Important Deadline – State Dependent Audit
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.
Regional Membership Meeting in Cincinnati
Sharing A Thank You Note From A Member
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!”
Message From The State of Ohio on W-2 Forms
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).”
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. Membership with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH provides access to this member benefit program. You can sign a membership card online at this link.
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 our 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
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.