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 Basic Delegate Training (11/17/20)
Filing a Grievance State Member Webinar
State Chapter Mediation Dates for 2020
• Lookup and Contact Your Elected Officials

Union Workers at Ohio’s Correctional Institutions Continue to Call for Additional Protective Equipment as Hazardous Conditions Continue Within ODRC Institutions

Workers continue to request additional protective equipment and for the Ohio DRC to re-evaluate safety and staffing policies amid the COVID19 pandemic.

For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 20th, 2020
For more information, contact: Joshua Norris at (877) 419-7348

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Workers with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction state with urgency that the lives of staff and inmates are at-risk. Members of SEIU District 1199 say that despite good faith efforts to request improvements, they are still not being provided with additional personal protective equipment. Workers also say that ODRC administrators along with Governor Mike DeWine continue to fail to hear their concerns.

“Just since March this year, nearly 100 individuals have lost their lives within ODRC facilities due to the pandemic. These individuals are all confirmed cases or were listed as probable for COVID19,” said Joshua Norris, Executive Vice President for SEIU District 1199. “Union members with SEIU District 1199 who work at ODRC facilities, these workers provide vital social services and health care. It is imperative for more to be done to protect workers at these institutions. We are calling on ODRC administrators, OhioMHAS administrators, Ohio Department of Youth Services administrators, and Governor Mike DeWine, to act now with urgency on behalf of staff and inmates.”

Union members with SEIU District 1199 are asking for the State of Ohio to allow work from home status when possible, such as for workers with OhioMHAS Recovery Services and to provide additional and/or higher-grade protective equipment,” Norris continued. Workers with ODRC institutions say that unless providing direct care, they are not being provided with N95 masks, which offer a higher level of protection against COVID19. N95 masks are being provided at the discretion of administrators. “Workers have the ability to wear cloth or surgical masks – we do not believe that cloth masks offer enough protection in these facilities. Where are the N95 masks and what will be done if conditions deteriorate. If not N95 masks, the State of Ohio could issue face shields to all staff members, in addition to surgical masks, and eliminate cloth facial coverings, among other potential improvements,” Norris continued.

“At this time, 1,026 staff members have contracted COVID19 at ODRC institutions. It is a fact that COVID19 is a substantial risk to these workers. Members continue to ask what more can be done to ramp up the availability of PPE and bolster current safety protocols. These workers are heroes who are putting their lives at-risk on behalf of inmates and the public,” concluded Norris.

SEIU District 1199 leaders and Union members are calling on Governor DeWine and directors with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to immediately reevaluate their policies as they relate to COVID-19, the delivery of care and services, and the availability and use of effective personal protective equipment.

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 and the Ohio Department of Youth Services.

State of Ohio Remote Work COVID19 Policy

Union Workers Call on Governor DeWine to Implement Work-at-Home Status for Additional State Employees

Workers with the State of Ohio say that Governor DeWine should allow work-at home status for more state workers to protect employees and prevent the spread of COVID19.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Contact: Joshua Norris at (877) 419-7348         

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Workers with the State of Ohio say that Governor DeWine should allow work-at home status for more state workers to protect employees and prevent the spread of COVID19. Specifically, state workers with the Ohio Department of Health, who work in Downtown Columbus, are asking Governor Mike DeWine and leaders with the Ohio Department of Health to place workers back on work-at-home status. They say that while they are currently classified as “essential” and though their work is important to the response to the pandemic, their jobs can be done remotely from home.

“Workers with the State of Ohio were sent home in March and April due to the serious risks posed by increasing cases of COVID19. Yet, the reality is that current conditions are more dangerous today with widespread community transmission of COVID19, especially in hot spots like Franklin County,” says Joshua Norris, Executive Vice President of SEIU District 1199. “Members have formally expressed their concerns in recent labor-management meetings with the State of Ohio. As Governor DeWine requests employers to have workers on work-at-home status when possible, we are asking the State of Ohio to do the same, this should include office-based workers with the Ohio Department of Health in Downtown Columbus.”  

Union leaders state that the union members at 35 East Chestnut Street in Columbus work in various public health positions and are playing an important role in the public response to the pandemic. Management has expressed that it is easier to communicate when workers are at a central location.

“The staff members have various concerns about safety and the application of workplace policies, like many workers across Ohio and the country during this difficult time,” continued Norris. “Whether your work for the Ohio Department of Health or ODMHAS, we ask the State of Ohio to re-evaluate which positions are able to complete their work remotely, to be highly responsive to workplace safety concerns during the pandemic, and to maintain work-at-home status whenever possible,”  said Norris.  “Franklin County is one of the hottest spots in Ohio for potential COVID exposure, these individuals are being required to risk their lives by reporting to work. This is not how you flatten the curve. These individuals have proven that they are trusted, capable, and willing to complete the jobs that their fellow Ohioans rely on, while staying safe in their own homes. You don’t want your front line to be exposed during a pandemic, if you can prevent it,” Norris continued. “Now we are learning that the managerial staff at the ODH office in Columbus recently held an in-person retirement party where more than 25 staff congregated to recognize a retiring member of the management team. This sends the wrong message and is further evidence of a lack of respect for these Union members, their families, their communities, and all Ohioans.”

State Newsletter – August 2020

state news● State of Ohio Budget Update. The State of Ohio requested to meet with SEIU District 1199 to discuss possible monetary cuts for members. Union leaders requested further records and in addition to surveying the membership, the Union even asked that members of the State of Ohio Legislature cut their own pay to show a “shared sacrifice.” Read this letter from President Becky Williams to members in June 2020 about this issue. Union leaders and members with SEIU District 1199 stood firm against concessions without additional information. At the end of June 2020, the Gongwer News Service reported the budget was balanced without using the $2.7B Budget Stabilization Fund, AKA the Rainy Day Fund. The 3% wage increase that was negotiated has gone into effect as specified by the contract.

Concessions have not happened because with a Union, you have a legally binding contract. The legal obligation of the State of Ohio is to negotiate with your Union on any changes that would impact your hours of work and terms and conditions of employment, among other mandatory bargaining subjects. To date, no discussions or negotiations have taken place.

● 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.

In times like these, we must stick together and work with the other labor organizations that represent members with the State of Ohio. This is the best way to stand together on issues in the pandemic such as safety, fair wages, and protective equipment, and to secure the dignity that all working people have earned and deserve. Not just during this declared state of emergency, but at all times. 

● Upcoming Executive Board and Bargaining Committee Elections. As you may know, contested elections are taking place this month for SEIU District 1199 Executive Board positions with the Adult Parole Authority, the Department of Medicaid, and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. A by-law change is also on the ballot. Furthermore, members with the State of Ohio are voting to elect members of the bargaining committee for upcoming negotiations. Only members in good standing are allowed to vote in these important elections. A list of candidates can be found here and election voting times/locations are available at this link. If you are not a member, but wish to vote, you can sign a membership card at the voting location or online

● 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 July 21st, 80% 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 Written Reprimand. A member with the State of Ohio was accused of not holding a meeting within a certain required timeframe. The member worked with the Union and member leaders to file a grievance. It was showed through this process that the timeline for such meeting was changed due to a miscommunication that was not the fault of the member and that this was a mitgating factor. In a successful outcome, the repreimand will be removed from the member’s file early. 

● State Member Files Grievance and Defeats Written Reprimand. An SEIU District 1199 member was issued a written reprimand for improperly submitting a time-off request. The member worked with the Union to file a grievance and had never used the State of Ohio’s time management system prior to this event. The member also requested assistance from a supervisor and human resources but received no response. Through the grievance process, the written reprimand was removed from the member’s file completely, as there was no just cause for this discipline. 

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!”

Social Justice Committee Elections

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

The nomination process for the Social Justice Steering Committee has now closed. A listing with all candidates can be found at this link

All members in good standing, including retiree chapter members, are encouraged to participate and attend the bi-annual Social Justice Activist meetings. If you have questions, please contact me at (216) 246-8772.

In Solidarity,

Samara Knight – Executive Vice President
Civic Engagement and Community Outreach

State Chapter Newsletter – July 2020

State Chapter Newsletter July 2020● Bargaining Update for Members. Last month, President Becky Williams sent a letter to the State of Ohio Chapter with details on upcoming bargaining. The bargaining committee for our next contract negotiations will be elected this August. SEIU District 1199 has also sent follow up letters to the State that are detailed in President Becky Williams’ letter to the membership. There have been no further conversations with the Office of Collective Bargaining whatsoever and they have not reached out or requested anything further. From our perspective, they are still compiling the information that we requested and will contact us if they have any questions. To be clear and to provide any necessary reassurance to members, we have not had any meetings, discussions or negotiations with the State.

● Wage Increase Update.  The 3% wage increase that was negotiated in the contract has gone into effect as expected. Many members have called and questioned whether or not this raise would take place given the recent pay freezes and cost savings days that are being implemented for non-union workers. Concessions have not happened because with a Union, you have a legally binding contract that provided for these wage increases. Furthermore, the legal obligation of the State of Ohio is to negotiate with your Union on any changes that would impact your hours of work and terms and conditions of employment. We have not entered into any type of negotiations. The raises noted above were hard-fought, well deserved, and overdue. The wage increases are the product of your strength and commitment to standing behind your contract and continuing to keep your Union strong. 

● Serving The Public During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thank you for your service, dedication, solidarity, and sacrifice, during these unprecedented times.

● The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. Recent events show the intentions of bureaucrats with the State of Ohio who 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 times like these, we must stick together and work with the other labor orgaizations that represent members with the State of Ohio. This is the best way to UNITE on pro-worker issues such as safety, fair wages, and protective equipment, and to secure the dignity that all working people have earned and deserve. 

August Executive Board and Bargaining Committee Elections. Contested elections will occur for SEIU District 1199 Executive Board positions with the Adult Parole Authority, the Department of Medicaid, and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. A by-laws change will also be on the ballot. Furthermore, members with the State of Ohio will elect members of the bargaining committee for upcoming negotiations. Only members in good standing will be allowed to vote in these important elections. A list of candidates can be found here and election voting times and locations are also available at this link

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing 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.

● Honoring Ohio’s Parole Officers. This month is PPPS Week, which is Parole, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week. One thing that members can do to honor parole officers with the State of Ohio is to send a letter to legislators about legislative issues that are important to their work.  

● 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. Additionally, $88,149.07 was left remaining at the end of FY20, which will now rollover. Funding for the Educational Development Fund is negotiated  by member leaders as a part of your collective bargaining agreement. 

● State Chapter Member Takes Dispute to Mediation With Successful Outcome. A member with the State of Ohio contacted management over a period of many months about workplace harassment however, no action was taken on the member’s behalf. Eventually, the member’s concerns were substantiated but ultimately, they faced discipline, instead of receiving support. The member joined with the Union to bring a dispute forward through mediation. In a successful outcome, the member has returned to work.

● Working From Home. We have received several calls and emails from members asking about the implications of working from home and their tax liability/situation. While this may or may not impact your tax situation, the Union cannot provide ANY guidance in this arena. If you have questions, please consult with your tax professional or your local human resources department. 

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!”

ODRC Members Stand Together for Safe Working Conditions & Protective Equipment

Union Workers at Ohio’s Correctional Institutions Demand to be Heard as Hazardous Conditions Continue Within ODRC Institutions

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 13th, 2020.
For more information, contact: Joshua Norris at (877) 419-7348.

Union members say that additional lives will be lost as pandemic continues and demand action from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Workers want additional protective equipment and for the Ohio DRC to re-evaluate staff policies as they relate to the COVID19 pandemic.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Workers with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction state with urgency that the lives of staff and inmates are at an unacceptable level of risk. Members of SEIU District 1199 also say that they are not being provided with the proper personal protective equipment and that ODRC administrators and Governor Mike DeWine have continued to fail to hear their concerns.

“We have reached 86 confirmed and probable inmate deaths within ODRC institutions and 5 staff members have lost their lives,” said Joshua Norris, Executive Vice President for SEIU District 1199. “Union members who provide healthcare and other vital services at ODRC facilities dedicate their careers to the health, safety, and wellbeing, of inmates and the public. We are calling on ODRC administrators, OhioMHAS administrators, Ohio Department of Youth Services administrators, and Governor Mike DeWine, to act now with urgency on behalf of staff at these institutions, including allowing work from home status when possible and by providing additional protective equipment,” Norris continued.

Workers with ODRC institutions state they are being provided with cloth facial coverings or surgical masks but are not being provided with N95 masks, which offer a higher level of protection against COVID19. N95 masks are being provided at the discretion of administrators. “These workers do not know who is positive in these facilities and who is not,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs for SEIU District 1199. “It is impossible for staff members to protect themselves without further mitigation. More must be done to protect them – they are heroes on the frontlines but their voices are being disregarded,” Caldwell continued.  

While shortages of PPE have occurred nationwide, staff members believe they are at a heightened risk due to potentially harmful management decisions within ODRC facilities. “Having the proper protective equipment is of the highest importance. Staff members would be much more protected if they were properly equipped with N-95 respirators and face shields. Many entities are producing and even 3D printing face shields. We believe there is not a strong justification for having workers go without them,” said Norris. Medical experts continue to note the ease at which the virus is spread during an incubation period and through individuals that may be asymptomatic. 

“We are also concerned by the decision to have Recovery Services staff return to ODRC institutions, as conditions are now more hazardous than when they began to work from home. With many safety concerns, large groups of inmates in quarantine, and nearly 100 lives lost, the health and safety concerns of these workers must be heard,” continued Norris. “Our members signed up to serve their fellow Ohioans but not to be casualties of a pandemic. We can’t forget them and we know that additional lives will be lost as this crisis continues. Workers with ODRC are demanding to be heard and their concerns must be taken seriously,” concluded Norris.  

SEIU District 1199 leaders and Union members are calling on Governor DeWine and directors with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to immediately reevaluate their policies as they relate to COVID-19, the delivery of care and services, and the availability and use of effective personal protective equipment.

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 ODMHAS Recovery Services and the Ohio Department of Youth Services.

Free College Programs for Union Members

Members with SEIU District 1199 now have more options for free college programs. Members and their eligible family members can utilize programs with Eastern Gateway Community College and Central State University, which are both a part of the State of Ohio’s higher education system. There’s no cost for tuition, fees, or e-books. These programs are available anywhere and are regionally accredited

Once a student has 60 credit hours, they can transfer to Central State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in the degree programs listed. This benefit is open to members in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. 

There will be three informational sessions over Zoom for members with SEIU District 1199 in coordination with Eastern Gateway Community College. We have heard from many members that this program may be especially beneficial now.

Register for an SEIU informational session:     
 Monday, July 20 @ 10:00 AM EST (Register)
 Tuesday, July 21 @ 3:00 PM EST (Register)
 Wednesday, July 22 @ 7:00 PM EST (Register)

Though we can’t ensure that you will be able to register in time, if you are not a member of SEIU District 1199, you can sign a membership card onlineEastern Gateway Community College has offered guidance that furloughed or laid off union members and their families are also eligible.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Workers at Ohio’s Correctional Institutions Sound the Alarm Over COVID-19 as ODRC Approaches 100 Lives Lost

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 25, 2020. 
For more information, contact:
 Joshua Norris at (877) 419-7348.

Union members with OhioMHAS Recovery Services and ODRC Express Concern About PPE, the Need for Greater Testing and Precautions, and Loss of Life as Pandemic Continues.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Workers with Recovery Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in addition to other health and service providers who work within Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction facilities, state that the lives of staff and inmates are at a level of unacceptable risk. Last week, with  very short notice, staff members with Recovery Services, who provide drug and alcohol related treatment services, were ordered back to DRC institutions after working from home since the start of the state of emergency in Ohio. Members of SEIU District 1199 also say that they are not being provided with the proper personal protective equipment and that ODRC administrators have failed to hear their concerns.

To date, 5 staff members with the ODRC have lost their lives and as many as 86 inmates have died. “We are now approaching 100 deaths within ODRC institutions and this crisis started just four months ago,” said Joshua Norris, Executive Vice President for SEIU District 1199. “Union members who provide healthcare and other vital services at ODRC facilities dedicate their careers to the health, safety, and wellbeing, of inmates and the public. We are calling on ODRC administrators, OhioMHAS administrators, and Governor Mike DeWine to do everything possible for staff at these institutions, including maintaining work from home status, and providing the necessary and proper PPE to ALL members in the institutions and in all state agencies where there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19,” Norris continued.

Some workers with ODRC institutions state they are being provided with surgical masks and cloth facial coverings, not N95 masks, which offer a higher level of protection against COVID19. Even when in the vicinity of inmates that have tested positive for COVID19, N95 masks are being provided at the sole discretion of administrators. While shortages of PPE have occurred nationwide, staff members believe they are at a heightened risk due to potentially harmful management decisions within ODRC facilities. “Having the proper PPE is of the highest importance. ODRC may be providing PPE based on the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health, but this is not enough mitigation. Staff members would be much more protected if they were properly equipped with N-95 respirators and face shields. It is simply a choice of putting peoples wellbeing above the cost of a mask. These financially driven choices also further place entire institutions, entire communities and our entire state at greater risk, this is NOT how you flatten the curve,” said Norris. Medical experts continue to note the ease at which the virus is spread during an incubation period and through individuals that may be asymptomatic.  

“We are concerned by the decision to have Recovery Services staff return to ODRC institutions, as conditions are now more hazardous than when they began to work from home. With many safety concerns, large groups of inmates in quarantine, and nearly 100 lives lost in just the last four months, the health and safety concerns of these workers must be heard. It just doesn’t make sense, these folks were instructed to work from home when there were no confirmed cases in the institutions and now, are being returned to the institutions when there are unmeasured numbers of cases at every institution and every institution in the whole state has confirmed at least one positive case and is on RED status. It defies all logic and will erase all of the progress accomplished by the stay-at-home order. Our members signed up to serve their fellow Ohioans and to be on the front lines of this emergency with the understanding that their employer, Governor DeWine, would provide them with the tools necessary to ensure they can do their jobs safely and return home each day without potentially infecting their households and neighborhoods. We are simply demanding that he live up to that commitment.”  

SEIU District 1199 leaders and Union members are calling on Governor DeWine and directors with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to reevaluate their policies as they relate to COVID-19, the delivery of care and services, and the availability and use of effective PPE like N95 masks.

2020 Member Scholarship Program

2014_SEIU1199_ScholarshipVerticalBannerWho is eligible?
All SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH members in good standing and their immediate family members are eligible.

What are the requirements?
You must have been accepted or currently enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year educational institution or technical school and actively enrolled in a degree, post bachelor’s degree or certification program.
You must be enrolled for a minimum of five (5) credit hours in a course required or related to the degree or certification.
You and your immediate family member(s) are eligible if you have been a member in good standing of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH for at least two years prior to the application deadline.

How do I apply?
Complete scholarship eligibility criteria, requirements, and applications:

• SEIU 1199 Scholarship Form
 SEIU 1199 Scholarship FAQ

Members may also obtain an application packet including eligibility criteria information and an application by calling the Member Resource Center hotline at 1-877-419-SEIU (7348).

The application process is now open for 2020. The deadline for applications is September 1st. 

Scholarship Recipient List – 2019
 Scholarship Recipient List – 2018
 Sign a Membership Card (must be a member in good standing for 2 years)

Applications may be submitted by email to scholarships@seiu1199.org or by mail to:

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH
Member Resource Center
Attention: Scholarships
1395 Dublin Road
Columbus, Ohio 43215

2020 District Officer and Executive Board Elections: Announcement of Election Results by Acclamation

2020 District Officer and Executive Board Elections: Announcement of Election Results by Acclamation. The announcement is available here
• Contested Elections. 
A contested position is a position in which the number of nominees for the position(s) exceeded the number of available position(s). The list of eligible candidates for contested positions is available at this link.

A list of candidates and schedule of election will be mailed to all members in early July.

Letter to the State of Ohio Chapter From President Becky Williams

As you may recall, our Union received a letter from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services on June 1, 2020 asking we “come to the negotiating table before June 15, 2020 to discuss ways to reduce personnel costs.” That vague request didn’t indicate whether they were requesting to open the current contract or begin negotiating our successor agreement.

In response, we sent a letter back to the Director of DAS on behalf of our State of Ohio members. In this letter, it is made clear the service and sacrifice you make daily in the interest of the people of the State of Ohio and that it is the position of our Union that the state needs to find other ways to reduce expenditures rather than ask you to continue to do more with less.

We received a response letter from DAS on June 10, 2020, that read in part, “While we are aware that collective bargaining negotiations for a successor agreement are upcoming, the budget situation for the fiscal year which begins July 1, 2020, is unsustainable. We want to discuss with you cost savings measures that could potentially be taken immediately, within the term of the current collective bargaining agreement.” The letter goes on to describe the cuts they have imposed on workers who do not have the protection of a collective bargaining agreement, like salary reductions, pay freezes, and cost savings days.

Today, we are sending a letter to DAS to express our concerns over their nonchalant approach which suggests you and your families give up your financial security at a time when you should be honored for your heroism. In this letter, we make it clear we oppose the State of Ohio balancing their budget on the backs of our Union members.

In addition to the letter to DAS, we are also sending a letter to the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House calling for them to take immediate action on the following things:

  1. Freeze their own pay immediately.
  2. Allow and compel the Governor to use the nearly $2.7 billion dollars in the rainy day fund to close the budget gap. 
  3. Raise additional revenue through taxes on the wealthiest people and most profitable businesses in our State. 
  4. Close unnecessary, costly tax loopholes that benefit the few at the cost of the rest of us. Put politics and ideology aside and recognize that this is not the time to make drastic, recessive cuts to the state budget. 
  5. We will continue to keep the lines of communication open with DAS and Executive Vice President Josh Norris will participate in a conference call with the State of Ohio to discuss any procedural next steps and to clarify any questions they may have about our request for additional information.

We will continue to keep all Union members updated on the status of these conversations. If you have questions, comments, or feedback please feel free to reach out to your Administrative Organizer or to Josh Norris directly.

This is a time when our collective efforts are our best defense to preserve and protect our rights, wages, and benefits. Call your legislators today, tell them about the vital work that you do to serve the people of Ohio, and demand they keep all options on the table to balance the state budget. You can find your state legislators by clicking here

If you or anyone in your workplace has not yet signed their membership card, please sign your card by clicking here.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams, President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

State Chapter Newsletter – June 2020

State Chapter Newsletter June 2020

● Bargaining Update for Members. We received a letter from the Department of Administrative Services Director, Matthew Damschroder, requesting that we come to the bargaining table before June 15, 2020 to “discuss ways to reduce personnel costs so we can work together to maintain services for the citizens of the State of Ohio and preserve jobs for State employees.” Three conference calls were held on Monday, June 8th to gather feedback from members and a survey has been sent to members at their personal email addresses. The survey will be open through Monday, June 15th. If you are a member but did not receive a survey, please write to vote@seiu1199.org

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing 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. Last 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 June 6th, 14% of the budget, which totals $109,545.25, 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.

● Recognition for Ohio DYS and DRC Case Managers. Case Managers with the Department of Youth Services and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction are asking for recognition, not only for years of unequal pay, but for the increased responsibilities they are shouldering now. Case managers are assuming responsibilities for those who are working at home or cannot perform their duties because they are not in the institutions, such as teachers, librarians, legal, commissary, secretaries, and chaplains. Case workers are risking their health and that of their families each day. Add your name in support of DYS Case Managers and DRC Case Managers.

● Stand With Ohio’s Parole Officers. Ohio’s parole officers carry out difficult and important work each day. Even though these women and men serve honorably, Ohio law fails Ohio’s parole officers and the public in several areas. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation does not cover exposure to fentanyl, despite the risks involved with such exposure. Most importantly, the Ohio Legislature must pass the Reagan Tokes Act so that Ohio’s parole officers can keep all Ohioans safe. Contact your legislators and Governor Mike DeWine by sending a letter at this link.

● State Chapter Member Successfully Challenges Disciplinary Fine. A member received a 2-day fine and believed it to be unjust. The member filed a grievance and with the rights guaranteed by the contract and the Union grievance process, the discipline was changed to a 2-day working suspension, the money from the fine was returned, and it was agreed that the discipline would be removed in two years instead of the standard three years.

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!”

Workers at Ohio’s Correctional Institutions Raise Concerns About COVID-19 Exposure

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Press Contact: Anthony Caldwell, acaldwell@seiu1199.org, 877-419-7348.

Union members at state prisons say more needs to be done to protect the health of staff, people in prison.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Psychologist, psychiatrist, registered nurses, behavioral health providers, social workers, case managers, and other health and service providers who work within the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) facilities across Ohio are extremely concerned about the risk of contracting COVID-19 and raising the curve by exposing their families and others they encounter in the daily lives after ODRC administrators recently made some questionable decisions relating to people incarcerated with the virus.

People in prison who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic are being isolated to areas with other people who are incarcerated which have also tested positive, while asymptomatic, COVID-positive individuals are not being isolated and continue to be housed, quarantined in their cells, with others who have not tested positive for the virus, which staff fear could lead to further spread within the institutions.

Health professionals and staff within the institutions equally concerned for their health and safety as they are required to work in units that have been quarantined from the rest of the prison population without adequate protection, risking the health of their families and communities, when they go home after their shift.

“The workers within our state institutions are deeply concerned about contracting the virus and the unfair risk that forces on them, their families, and their communities,” said Josh Norris, Executive Vice President for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199. “It would appear as though ODRC administrators are hoping to develop herd immunity within the prisons as they freely deliver care, meals, commissary, and other services without regard to whether a person who is in prison has been infected with COVID-19 or not. This puts the health of all Ohioans, but especially the staff inside the institutions, at greater risk for contracting and spreading the virus.”

Cross-contamination is not the only risk for care and service providers within state prison, as ODRC administrators are rationing personal protective equipment (PPE) as well. Most staff are only provided a thin, cloth or surgical-style mask and gloves, citing directives provided by the Ohio Department of Health. The more effective N95 masks are issued on an as-needed basis with approval from ODRC administrators.

“Our Union members go to work every day inside our state’s prisons to provide the necessary care and services incarcerated individuals need to be successfully rehabilitated,” continued Norris. “These individuals are here to serve a sentence, but that shouldn’t be a death sentence for them or the ODRC staff because proper precautions were not taken to protect them from COVID-19.”

SEIU District 1199 leaders and Union members are calling on Governor DeWine and the directors of the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to reevaluate their policies as it relates to COVID-19, the delivery of care and services, and the availability and use of effective PPE like N95 masks.

Important – Member Conference Call and Bargaining Survey

We received the attached letter from the Department of Administrative Services Director, Matthew Damschroder, requesting that we come to the bargaining table before June 15, 2020 to “discuss ways to reduce personnel costs so we can work together to maintain services for the citizens of the State of Ohio and preserve jobs for State employees.” You can read a copy of the letter at this link

This is clearly a demand to negotiate reductions to the membership who has reported faithfully during this pandemic emergency. What is unclear is whether this is a request to negotiate a successor agreement or a request for mid-term negations. We will be reaching out to DAS for clarification on this question. 

State Executive Board Members and your Union Leadership Team have held two (2) conference calls to discuss various strategies for moving forward, starting with hearing from you directly. 

We are hosting a series of calls for all SEIU/1199 Ohio State Chapter Members on Monday, June 8th to discuss the request to bargain and gather feedback.

Call Times: 12pm, 4pm and 7pm.
Call Information: Telephone Town Hall Meeting will call out to you directly and connect you to the call prior to your designated time. It is critical that you update your contact information and register for the call time of your choice by using this link. Register for the call and update your information here.

Our contract expires on April 30, 2021 and the timelines for initial preparation are as follows:

1. June 2020: Nominations for the Bargaining Team.
2. July 2020: Notify Members of the voting locations and times for the formal committee elections.
3. August 2020: Elect our Bargaining Committee.
4. September 2020: 1st Bargaining Committee Meeting.

Considering this new request to bargain, the abo

Stand With Ohio’s Parole Officers

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Standing Together With Ohio’s Parole Officers

Dear Union Members at the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, 

As parole officers with the State of Ohio you do critical work each day and fulfill a vital mission on behalf of the public.
 Thank you for everything that you do to keep Ohio safe.

As Union members, parole officers with the State of Ohio are continuing to speak out about several important legislative issues. These priories include the passage of the Reagan Tokes Act, making parole officers eligible for a law enforcement pension (“25 and out”), making drug exposure (e.g. fentanyl) eligible for BWC coverage, and ensuring that parole officers have ample access to personal protective equipment and testing for COVID19, if needed.

At this link is an action page that allows parole officers and the public to send a message to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and your representatives with the Ohio Legislature. Together, we will continue to speak out for the important changes that parole officers need for themselves, their families, and public safety. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams – President  
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH  

State of Ohio Chapter Delegate Training

his 1 day training is designed for Delegates who have basic skills but need more in-depth information, including:

– 7 Tests of Just Cause for Discipline
– Effective Investigatory Meeting Tips
– Federal Rights as a State Employee
– Differences in Mediations, Arbitrations, and NTAs

What: State Chapter – Basic & Intermediate Delegate Training 
When: Wednesday, June 17th from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Where: SEIU District 1199 at 1395 Dublin Road in Columbus 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we must limit the training to a maximum of 27 members in order to provide appropriate recommended social distancing. If there is a need for additional training to accommodate more delegates we will schedule another one in the near future. A mask or face covering will be required. Thank you for your understanding and participation.

The registration deadline for this training has passed. Once you have registered, your leave from work will be arranged by the Union and your wages for the day will be paid by the State. Questions? You can always call the Member Resource Center at 877-419-7348. 

Stand With Ohio DYS Union Case Managers

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