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 Chapter Basic Delegate Training (3/24/21)
State Chapter Intermediate Delegate Training (5/26/21)
State Chapter Advanced Delegate Training (7/21/21)

Filing a Grievance State Member Webinar
 Agency Professional Committee Meeting Minutes
• Lookup and Contact Your Elected Officials

Statement on Recent COVID19 Cases Among Staff at Ohio DRC Facilities

SEIU District 1199 continues to encourage work-from-home status for as many workers as possible, especially as community spread and COVID19 transmission increase, which may result in greater risk to workers with the State of Ohio.

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 
For more information, contact: Joshua Norris at (877) 419-7348

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Between November 8th (view data) and December 9th (view data) reports from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction show that 1,232 staff members with ODRC have tested positive for COVID19. “Workers with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction are going to work every day and system-wide over 1,232 staff members have tested positive for COVID19 since November 8th,” said Joshua Norris, an Executive Vice President with SEIU District 1199. “As of November 8th, there were just 1,700 staff cases but there have been 2,932 staff cases at present,” continued Norris.  

“Facilities with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have reported 2,932 positive tests among staff with over 120 lives lost, including 7 staff members,” said Norris. “Public employees with the State of Ohio have been bravely working on the frontlines of this crisis,” continued Norris.  

SEIU District 1199 continues to advocate for as many members as possible to be granted work-from-home status, especially given the recent spread of COVID19. Heightened levels of community spread may result in increased COVID19 cases in such settings and increase transmission of the virus among staff and others.

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.

Update — Ohio House Committee Passes the Reagan Tokes Act

APA Hearing
Today, we cleared one of the final hurdles of passing the Reagan Tokes Act into law, which would make long-awaited reforms to post-release control and giving frontline parole officers a seat at the table on a newly created committee designed to make recommendations.

Now, we need you to activate your networks of colleagues, family, friends and other supporters of parole reform to call on members of the Ohio House of Representatives to pass House Bill 215 before the end of the year.

Click here to send an email to your State Representative right now asking them to vote for House Bill 215 (The Reagan Tokes Act) and then share it with anyone you know.

Don’t let the hard work of our Union parole officers go to unfinished. We need everyone to take this opportunity to have your voices heard on this important legislation.

In Solidarity,

Josh Norris, Executive Vice President
Kristie Branch, Ohio State Chapter Director

A Review From a Member: Free College Degree Program for Union Members

The Letter Carriers Free College Benefit | Letter Carriers Free College Benefit
“Being a Union member can allow you to take chances you never thought you would have the opportunity to take. It was a real benefit to be able to take these classes. I would encourage my co-workers and fellow members to take these classes and engage in studies that interest them.” – Krystin Berry, Healthcare Worker and Member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Krystin Berry, a member of SEIU District 1199, recently completed a Degree in Criminal Justice with Eastern Gateway Community College. She wanted to share her story to encourage other members to take this opportunity. This free benefit is open to members with SEIU District 1199 and their families.

“This criminal justice program allowed me to show my daughter that you can work, go to school, and be a good mom,” said Berry. She also has a bachelor’s degree and works far above full-time hours in important areas, including at a nursing home, as a substitute teacher, and with her church. “I learned a lot while taking these classes. You get to know the other students and interact throughout the program. The classes had about 20-25 students and the instructors were helpful with feedback on the course work.”

Currently, Krystin is also working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic as nursing home worker, though they have not had any residents contract COVID19 at her facility so far. “The classes were free of cost, which allowed me to pursue a degree in the area of criminal justice while still working. It was easy to enroll in the program – the most difficult part was transferring in prior coursework but I was able to get those credits recognized. The program was a great way to earn a degree to further myself and this also benefits my daughter,” she said.

Congratulations to Krystin Berry and thank you for sharing your story. Members can get additional details on college programs at this link.

Reagan Tokes Act Committee Hearing

State Chapter Newsletter – November 2020

State Chapter Newsletter November 2020The 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. Preparations for negotiations with the State of Ohio are underway and the member-led negotiating committee met on Tuesday, November 10th. We will keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming contract negotiations advance. 

● 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 November 7th, 56% 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 Termination and Receives Settlement. A member was terminated for reasons that were believed to be unjust. The dedicated member had been with the State of Ohio for a significant period of time. The member worked with the Union to challenge the dismissal. Though employment without a Union is at-will, through the process outlined by the contract, the member was granted a $7,500 payment. As a part of the settlement, the member was able to substitute a resignation for the termination. 

State of Ohio Member Receives Improperly Denied Overtime Payment. A member who works as a nurse late at night was denied overtime pay due to a technical software glitch that improperly placed hours that should have been counted as overtime. Through the grievance process, the member was able to show that an error had occurred, which may also help other members and the grievant with proper payment for overtime hours. 

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!”

Veterans Day 2020 – We Honor and Thank You

We Honor Your Service and Sacrifice

SEIU District 1199 is proud to represent many Union members who have served our nation. This year for Veterans Day, we would like to share photos to honor those with military service backgrounds. 

As you may know, the Union started a Veterans Caucus last year and members can sign up online. If you send us photos from your military service, we would like to spotlight and honor member veterans on social media. 

Send any service related photos to be shared online on Veterans Day by sending them to media@seiu1199.org. Together, we thank you and honor your service and sacrifice. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Support the Reagan Tokes Act

APA Hearing

Members: We’ve Got YOUR Back

By now you have probably received an email from this out-of-state, anti-worker organization calling themselves the Freedom Foundation or OptOutToday? If you are like me, you deleted it quickly and put it in the trash where it belongs.

For those of you who don’t know much about the so-called “Freedom Foundation,” they are funded by out-of-state billionaires who want to destroy unions and elect anti-worker, anti-union candidates that will keep wages low, eliminate paid sick leave, and slash crucial funding for quality public services like the reliable and front line services you provide.

In fact, the Freedom Foundation is a long-time advocate and contributor of so-called Right to Work Laws like Senate Bill 5, which we soundly defeated before and will do again if necessary. We will not allow the wealthy and the out of touch politicians to work in the shadows through failed organizations like the Freedom Foundation to lower wages, take away the benefits, healthcare, and protections you negotiated through your Union. They are trying to attack your solidarity and strength and make your workplaces less safe while eroding your protections and securities to enrich their overflowing pockets.

Don’t believe their lies and misleading information. They are using every trick in the book to further divide workers by badgering SEIU members via your private work email and cell phones. Sowing division and weakening workers’ rights is truly their ONLY goal.

Most of us, no matter our color, origin, or gender, want our communities and our country to be places where freedom is for everyone. We beat groups like them when we defeated Senate Bill 5, and we won’t allow anyone to take away our dignity, rights, and respect on the job and in our communities. That’s why the members of our Union are proud to continue to stand in solidarity, united to fight for the improvement of the lives of all working people as we strive for a more just society for all people. Ignore these out of town billionaires and stand united to win for working families as we have always done.

In Solidarity,

President Becky Williams
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

2020 Union Scholarship Winners

Kentucky
Vernal Wiley, Highlands ARH

West Virginia
Stephanie Fiber, child of Tina Fiber, Northern Panhandle Head Start

Andrew Leist, child of Sarah Parks, Cabell Huntington Hospital
Jake Meek, child of Retha Meek, American Red Cross – Huntington
Shauntina Reed, child of Priscilla Reed, Rescare – West Virginia

Ohio
Tiera Cross, Lutheran Hospital

Andrew Curry, child of Kim Moore, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Valerie Dranchak, child of Christa Dranchak, Greene County Public Library
Amanda Frerking, child of Mary Frerking, Stark County District Library
Christina Fulton, Zepf Center
Stephanie Furino, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Marc Judy, child of Lisa Judy, Steward – Trumbull Regional Medical Center
Ariel McLain, child of Erica McLain, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Keith Nelson, child of Tasha Nelson, Rescue Mental Health
Tamhra Phelps, Mercy Lorain – RNs
Cara Potocki, child of Therese Potocki, Frontline Services
James Snowden, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Gage Thompson, child of Kristina Thompson, OS – Department of Developmental Disabilities
Rachel Witten, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Trisade Zimmerman, child of Dwayne Henson, OS – Ohio Veterans Home

State Chapter Basic Delegate Training (Virtual)

LEARN THE BASICS OF EFFECTIVE UNION REPRESENTATION

Delegates will learn:
• The duties and responsibilities of a delegate to represent their members fairly and effectively

• How to represent members in investigations and pre-disciplinary meetings
• How to file grievances
• How to represent members at early steps of the grievance process and work with the Member Resource Center 
 
Location: Virtual – Microsoft Teams 
Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2020
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Please bring your Union contract. The deadline to register is Friday, November 6th. 

State Chapter Newsletter – October

state newsletter updateState of Ohio – Union Chapter News
● 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. Preparations for negotiations with the State of Ohio are underway and the member-led negotiating committee will meet soon. We will keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming negotiations advance. 

● 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 September 12th, 63% 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 Missed Overtime. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services volunteered for overtime but a worker who was not currently at work was granted the hours. Through the grievance process, the State of Ohio agreed to properly award the overtime hours. The strength of this part of the contract is important because it prevents workers from being mandated by ensuring that all workers who are working are first canvassed for volunteers. 

● State Member Files Grievance Over Internal Training Quality. An SEIU District 1199 member stood together with other co-workers to file a grievance over the quality of training at a State of Ohio mental health facility. As a result of the grievance, a committee was formed to establish training standards and a new plan. The workers will meet with management within 90 days to finalize the new plan.

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!”

2020 SEIU District 1199 Election Results

The results of the Executive Board and Officer Contested Elections, By Laws Vote, and Social Justice Steering Committee Vote, including additional vote counts are now available. If there are any questions regarding the results, reach out to Mary Jo Ivan, Election Chairperson, at 877-419-7348. 

 2020 District Officer and Executive Board Elections: Contested Elections
2020 By-Laws and Social Justice Committee Election Results

State Chapter Delegate Training

LEARN THE BASICS OF EFFECTIVE UNION REPRESENTATION

Delegates will learn:
• The duties and responsibilities of a delegate to represent their members fairly and effectively
• How to represent members in investigations and pre-disciplinary meetings
• How to file grievances
• How to represent members at early steps of the grievance process and work with the Member Resource Center.

Location: SEIU/1199, 1395 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Date: Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Please bring your Union contract. The deadline to register is Thursday, September 10th.
Once you have registered, your leave from work will be arranged by the Union and your wages will be paid by the State. Social distancing will be applied, masks will be required, and the area will be sanitized.

CEU Credit Opportunity for Social Workers

Poll Worker

Social workers play a critical role in Ohio’s health care and social service system. With the current pandemic, there is an urgent need for additional poll workers. Social workers are now able to earn Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) if they serve as poll workers in November. 

A county elections board must fill out some basic paperwork, note if there are any breaks during the training to work at the polls, and provide an agenda to offer this benefit. We understand that elections boards for Tuscawaras County, Belmont County, Guernsey County, and Clark County, have already decided to participate. 

Ifeolu Claytor (ifeolu@allvotingislocal.org) with All Voting is Local is coordinating with the elections boards and National Association of Social Workers in this area. As a social worker, you can contact your local elections board and ask them to offer this benefit and forward details to Ifeolu Clayto. As more counties confirm this opportunity, details will also be forwarded by All Voting is Local to the NASW. 

Having a safe and fair election is very important. We will be sure to share additional details as they become available. 

In Solidarity, 

Joshua Norris – Executive Vice President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

State Chapter Safety & PPE Update

Members with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction are continuing to speak out about critical safety issues during the COVID19 pandemic. Below are some recent articles from the last few days that cover the continued call for the Ohio DRC, OhioMHAS, Ohio DYS, Governor DeWine, and the State of Ohio, to take immediate action to increase the availability of personal protective equipment and improve safety policies. 

• Chronicle Telegram, “Ohio Corrections union demands additional protection from state,” 8/22/20. 
• Lima Ohio News, “Virus numbers on rise at Lima prison,” 8/21/20. 
• Ashland Source, “COVID-19: Ohio’s union prison workers continue call for protective equipment,” 8/20/20. 

To be a part of a Union at work means to have a powerful voice. Together, members will continue to speak out about these safety concerns. 

In Solidarity, 

Joshua Norris – Executive Vice President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

State Chapter Remote Work Status Update

As you may know, Governor DeWine recently announced that most workers with the State of Ohio will continue on remote work status through at least January 2021. As a Union, state chapter members and leaders have been pushing for as many workers to work from home as possible during the COVID19 pandemic.

The remote work policy issue was raised just days before Governor DeWine made his recent announcement. Members are continuing to stand together for access to additional personal protective equipment and the ability to work remotely whenever possible. 

In Solidarity, 

Joshua Norris – Executive Vice President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Ohio DRC Members Call for Increased Safety Measures and Protective Equipment

Register to Vote Online and Request an Absentee Ballot in Ohio


General Election Day this year will be on Tuesday, November 3rd. No matter what we look like or where we come from — If we are really going to beat COVID19, frontline workers need a seat at the table with corporations and our government.

If you live in Ohio, you can
register to vote and make updates to your registration online. The deadline to register to vote online in Ohio is Monday, October 5th. Request your ballot as soon as possible if you plan to vote by mail. If you want to vote by mail, fill out an absentee ballot application and then mail it to your local elections office as soon as possible.

View this 
list of candidates that support working people and have been endorsed by members with SEIU District 1199. Together, we will turn our energy and hope into votes.

In Solidarity, 

Anthony Caldwell – Director of Public Affairs 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

State of Ohio Nurses With OhioMHAS Sound the Alarm on Low Staffing and Unsafe Conditions at Mental Health Facilities Across Ohio

Nurses with OhioMHAS who work in mental health facilities across Ohio say that under staffing has created unsafe conditions and that this puts both staff and patients at-risk of serious injury.

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

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Union nurses who are members of SEIU District 1199 say that they are working under difficult conditions with severe staffing shortages on a daily basis. While some staffing issues and difficult work conditions pre-existed the COVID19 pandemic, nurses report that such challenges have now gotten significantly worse.

“Nurses with the OhioMHAS are being forced to work short staffed. In one instance, a nurse maintains that she was tasked with caring for as many as 28 patients at one time. Many of these patients had a severe diagnosis. While providing such care is difficult with 2-3 nurses per unit, most recently, 1 nurse has often been assigned per unit to provide care,” said Joshua Norris, an Executive Vice President with SEIU District 1199. “Nurses contend with a variety of challenges, including the possibility of being threatened or assaulted. Short staffing increases the risk of such conditions, not only to nurses but those for whom they provide care. It is not a question of if these conditions will result in a bad outcome such as harm to staff and patients – low staffing ratios make this inevitable.”

Nurses with the OhioMHAS work 12 hour shifts, which can be exhausting physically and mentally, making hazardous conditions even more volatile. Additionally, these nurses also now face potential exposure to COVID19.

“The State of Ohio is well aware of staffing issues at OhioMHAS medical facilities and refuses to hire and retain staff to address these concerns. It is bad enough that the State of Ohio initiated mandatory pay cuts and freezes on the non-Union staff, but now non-bargaining unit staff are using this as a vehicle to attack Union employees,” Norris continued. “Nurses have reported that managerial staff have told members of SEIU District 1199 that because they did not give up pay or make monetary concessions, they now must face short staffing and dangerous situations – this is completely unacceptable. Members with the Union do not have enough staff, enough PPE, or enough relief time, such as time each shift to grab a quick bite to eat. These nurses work tirelessly and give their absolute best every day. The State of Ohio must provide ample staff to keep nurses and patients safe. The State of Ohio must hire adequate staff to ensure that such nurses are able to return home each night without the prospect of serious injury or harm to themselves or those for whom they provide care.”

SEIU District 1199 represents nurses who provide health care services on behalf of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.