State of Ohio Employees

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 – Legislative Draft (2018-2021)
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APC Meeting Minutes

Members With ODRC Defend State Contract Provisions and Protections

Members with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction do critical work to ensure the health and safety of both the public and the inmate population. Uniting with fellow co-workers and the Union, members in recent weeks have reached the satisfactory resolution of claims relating to overtime, continuing education, and other workplace issues. 

• A member had to forgo a day of work for reasons that were not justified. She worked with the Union and was granted compensatory hours.
• A member was accused of improperly treating an inmate. It was showed that the member followed protocol and should not have been terminated. The individual resigned and received satisfactory resolution, which was a significant settlement.
• A member was skipped for an overtime assignment, which was a contract violation. The member teamed up with the Union, received an agreement with the agency, and was given another opportunity.
• A member missed more than one overtime opportunity and did not receive help from management in reaching resolution. Like the member listed above, working together, the issue was quickly resolved.
• A member was denied administrative leave needed to get additional continuing education credits to maintain licensure as a Registered Nurse. A request to attend a health care related workshop was granted after the member joined with the Union to seek resolution.

These dedicated members and others continue to show the importance of collective bargaining and the state contract. If you have a contact related issue at work, don’t hesitate to contact the Member Resource CenterWe are stronger together.

State of Ohio Contract Outline 2018

State Contract Ratification Vote Schedule

For details on the upcoming contract ratification vote, a schedule has now been posted here: State Contract Ratification Vote Schedule. Please do not hesitate to contact the Member Resource Center if you have any questions.

There’s also an update here on the tentative agreement reached with the state

STATE CONTRACT UPDATE: Friday, September 14, 2018


Major Contract Victory! SEIU/1199 State Employees Win Big at Bargaining Table

Final Bargaining Session Yields Wage Increases, Job Protections & Unprecedented Ratification Bonus for Union Members 

Just before the stroke of midnight, our SEIU District 1199 Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement with the State of Ohio for a new, three-year agreement that which will guarantee wage increases, protect health insurance and many other big wins including an unprecedented ratification bonus for our Union Members.

We are putting together a complete summary of everything included in the tentative agreement, but here are some major highlights:

    • 22 Hours of Compensatory Time for Full-Time Members
    • 11 Hours of Compensatory Time for Part-Time Members
  • Annual Wage Increase, retroactive to July 1st!
    • 2018: 2.75%
    • 2019: 2.75%
    • 2020: 3.00%
  • Increases in Shift Premiums
  • New Language to Address Mandation Concerns
  • $200,000 MORE in Tuition Reimbursement Per Year
  • Increased Individual Tuition Reimbursement Limit to $3,500 Per Year
  • Protected Our Current Health Insurance Split
  • 65% Increase of Equipment Allowance for Adult Parole Authority Members

This was a long journey and a tough fight. Your SEIU District 1199 Bargaining Committee really worked exceptionally hard to win these gains for our Union Members. We listened to your concerns and worked diligently to address them both at the main table and during agency-specific bargaining. As many of you already know, the State of Ohio came to bargaining with major concessions and, through our Union, we were able to fight back and avoid the delay and uncertainty of having to take this contract to fact-finding. This should show any nay-sayers out there the real benefit to being a Member of our Union and our ability to win when we stick together.

We are working now to finalize the voting schedule and we will share that information with you as soon as we have it. The contract is not finalized until it is ratified by our Union Members and the State Controlling Board.


If you have not yet signed your membership card, you can do so now by clicking here:
If you are not sure of your membership status, you can contact your Administrative Organizer or call the Member Resource Center at 877-419-7348. Anyone who shows up to vote that has not yet signed a membership card will be required to sign one or they will not be able to vote.
Thank you for your support and solidarity throughout this entire process. And a major thank you to the members of our SEIU District 1199 Bargaining Committee for their diligence and hard work. United we bargain, divided we beg!

Keep Ohio’s Parole Officers Safe from Drug Exposure

obsolete-ohio-adult-parole-officer-badge-n-r_1_14b77ae104ad8f3b7264c5967e61b4c2Parole Officers work hard every day to keep our communities safe and to ensure that parolees are finding and retaining employment, finding a suitable place to live, getting treatment for any mental health or addiction issues they may have, and generally staying out of trouble.

All too often, Parole Officers enter homes or encounter situations where they come into contact with dangerous substances like heroin and fentanyl. Just touching fentanyl or accidentally inhaling the substance can be fatal for Parole Officers and requires immediate medical attention because of the risk of adverse health effects such as rapid disorientation, coughing, sedation, respiratory distress or cardiac arrest. 

In situations like these, Parole Officers must take time off of work for treatment, evaluation and medical follow up. However this is not considered an allowable claim through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. This creates an undue burden on Parole Officers, forcing them to choose between getting the necessary treatment they need or risking long-term, reoccuring health problems. 

Through our Union, we are asking the Ohio Legislature to take up this important issue and to pass a law that would allow all Parole Officers and first responders to be allowed to get the treatment and recovery they need from work-related injuries as a result of coming in contact with dangerous substances like heroin and fentanyl.


State Workers Day in the Life Survey

State of Ohio workers do exceptional work but often get portrayed in a negative light. We want to bust the myth of State of Ohio workers and show both management and taxpayers that you provide a vital public service, often in under-staffed, over-worked, and stressful situations. 

Visit this page for more information on this project and to complete the survey.

State of Ohio Contract Negotiations Bargaining Update 8.23.18



Despite inaction by State negotiators, we are working together to negotiate a contract that respects your professionalism and rewards your devotion to public service.

Our Ohio State Chapter Bargaining Committee continues to meet with the State’s representatives to bargain our new contract. While scheduled to meet Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, the State cancelled on us Wednesday and used Thursday and Friday to argue semantics and disagree about philosophical issues rather than address the true concerns of us, the members.

Although it was a fight each step of the way, by staying united and working together we were able to reach agreement on many of the current protections in our contract and some non-economic issues, such as non-discrimination, service delivery and disciplinary notices.

We recognize that this has been a long process already but the delay is NOT on the part of our Union. The State has been presented with ALL of our proposals and we are more than ready to negotiate a contract that is fair for the membership and provides the best protections, wages and benefits we can secure. However, high-priced Attorney Dan Guttman and the State’s team have yet to provide us with any economic proposals, including our much-deserved wage increase. Instead, Guttman and his team continue to try to eliminate long-standing contract language that we have fought to secure and protect over the years.

We have scheduled Tuesday, September 4th as our next bargaining session and will determine our course forward after that meeting. Depending on the willingness of the State to bargain in good faith, we will either be on course to finalize an agreement or most likely be headed to fact-finding on September 19th and 20th, with a fact-finder’s report likely sometime in October.

Our Committee is standing strong and we ask that you continue to support us fight for the dignity and respect we all deserve on the job.

In Solidarity,

Our SEIU/1199 Ohio State Chapter Bargaining Committee





State Members Work Together to Resolve Leave and Workplace Issues

State of Ohio members have been working together to achieve resolution of leave and other workplace issues. The outcomes detailed below highlight the importance of collective bargaining and Union rights.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction – A member was denied weekend leave using compensatory time because he would not state the reason. The member filed a grievance through the Union, as providing a reason for such leave is not required. The state then allowed the use of compensatory time and returned the member’s personal leave.

Ohio Department of Health – A member requested leave and was denied by management. The member contacted our Member Resource Center and filed a grievance and leave was granted after it was discovered that ODH did not follow proper procedures for denying the leave.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction – A member received a written reprimand for reasons that were not justified. Working as a team with their Union Delegate, the member was able to have the reprimand reversed.

Ohio Department of Mental Health – Working with a Union Delegate, a member appealed a three-day working suspension. After meeting with the State, with the support of a mediator, the Union was able to show the State failed to prove just cause and that the member’s testimony was credible. The State reversed the discipline.

Department of Rehabilitation and Correction – A member with the DRC was issued an unjust written warning and contacted her Union Delegate at work. The Delegate helped file a grievance and stood by her at a grievance hearing where they presented the facts and the discipline was reduced to a non-formal, corrective counseling.

Members Win Paid Time for Exam Prep & Testing – Union Members with the State of Ohio take great pride in providing high-quality health care and work hard every day. Recently, a group of Union Members united to file a class-action grievance out of concern that time needed to study for an upcoming annual exam would detract from patient care. As a result of their efforts, Members are being provided with 8 hours of relief from regular duties to complete important education and the requisite testing.

Arbitration Update for Ohio Department of Health Surveyors

Surveyors with the Ohio Department of Health do critical work to ensure health, safety, and the quality of care across the state. Department of Health workers are having tremendous difficulty with mandation and vacation time.

The Union is working on an aggressive strategy to make sure these concerns are heard by the state and bring resolution to the grievances brought by members. In May, Ohio State Representative Brigid Kelly met with members of the Union and reached out to leaders with the Ohio Department of Health. Efforts to meet with agency leaders have been unsuccessful.

Representative Brigid Kelly continues to stand with Department of Health workers. Arbitration has now been scheduled for September 25th, 2018. This arbitration will further advance the concerns of members and has potential for a favorable outcome.

Alongside members, we are diligently working to advance the concerns of workers with the Ohio Department of Health. We are confident that when the facts are fully presented, the voices of state workers will prevail. We are stronger together.

Members at State Medical Facility Stand Together For Safety and Patient Care

Members with the State of Ohio have an obligation to provide quality health care and a safe environment. Each year health care members at a state facility also complete an annual exam that requires training and preparation.

The members at this facility recently stood together to file a class action grievance out of concern that time needed to study for the exam would detract from patient care. As a result of their efforts, members are being provided with 8 hours of relief from regular duties to complete important education and the requisite testing. 

The stand taken by these workers ensures proper training, a safe environment, and the best possible patient care. The effort also shows the importance of their voice in the workplace and that by standing united, they were able to reach the best possible outcome. We are stronger together.

State of Ohio Contract Negotiations Bargaining Update 7.31.2018

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State Chapter Newsletter | July 31, 2018



Last week, SEIU District 1199 President Becky Williams, Secretary-Treasurer Kathy McCormick, Public Affairs Director Anthony Caldwell and our Membership Coordinator Lisa Hetrick joined our bargaining committee to check-in on the progress of negotiations and update our Bargaining Team on the great work our Union is doing to improve representation, increase membership support and push the Regan-Tokes and 25 and out legislation for APA members.


Designated Grievance Support Team: Our Union created a Member Resource Center (MRC), which added six (6) additional staff to defend our Union contract and file charges against the State when they violate labor laws. President Williams enrolled the State of Ohio members into the MRC first and since that date the MRC has helped our Delegates process 283 Grievances and of those grievances filed;

  • 79 have been settled
  • 64 are at step 2
  • 64 are going to mediation
  • 15 are ready to be arbitrated
  • 61 members withdrew after more information was gained

The State Bargaining Committee identified areas to further improve the MRC and those changes are being implemented now. 

  • Additional Union Benefits: In addition to our Contract, our Union increased Membership benefits by improving our two Member only benefit cards, awarding $1000 scholarships to members and their immediate family members and offering tuition-free college classes through Eastern Gateway Community College.
  • More Representational Staff: Our Union has increased the number of staff doing direct representation work for our members, including hiring two additional Administrative Organizers and returned to a regional structure for organizer assignments like we had when the State of Ohio came into SEIU.  The regional structure, both then and now, was set up to ensure organizers have less travel and more time with Members. This also allowed our Union to add a Cleveland-based Deputy Director (Cathy Kaufmann) and Organizer (Tracy Cutright) to the team of Union Staff leading and supporting State of Ohio members.
  • Increased Communication & Bargaining Campaign Activity: Our Union asked Director Joyce Gibson to lead the state bargaining campaign with our trusted Executive Vice President Josh Norris serving as the Chief Negotiator. These two leaders add their experience and expertise to our amazing negotiating committee lead by an incredible team of Members elected to represent their agency(s). Collectively, our Union has instituted regular bargaining updates and text messaging as well as provided “Together We Rise” badge pullies, “Union Strong” buttons and stickers and other tools to demonstrate UNITY during our fight for a fair contract.



TWR_PulliesLast week, we continued our negotiations with the State of Ohio where our SEIU/1199 negotiating committee has now presented the state with all of our economic proposals and continued discussions regarding the non-economic proposals that remain unresolved.

We are making progress on some of the language changes we demanded and our negotiating committee continues to stand strong on the issues that matter to you and your family. However, state negotiators continue to disregard your concerns.

That’s why now is the time to show your support for our new contract and our Union. Wear your “Union Strong” buttons and stickers to work, put on your “Together We Rise” name badge pullies and reach out to your bargaining committee members and tell them you have their back as well.

We have negotiations scheduled for three back-to-back sessions on August 15, 16, and 17. We remain hopeful that we will be able to reach agreement, but your support and solidarity will help us win on those issues that matter most to you.

If we are unable to reach a full agreement we anticipate heading to Fact Finding with Arbitrator Rob Stein.

In Solidarity,

Our SEIU/1199 Bargaining Committee




Our SEIU/1199 bargaining committee has been preparing for negotiations with the State of Ohio since early this year. 

We elected our committee, trained our team, researched the financial data of each state agency and prepared our proposals long ago to be ready to achieve the best contract possible for our Union members.

But then there is the State of Ohio…

Despite having an entire Office of Collective Bargaining, numerous lawyers for each state agency and labor relations officers, the State of Ohio has put Dan Guttman of the high-priced law firm BakerHostetler in charge of bargaining on the behalf of management.

Their strategy: Delay, delay, delay.

We will not allow their tactics to divide us from our ultimate goal of securing a contract that improves the lives of our members and their families.

They say “one day longer” and we get “one day stronger.”



State of Ohio members have been standing together to win favorable outcomes. These members with the State of Ohio bring a great deal of dedication to their work on behalf of the public. Below are some of the recent victories:

  • Ohio Department of Health– A member worked together with a delegate to file a class action grievance. This member and fellow co-workers are in a position important to the provision quality care and have been pushing for additional staffing and mandation reform. The member identified an issue with staffing and successfully acted with the support of fellow members to make an important improvement.
  • Opportunities for Ohioans With Disabilities– A member interviewed for an internal position but had to use several hours of PTO time to participate. After the process concluded, the agency clarified that PTO time was not needed for future internal interviews but the decision was not retroactive. After taking formal action, half of the PTO time used for the process was returned to the member.
  • Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction– A member with many years of experience with the State of Ohio received a work reprimand over a workplace issue. To the surprise of the worker, he was later disciplined again for the same incident. Working together with his shop delegate, the member showed that the issue had already been addressed with the original discipline and the secondary action was overturned.
  • Ohio Department of Veterans Services– A member was improperly denied an overtime opportunity. The member worked with the shop delegate to file a grievance and was credited with 4 hours of time.
  • Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction – After a member recently retired, ODRC posted the vacant position but at several ranges lower. The agency was obligated to advertise the position at the same class level. To defend the contract, the shop delegate filed a grievance and the position was re-posted at a facility nearby, an outcome that worked for both parties.
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – A member volunteered for overtime on a day off but was then mandated. Rules state that mandation is not allowed when working overtime on an off day. As a remedy, after acting, the member was skipped for her next mandation.

Action Alert – Union Strong Buttons and Decals

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To stand together, members with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH can now request buttons and household decals. You can contact the Member Resource Center with a request for you, your coworkers, and/or everyone at your worksite. 

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If you are a member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH, call 877-419-SEIU, email, or you can make your request online with the Member Resource Center. We are stronger together. 

Reagan Tokes Act Clears House

Human Resources Merger – ODH and ODA

SEIU District 1199 recently learned that human resources with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Aging will merge. The change does not include merging any bargaining unit employees.

According to a notice sent by the State of Ohio, in July, three HR employees with the Department of Aging will move into the HR office for the Department of Health at 246 North High.  The State of Ohio says that the merger is part of an effort to find ways for the agencies to collaborate but there is no plan to merge the two agencies.

We will monitor this issue and let members know about any further changes. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. 

Update on Improper Shift Differential for State of Ohio Nurses

It was discovered that approximately 677 nurses represented by SEIU District 1199 were not properly compensated for shift differential PPE on 5/26/18. The impacted nurses received $0.50 per hour instead of $1.00 per hour, as per the contract. 

SEIU District 1199 has contracted OCB and this issue is being resolved. We want members to know that checks will be issued on 6/22/18. 

The Union is always watching and doing everything we can to ensure that your contract is enforced and that issues are dealt with as they arise. 

SEIU District 1199 has your back!

In Solidarity, 

Josh Norris, Executive Vice President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

State of Ohio Updates Drug Free Workplace Policy

The State of Ohio has released an updated Drug Free Workplace Policy (HR-39) that is now effective. The policy has been updated in relation to recent changes in state law regarding medical marijuana.

The updated policy allows medical marijuana use for some employees who are not on active work status. For additional information, please see a copy of the updated policy at the link above. 

We Rise – Show Your Support For Unions

A decision in the Janus case is coming soon. Let’s show that no court decision will keep us from standing united. Working people are sticking together in their unions. 

Here’s one way to take a stand and support unions:

Step 1: Make a sign with the word UNION, like in the iconic movie Norma Rae. 
Step 2: Have someone take your photo or take a selfie holding the sign. This could be at your home, outside, or anyplace convenient and/or meaningful for you.
Step 3: Post the picture to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. Post the photo with the hashtag #Union. If you’re located in Ohio, West Virginia, or Kentucky, show your support and tag SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH.
Step 4: Encourage others to take a stand as well. Share this page and there is also a flyer here that may be helpful.

Email your photos and we will share via our social media channels. You can also check out some of the early submissions on our Instagram page.

We are stronger united – together we rise!

State of Ohio – Contract Campaign Newsletter 6.01.18

State of Ohio Union Members,

I wanted to provide you with the latest information about our 2018 State of Ohio contract campaign.

Please click here to get the latest information including the dates of our first bargaining sessions.

In Solidarity,

Josh Norris
Executive Vice President

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Favors CEOs & Corporations, Limits Workers’ Rights

supreme courtThis week, the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision restricted workers’ rights. The ruling limits the ability of private-sector workers to join together to address violations of labor law — such as wage theft, harassment, and discrimination. 

At a time when the deck is already stacked against working people and their families, this decision further erodes the bedrock rights of working people, while siding with the interests of corporations and CEOs. 

What Does the Decision Mean for Working People? Following this anti-worker ruling, employees may be forced to sign arbitration agreements. As a result, they will no longer be able to persue class action lawsuits when facing wage theft and/or other violations of labor law.

The likely impact of this case is that workers will be deterred from standing up for their rights. Under the new precedent, when workers do speak out, they may not only be denied the chance for collective action but forced to pursue expensive legal claims under a rigged system of corporate arbitration.

The timing of the decision is also important. A decision is expected soon in the anti-labor case Janus vs. AFSCME

We Are Stronger Together. The decision highlights the importance of unions and the need for working people to stand together. Working people are a force against inequity when they stand together. Union workers also have a vital and important voice in the workplace.

Read More (NPR): “Supreme Court Decision Delivers Blow To Workers’ Rights.”

Parole Officers Fight For Reagan Tokes Act

Because of the work of our Parole Officers through the Union, today we passed the Reagan Tokes Act (HB365) out of the Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee by a vote of 10-1.

This is HUGE. Today’s victory would not have been possible without Parole Officers like you taking time out of your lives and work to come to Columbus for our Lobby Days and meet face-to-face with legislators about the need to address caseloads and staffing within the Adult Parole Authority. 

But it gets better than that. The Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, Rep. Nathan Manning (R-Lorain), introduced an amendment to create the Offender Supervision Study Committee within the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.

• Within the creation of the committee, there are requirements for membership of the committee to include an active parole officer, among others. 
• There’s also a requirement that the group shall provide a recommendation to the General Assembly of changes to the revised code regarding all issues related to the supervision of offenders, including issues related to parole, community control, probation, community corrections, transitional control, and issues related to interstate compact policies.

Through our Union, Parole Officers now have a seat at the table going forward. That’s the power of collective action! 

The process still has many steps – but this is a major victory for our members. The next step will be a vote by the Ohio House of Representatives, then the bill will go to the Senate and eventually to Governor Kasich for his signature. I will keep you updated as the process moves forward. 

State of Ohio SEIU Member Open Health Care Enrollment

The open enrollment period for members of SEIU District 1199 with the State of Ohio is approaching. Enrollment will be open soon from 5/21 to 6/1 at 7:00 PM. 

Please see this open enrollment handout with important information and a checklist to prepare for open enrollment.

Included in the handout is information on benefits eligibility for dependents. Do not forget to verify your address information and review benefits coverage for yourself, a spouse, and/or dependents, if applicable.