Dedicated State of Ohio Nurse Reinstated With Back Pay and Benefits
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.
ODRC Member Successfully Unites With Union to Appeal Fine and Establish Clarity
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 As a result, the arbitrator rescinded the fine and ordered the member’s record restored.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.
State of Ohio Returns Disciplinary Fine & Interest
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.
Free College Member Benefit With Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community College
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.
Health Care Coverage Open Enrollment for 2019 Ends on December 15th
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.
Veterans Day – Thank You For Your Service
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.
MyAvatar Update – State of Ohio Member Acts to Protect Patient Care
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 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 Center. We are stronger together.
State of Ohio Contract Outline 2018
State Contract Ratification Vote Schedule
Keep Ohio’s Parole Officers Safe from Drug Exposure
Parole 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.
SIGN THIS PETITION TO ASK THE OHIO STATE LEGISLATURE TO KEEP OHIO’S PAROLE OFFICERS SAFE FROM DRUG EXPOSURE.
State Workers Day in the Life Survey
State of Ohio Contract Negotiations Bargaining Update 8.23.18
STANDING UNITED FOR A FAIR CONTRACT
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.
Our SEIU/1199 Ohio State Chapter Bargaining Committee
IN ORDER TO VOTE ON OUR CONTRACT, YOU WILL NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNION. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE YOUR MEMBERSHIP FORM TODAY.
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
State of Ohio Contract Negotiations Bargaining Update
State Chapter Newsletter | July 31, 2018
OUR SEIU/1199 STATE CHAPTER IS STRONGER THAN EVER
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.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE BARGAINING TABLE?
Last 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.
Our SEIU/1199 Bargaining Committee
SHOULDN’T WE HAVE A CONTRACT BY NOW?
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
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.
If you are a member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH, call 877-419-SEIU, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can make your request online with the Member Resource Center. We are stronger together.