Victory Reports

Recent victories relate to members enforcing contract language, protecting benefits during negotiations, securing back-pay, labor rights, successful grievances, standing united for living wages, and more.

Members also often stand together on behalf of the greater community and fellow co-workers. If you have a victory, email it here so it can be shared on this page. These victories and others show why union membership is so important.

Northeast Ohio Nursing Home Member Awarded Settlement After Job Dismissal

Union Victory Report Graphic
A Northeast Ohio nursing home member recently won a settlement after they believed they had been improperly terminated. The member contacted the Union and the dismissal was brought to mediation.

Without a Union contract, employees in Ohio are at will and an employer does not need to show just cause. Under this settlement, in which neither side admitted fault, the employee was awarded $1,000 and received a neutral letter of reference. We are stronger together.

Grievance by Healthcare Member Results in Additional Staffing and Successful Outcome

MRC
Members with SEIU District 1199 often speak out about issues of concern on behalf of their co-workers and members of the public. Being a member of a Union means having a voice to speak out and stand with co-workers if needed.

A dedicated healthcare member with Fairmont Regional Medical Center in West Virginia had concerns about staffing levels for her unit. She contacted the Union and joined with a co-worker to file a grievance. As a direct result, hospital administrators took quick action and placed two additional job postings for positions with the unit. 

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

SEIU Members & Appalachian Regional Healthcare Reach Agreement on Highlands Regional Medical Center

HRMC
PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY – SEIU District 1199 and Appalachian Regional Healthcare have collaboratively reached a recognition and contract assumption agreement for Union members who work at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. SEIU District 1199 represents over 250 workers with Highlands Regional Medical Center and has represented members at the hospital since the 1980’s. As of August 1, Highlands Regional Medical Center is now a part of the ARH system.

While the full details of the agreement are confidential, the parties worked hard to ensure that a fair and equitable agreement was reached. The agreement offers improved healthcare coverage for bargaining unit members at the hospital with 100% paid in-network coverage. The agreement also recognizes the seniority of the hospital’s dedicated unionized employees and will carry-over accrued personal time, sick leave, and vacation time.

“This agreement will reward the hard work our members do, and it shows that negotiations conducted in good faith can lead to a contract that is beneficial for workers, the hospital, and the community,” said Joyce Gibson, West Virginia and Kentucky Healthcare Division Director for the Service Employees International Union District 1199.  “By standing together, our members were able to improve benefits, provide union security and preserve quality care and services for our patients and visitors. We thank Appalachian Regional Healthcare for their commitment to this important hospital and the provision of quality care.”

CONTACT | Joyce Gibson, West Virginia / Kentucky Healthcare Division Director for the Service Employees International Union District 1199 | Phone: 877-419-7348.

Member With Morrison Community Living at Judson Manor Back at Work

Robere and Members 7-26-19

This week, Robere Melton’s co-workers greeted him enthusiastically when he returned to work after almost 7 months off. Mr. Melton is a dedicated employee who works for Morrison Community Living, which contracts with Judson Manor in Cleveland. Prior to being unjustly terminated, Mr. Melton had been on the job for 19 years. 

Mr. Melton was terminated at the end of 2018, with no prior disciplinary action of record. The employer terminated him without a fair and impartial review to determine if a policy was violated. The employer also did not use a reasonable level of discipline, given a spotless work record and many years of service. 

Mr. Melton, who had also previously served as a Union delegate, will receive full back pay and compensation for all denied benefits. We are stronger together. 

Public Libraries Receive Funding Increase in State of Ohio Budget

LSC Twitter png
We are excited to announce that Ohio’s public libraries will see a vital increase in funding for the services that library workers provide to our communities. Congratulations to all library members and partner groups on this significant victory.

Through your advocacy, we were successful in preventing a previously enacted budgetary provision under the Kasich administration that would have reduced the Public Library Fund (PLF) to 1.66% of the General Revenue Fund (GRF). A new provision also increased the PLF by an additional 0.02% to 1.7% of GRF. Finally, language was included in the final budget to retroactively fund libraries and make them whole for the month of July at the 1.7% level. 

Thank you to all library workers, advocacy groups, and partners, who spoke out in support of increased funding for public libraries. We are stronger together. 

Union Member Who Acted to Save a Client in Dayton Returns to Work After Arbitration Decision

Members with the Stillwater Center in Montgomery County, do very important work each day on behalf of clients in the Dayton area. Clients with the Stillwater Center often have severe disabilities, physical challenges, and/or significant medical needs. 

A dedicated member was recently terminated after acting to protect and save the life of a non-verbal resident by calling for an ambulance. The member then contacted the Member Resource Center, which took the dismissal to an arbitrator. The arbitrator ruled that there was not just cause and ordered reinstatement with back pay. 

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!” 

BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Member Wins Grievance Over Unjust Job Dismissal

MRC
A dedicated member with BrightSpring (“ResCare”) recently worked with the Union to successfully reverse a job dismissal. With the protections provided by the Union contract and with assistance from the Member Resource Center, the member filed a grievance. 

The member first had an investigatory interview but had difficulty with questions that were confusing. The confusion and related responses were brought up through the grievance procedure and the member then spoke further. Management restored the member to their former position and granted 80 hours of back pay. 

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

American Red Cross Workers Win Union Recognition & a Path to $15 in Beckley (WV)

In April, American Red Cross workers in Beckley, West Virginia, won Union recognition and a path to a $15 an hour wage. Members with the American Red Cross do vital work providing community services, performing blood draws, and working as lab technicians. 

Members at this facility had previously worked under a different service provider. In addition to a path to a $15 an hour wage over the course of the contract, they now have standardized work hours and a more favorable insurance rate – with reduced co-pays and employee contributions. We are stronger together. 

State Members Awarded Settlement After Improper Denial of Overtime

Two nurses who are members with the State of Ohio recently received significant settlements after overtime was improperly denied. Due to no fault of their own, the nurses were placed on a “no patient contact” list temporarily. The members had no knowledge of the reason they were on the list and were unable to work overtime, which was a significant monetary loss. 

The members stood together and contacted the Member Resource Center. Through the arbitration process, the members showed that this loss of overtime hours denied due process. A settlement was reached with the state, which had a combined value of over $45,000.  

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

State Member and Union Unite to Overturn Unfair Administrative Leave Deductions

state of ohioThe State of Ohio has traditionally utilized an unfair practice that denies workers on administrative leave supplemental pay. However, state workers can find themselves on administrative leave through no fault of their own. This can mean a dramatic reduction of wages, even if the worker is later entirely cleared to return to work. 

A member of SEIU District 1199 was recently on administrative leave and like many other workers was later cleared to return to work. However, the member was denied significant pay supplements (e.g. such as retention pay) that resulted in an unfair loss of wages. The member joined together with the Union to take the supplemental pay issue to an arbitrator.

Through this dispute, the Union and member maintained that the deduction of supplemental pay was a contract violation that denied due process and violated the fundamental principles of just cause. The arbitrator ruled that the State of Ohio is no longer permitted to continue the practice of deducting pay supplements from paychecks when workers are on administrative leave. The outcome of the dispute was successful.

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Members Stand Together to Uphold the Contract and Win Victories

BrightSpring (“ResCare”) members with SEIU District 1199 work hard to provide quality care. BrightSpring members, the Union, and their co-workers, work as a team when necessary to file grievances. Standing together, members regularly win back pay and work to uphold the contract.

Below are some recent contract violations and related victories won by members of the Union:

• Med Pass Payments Issued 
– Two members did not receive Med Pass related payments. One of the members was issued a check for nearly $900 in retroactive compensation.
• Final Written Warning Reduced for Longtime Employee 
– A dedicated member who had worked with the company for over seven years was issued a final written warning. While the member was not able to come to agreement with the employer on all of the facts of the situation, through the process of filing a dispute, the employer decided to take into account the members tenure with the company and reduce the reprimand.
• Improper Healthcare Deduction Resolved 
– A member contacted the Union after a wrongful health insurance deduction and mileage reimbursement error. The member worked with the Union and was compensated by the employer.
• Payment Arrangement Reached After Wage Over-payment – The employer, unbeknownst to a member, had issued over-payments. The employer wanted to withdraw the entire sum from the workers next check, which would have been financially devastating. The member and the Union successfully proposed a payment arrangement that was satisfactory to the employer.
• Unfounded Termination Defeated Through Grievance Process – A member believed she was being treated wrongfully by a supervisor and kept written notes. The member was terminated by management for allegedly falling asleep but the only witness was the supervisor who is no longer there. The employee joined with the Union and was reinstated due to lack of sufficient evidence.
• Member Issued Payment for Missing Hours – A member was missing 24 hours of pay from his paycheck shortly before the end of 2018. After trying to resolve the issue on his own for four weeks, the member joined with the Union and filed a grievance. A retroactive payment was issued by the employer and it was received by the member within 17 days of first contact with the Union about filing a grievance.

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

Huntington Health and Rehabilitation Members Unite for New Contract

SEIU
Workers with Huntington Health and Rehabilitation approved a new contract on Saturday. The bargaining committee stayed united and worked together to bargain a contract with many beneficial new terms and improvements. 

Below are some of the highlights of the new contract

• Discrimination: Language was added that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. 
• Overtime and Hours of Work: Workers who volunteer for 35 extra shifts will receive a $500 bonus.
• Health Insurance: Family healthcare coverage will now be provided with a lower premium. A 70/30 plan was approved, which was previously 50/50. A Union rep was also added to the health care committee.
• Vaccinations: The employer will now provide pneumonia vaccinations and flu shots at no additional cost to members.
• Sick Leave: The cash in amount for sick days was increased from 75% to 80% and members can cash up to 6 days a year.
• Vacation: Requests for vacation time must now be answered in writing in 10 days.
• Ratification Bonus: Workers will receive a $125 contract ratification bonus.
• Attendance Incentive: An attendance incentive of $175 will now be provided up to four times a year.
• Starting Wages: The New CNA start rate for 0-5 years of experience will be $12 an hour. For workers with 5-10 years of experience, the start rate will be $13 an hour. Workers with 10+ years of experience with start at $14.
• Wage Increases: In the first year of the contract, wages will increase 4%. Wages will also increase 3.5% in the second year and 3% in the third year.
• Weekend Differential: The weekend shift differential will now be $1.50 an hour, which is a dollar increase from $0.50 an hour.

Congratulations to the bargaining committee and workers with Huntington Health and Rehabilitation. We are stronger together.

Member of SEIU District 1199 Wins Fair Resolution Through Workplace Grievance

A member of SEIU District 1199 recently won resolution of a grievance which related to a uniform purchase. After being informed that the member needed to purchase a new uniform, the worker sought approval of a sample from management. After receiving approval, the member then purchased the sample in several variations. 

When returning to work with the new uniform, a different staff member flagged the uniform as being not acceptable. Workers with non-Union workplaces often have no established process to seek fairness. However, as a Union member, the worker joined with the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. The grievance had a successful outcome and the member was reimbursed for the expense.

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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!”

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. 

BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Members Unite to Defend Contract, End Year With Victories

Members with BrightSpring (“ResCare”) work diligently each day. These members also continue to work together to defend the contract, resolve areas of concern, and provide the best possible care. Below are just some of the many favorable outcomes attained at the end of 2018.

Wood County (WV): A member took action out of concern for fellow co-workers relating to the posting of vacancies. The member believed the collective bargaining agreement was not being upheld. Through the grievance process, the member received affirmation that vacancies will be posted and that notice will be sent to the Union, as required by the contract.

Knox County (OH): A member was denied payment for three shifts for unknown reasons. A grievance was filed and the member was made whole.

Gallia County (OH): A member was awarded a position but was not given the permission needed to finalize the transfer. After three months had passed, she worked with the Member Resource Center, which filed a grievance immediately. Within one day, ResCare offered the member the position, which brought resolution. 

Marion County (OH): A member worked with the Union to file a grievance after improperly being denied the ability to sign up for insurance coverage. The issue was resolved in just 13 days. 

Belmont County (OH): A member acted out of concern for consumers after being pulled to work temporarily at a different work-site. She successfully filed a grievance and as a result, the company agreed that training should be provided before having staff work under similar circumstances.

Gallia County (OH): A member filed a grievance because their wages were being paid at an improper rate. As a result of the grievance, the rate of pay was adjusted and a retroactive payment was issued.

Belmont County (OH): A member contacted the Union because the company was making scheduling changes without first discussing it with the Union. After the issue was escalated to mediation, the Union and BrightSpring (“ResCare”) are working together on such scheduling changes prior to implementation.

Franklin County (OH): A member was terminated after reasons that were difficult to predict. The member, a dedicated BrightSpring (“ResCare”) employee, presented their rationale and after mediation, the member was returned to work with certain conditions.  

Marrow County (OH): A member contacted the Union with concern that they had stopped accumulating PTO time. The Union received confirmation that the member was owed 156.13 hours of PTO time. The time was added to the member’s account within two days of notification.

Marion County (OH): A member did not receive holiday pay for Labor Day and contacted the Union. Back pay was later issued and the grievance was resolved.

Raleigh County
(WV): A dedicated member’s check was short due to a mistake by management. The member worked with the Union and as a result, was quickly paid for the two missing days of work.  

Belmont County (OH): A disciplinary action was overturned after the employer failed to substantiate a claim. As a result, a final written warning was removed from the member’s file.

If you believe your contract is being violated at work, contact the Member Resource Center. 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.

Victory Report – CMSD Member Reinstated After Unjust Termination

Two years ago, management with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District unjustly terminated our Union sister Lisa Pass. Standing together, we were able to take Lisa’s grievance to an arbitrator to review the termination. Our Union was able to win back Lisa’s job and she was awarded back pay for nearly the entire two years, in addition to other rights and benefits. 

Congratulations to this member on prevailing with her arbitration and winning back the job she cares so much about. There is power when we stand together as a Union. We are stronger together.

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.