU District 1199
Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community CollegeEastern Gateway offers a free Associate’s Degree college benefit for members and retirees, in addition to eligible family members. 

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 UniversitySNHU offers Bachelor’s Degrees and Associate’s Degrees for $3,000 a year for members and eligible family members.

Columbia Southern UniversityColumbia 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, you can always contract the Member Resource Center. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

State Chapter Basic Delegate Training

 

Veterans Day 2019 – Thank You

We thank all veterans for their dedication to our country. On Behalf of SEIU District 1199 and our staff, thank you to all veterans and their families for your service and sacrifice. If you are a member and a veteran, please join our new SEIU District 1199 Veterans Council

State Newsletter – November 2019

state newsletter november

State of Ohio – Union Chapter News
The victories shared in this newsletter are the result of members sticking together and working with their delegates, leaders, co-workers, and the Member Resource Center, to actively enforce the contract. These employees believed that their rights had been violated and they stood together as Union members to win fairness. Membership has many benefits and being a member of SEIU District 1199 means having the ability to protect your rights at work. 

Arbitration Decision Affirms Union’s Long Standing Position. A delegate with the Ohio Department of Youth Services recently worked with the Union to file a related class action grievance and an arbitrator granted the grievance entirely. The arbitration decision concluded that when  a state agency wishes to move employees among units that hold different specific types of patients, it must make such a move by canvassing the employees and using seniority. The exception to this is 24.16 (B), which in certain circumstances allows a state agency to move an employee without canvassing. However, even then, that employee’s former spot must be filled by canvassing and seniority. You can read the arbitration decision here.

●Scholarship Award Winners Announced. The Union recently announced scholarship award winners for the year. Scholarship recipients included members and related students with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. View the list of scholarship winners.

Parole Officer Successfully Appeals Leave Conversion Error. A member with the Adult Parole Authority converted paid time off to sick time but hours were exchanged in error. The member immediately contacted human resources, which assured the member that they would help make them whole. The Department of Administrative Services later stated they would not fix the error. The Union worked to bring the issue to arbitration and the grievance was settled by issuing a payment for hours that had been unintentionally converted.

State Member Issued Time For Coursework After Grievance. A member with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services requested paid time off for course work, as outlined by the contract in Article 23.04 but was denied. The member filed a grievance and a settlement was offered before the grievance advanced to arbitration. The settlement included retroactive time off dating back to the start of the academic semester.

State Nurse Successfully Appeals Disciplinary Fine. A state member with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction received a 2-day fine for completing safety checks and having another nurse document them or documenting safety checks performed by another nurse. The member contacted the Union to file a grievance, as this was a widely accepted practice. The State of Ohio agreed to refund the fine and remove the discipline at the end of the year. 

Mental Health Worker Returns to Old Schedule After Change in Hours. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services works 12 hour shifts. The member was moved from 1st shift to 2nd shift and found no resolution. At the same time, the member saw that there was still a need for staff on her old shift. In a settlement, the employer agreed to return the member to the old shift and cited the change in hours as temporary.

SEIU District 1199 Union Member Benefits Program
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. SEIU Member Benefits has also partnered with Eastern Gateway Community College, which is a part of the University of Ohio System, to offer a free college benefit. For details visit: seiu1199.org/mrc/your-benefits-as-a-member

Member Resource Center – State of Ohio Chapter

MRC Register
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!”

2019 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our 2019 Scholarship Winners!

Ian Quillen
Child of Carolyn Quillen
Kings Daughters Medical Center

Alex Butcher
Child of Amy Butcher
Cabell Huntington Hospital

Kacey Gilkerson
Child of Sabrina Gilkerson
Cabell Huntington Hospital

Richard McMillion
Child of Ruth McMillion
Seneca Health Services

Derek Stevens
Spouse of Rachel Stevens
Fairmont Regional Medical Center

Nicholas Amanatides
Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Services

David Barbutes
Child of Colleen Barbutes
Trumbull Regional Medical Center

Suzy Bangudi
Child of Brigitte Bangudi
Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corrections

Brittany Carrasco
Mercy Hospital Springfield

Kayla Chappell
Child of Tiffany Jones
Ohio Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services

Dwayne Gullatte
Child of Robin Bennie
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Comp

Kevin Haller
Child of Maryanne Haller
Cuyahoga County Public Library

Kasey Hunt
Child of Samantha Chamberlain
Ohio Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services

Zoe Katz
Child of Jodi Katz
Bellefaire JCB

Griffin Kennedy
Child of Tim Kennedy
Cuyahoga Community College

Bobby Mounts
Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corrections

Shahid Muhammad
Child of Kasey Hall
Cincinnati State

Melissa Mulinix
Ohio Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services

William Nagy II
Child of William Nagy
Ohio Department of Health

Patrick Olabode
Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corrections

Ben Zhang
Child of Hongbo Zhu
Ohio Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services

 

2020 SEIU Convention Delegation Elections

This is the official notice of the election to be conducted for Delegates to the SEIU Convention, which will be held April 22–27, 2020 in Chicago.

The following procedure was adopted by the SEIU District 1199 Executive Board, in accordance with the SEIU Constitution, at its meeting on October 25, 2019.

SEIU District 1199 will be sending a delegation of 20 Delegates. Any member in good standing can be a candidate.

To be placed on the ballot, a member must submit to the designated Election Officer a nominating petition signed by at least 25 members in good standing. Petitions will be made available through the Union’s offices, or a member may create her/his own petition by writing the words, “We, the undersigned, nominate __________________________ (name) to be a Delegate to the 2020 SEIU Convention”. (Click here to download a petition.)

Petitions containing original signatures must be received by the Election Officer on or before December 16, 2019 at the following address. Faxed or electronic copies will NOT be accepted.

Mary Jo Ivan, Election Officer SEIU District 1199
1395 Dublin Road Columbus, Ohio 43215

The Election Officer must be notified by the December 16, 2019 petition return date of any candidate wishing to run as a slate, and of the designation (name) of the slate.

Elections will take place during the month of January, 2020. All elections will be by secret ballot. Members presenting proper identification may vote at any of the voting sites across the District. Voting times will also be available in the Union’s Columbus, Cleveland and Huntington Offices. (Click here to download the election schedule.)

Results will be posted on the Union’s website at www.seiu1199.org.

Update on Final Paychecks (e.g. at separation)

The State of Ohio has provided notice that starting with paychecks received on November 22nd, any final check will be sent via direct deposit. Currently, final checks are sent via a paper check. This change will be implemented in regards to any employee separating on November 9, 2019, or after. 

State Chapter – December Leave Conversions

The State of Ohio has sent out notice that December leave conversion will be offered from 7am on Tuesday, November 12th, until 4pm on Tuesday, November 19th. According to the State of Ohio, after employees submit a request, they will receive a confirmation email.

Construction at the Ohio Department of Health

We have received the following notice from the State of Ohio to share with members with the Ohio Department of Health in Columbus. 

Rhodes Tower window replacement work will begin mid-October and continue for approximately two years. The process will begin the week of Oct. 14th, when we replace all the windows on the vacant 20th floor. This will allow the crews to become proficient in the process and allow the rest of the project to move along more smoothly.

Following the pilot, the replacement will take place in sections, beginning on the Northeast side of the 40th floor and working its way down to the 7th floor. Once a section is complete, work will rotate counterclockwise around the building. Please note this means each floor will repeat this process three to four additional times over the next two years.

We expect the replacement process to take two to three nights. On those nights, the entire floor will need to be vacated by 4:30 p.m. Areas near the windows being replaced will need to be cleared of certain items. Your agency will be given a timeline and further instructions that will be shared with you prior to window replacements on your floor.

Ensuring the safety of the workplace during this time is a top priority. As is the case in most buildings constructed in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, certain sections of the old window frames have caulking that contains asbestos. The asbestos in the caulking material is inside the frame and considered to be non-friable, meaning it is bonded to the caulking material and is unlikely to release any detectable levels of fibers into the air.

Please know that strict procedures will be employed during the removal process to ensure the caulking is not disturbed. The frames, with the caulking intact, will be wrapped and sealed in plastic as they are removed, and then transported off-site each morning. In addition, air quality testing will be done by an independent third party daily in each office or work area where window replacement is occurring to ensure zero asbestos is present after the removal procedure is completed. Also note that the replacement materials contain no asbestos.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation throughout the modernization process. We are confident that this temporary inconvenience will result in a safe, beautiful, and energy-efficient workplace for years to come.

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. 

State Newsletter – October 2019

State Newsletter October 2019State of Ohio – Union Chapter News

Landmark Arbitration Decision on Movement of Staff. A Psychiatric/DD Nurse at ODRC who works in the outpatient unit filed a grievance after she was pulled to work in the RTU over a less senior Psych/DD Nurse. Management argued that it had the right to reassign the nurses to various units within the department without considering seniority because the entire department was one work area. The Union argued that each unit made up a separate work area, and in order to pull someone from one unit to another, the manager had to first ask for volunteers, and if no one volunteered, seniority should be recognized. Arbitrator Goldberg agreed with the Union and sustained the grievance.

Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. As of September 14th, 33% of the budget had been expended and $521,618 remained. This fund was negotiated as a part of the contract and allows reimbursement for approved training and educational expenses. In 2018, members negotiated a substantial increase in funding for the Educational Development Fund as a part of the current contract due to the fact that in previous years the fund had been depleted far in advance of the July 1st renewal date.

OPERS Proposes Cuts for Future State Workers and Retirees. It was recently reported publicly last that OPERS is considering a range of changes and potential cuts. New public employees who start employment after January 1, 2022, would need to reach 62 and have 35 years of service to receive full pension benefits. The OPERS Board of Trustees has also voted to freeze cost of living adjustments (COLA) in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the OPERS Board of Trustees is considering changes to retiree healthcare benefits. We understand the concerns of retirees and state workers and are evaluating these proposed changes. 

State Members Reach Successful Outcome Over Scheduling Changes. Three nurses with the Ohio Department of Youth Services believed their schedules were being changed to avoid the payment of overtime. A nurse filed a grievance on behalf of himself and two co-workers. The state has ceased the scheduling practice that led to the initial grievance. The three members were awarded 8 hours of compensatory time each.

Adult Parole Authority Member Awarded Job Transfer. A member with the Adult Parole Authority learned that a position in another county had been posted but an internal canvass had not been conducted. The member worked with their delegate to file a grievance and was quickly awarded the position that should have been filled through an internal canvass.

State Nurse Acts to Protect Safety and Quality Care. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services was mandated to work overtime but had already worked two double shifts in the previous two days. The member believed that this was hazardous both as a worker and for the clients in their care. The member filed a grievance with the assistance of their delegate on the basis that being mandated to work this overtime was a violation of an agency-specific agreement and a negotiated cap on consecutive overtime. In a settlement, the agency agreed to follow agency-specific language which had previously set the overtime cap.

State Nurse Returns To Work With Full Back Pay After Arbitration Ruling. A nurse who had been terminated by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in 2017 was cleared by an arbitrator to return to work. The member was accused of failing to document food intake in an electronic system. However, an independent review had substantiated concerns about arbitrary data loss in that same system. The employer was also unable to show just cause in the termination of the member, who had worked for ODRC since 2006. The arbitrator ruled that the member should be “made whole” and that there was no evidence of “alleged violations of policy.”

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OPERS Proposes Cuts For New Public Workers