On Tuesday, April 9th, the Union will be holding an Adult Parole Authority Member Lobby Day. We will focus on three issues: The State of Ohio Budget, The Reagan Tokes Act, and OPERS 25 & Out for State Parole Officers.
Registration and further details are available here.
SEIU District 1199 has been contacted by the State of Ohio about the ongoing dependent verification for state employee health insurance coverage. This affects many members of the SEIU District 1199 bargaining unit. All forms must be turned in and verified prior to a deadline of April 5th, 2019.
If information is turned in but not correct, further documentation must also be provided prior to April 5th. This is important because dependent health care will be terminated if documentation is not received and approved. According to the State of Ohio, there is a large number of employees who have not submitted the required documentation at this time.
Please refer to notices sent from the State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services for further details. The Union Benefits Trust can be contacted at 800-228-5088. You can also contact the Dependent Verification Center at 833-372-8752.
On Wednesday, April 10th, 2019, a Regional Membership Meeting will be held in Cincinnati. All SEIU District 1199 members from the local area are encouraged to attend. Registration and further details are available here.
Our mission is to improve the lives of working people and their families and to achieve greater social and economic justice. If you share our vision for a more just society, please sign up for email updates here.
This note was recently sent by a member of SEIU District 1199 to Pete Hanlon, the Director of the Member Resource Center.
I just want to send a note to let you know how much I appreciate the time you spent guiding me through my grievance. I also want you to know [the grievance chair] has been fabulous in guiding me and holding my hand through it.
Danielle Brison was brought into guiding me within the last few weeks. She too had taken the time to help me out and continued on with aiding me. One does not always see people “giving,” “helping others,” and “going beyond the call of duty.”
All three of you people have been kind to me through it all. I wanted to let you know how much, I, as a person, appreciate it.
Thank You and Blessings to You,
– Member of SEIU District 1199
If you are a member and need assistance with a grievance, you can always call the Member Resource Center. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”
SEIU District 1199 recently received notice that some members with the State of Ohio will receive amended W-2 forms. New w-2 forms are being sent (either electronically through MyOhio or via U.S. Mail) to some state members to reflect gift cards given through the “Take Charge! Live Well!” wellness program.
The Union received the following message from the State of Ohio’s Office of Collective Bargaining:
“Approximately 2,200 employees will be receiving a letter from DAS informing them that they will receive a corrected W-2. These employees participated in the Take Charge! Live Well! wellness program and received gift cards. The employee’s original W-2 did not contain the amount for the gift cards received because DAS did not receive the file from the vendor until after the original W-2s were processed. The corrected W-2s will be sent to employees in the same manner they received the original W-2 (electronically through myOhio or via U.S. Mail).”
In September 2017, a nurse and state member with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction was removed from her position. An arbitration was recently led by Member Resource Center Director Pete Hanlon.
In contrast to the original decision by the State of Ohio, the member was a dedicated employee who cared greatly about her work and the health and safety of those in her care. She worked with the Union out of the belief that she would be reinstated after the facts were heard by a neutral party and fully evaluated.
The member’s grievance advanced to arbitration in August 2018. In December 2018, an arbitrator ruled that the state’s decision regarding the member’s employment was handled improperly. As a result, the member is now returning to her job with back pay, which will cover the last 15 month period.
Members with the State of Ohio often provide vital care and encounter complex and difficult situations on the job. The ability to file a grievance and stand together as a Union provides a critical means of checks and balances under the state’s imperfect system. We are stronger together.
In December, an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction member was issued a disciplinary fine for a common practice that had not been flagged by management. The member took action with the Union and this resulted in a successful outcome and also established policy clarity.
The commonly accepted practice did not result in harm. The member worked with the Union to file a grievance and an arbitrator ruled that there was no just cause. As a result, the arbitrator rescinded the fine and ordered the member’s record restored. We are stronger together.
A member with the State of Ohio recently won two grievances relating to a disciplinary fine. As a result of the first grievance, the state agreed to return the fine to the member. However, the employer failed to return the funds as required by a timeline set out in the contract.
The member filed a second grievance to seek the reimbursement due. Shortly after the grievance was filed, the payment was issued, as required, with interest. We are stronger together.
Members of SEIU District 1199 are eligible for a free college benefit with Eastern Gateway Community College. This benefit is open to eligible members, retirees, and their families. Eastern Gateway Community College is also a part of the University System of Ohio.
This program fills the gap between federal, state, or employer education grants the student receives and the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for some online programs. It is open to eligible members and retirees, in addition to spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, and dependents.
The following programs are now being offered:
• Associates Degree – Accounting, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Individualized Study, and Paralegal.
• Certificate – Business Management and Patient Home Navigator.
For more information and to enroll, visit SEIU Member Benefits.
If you or a family member need health care coverage for 2019, don’t forget to enroll. There are affordable plans but without a qualifying event, you must signup by December 15th. Eight in ten people qualify for financial help. Share this message with family and friends.
SEIU District 1199 would like to express a heartfelt THANK YOU to all veterans. We are proud of all of our member veterans and thank all veterans for their dedication to this great country.
On Behalf of SEIU District 1199 and our staff, thank you to all veterans and their families for your service and sacrifice.
In August, a State of Ohio medical doctor and SEIU District 1199 member, gathered documentation and submitted a formal grievance relating to the use of the MyAvatar electronic health record (EHR) system by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The doctor documented her concerns about the potential for errors under the new system. She then took action through the Union to bring the documentation to the attention of administrators with ODMHAS. With concern for her patients and those served by the State of Ohio, a formal class action grievance was filed.
In October, it was announced that upon careful review, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addition Services, would be moving away from MyAvatar, and resuming the use of legacy systems. A full announcement and memorandum from ODMHAS Director Dr. Mark Hurst details the change.
To have a union is to have a powerful voice. Thank you to the dedicated members and staff with the State of Ohio who work each day to provide the best possible care for those they serve. We are stronger together.
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 Center. We are stronger together.
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 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.