Victory Reports

Recent victories relate to members enforcing contract language, protecting benefits during negotiations, securing back-pay, labor rights, successful grievances, standing united for fair 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 via this link so it can be shared on this page. These victories and others show why union membership is so important.

Technical & Therapist Unit Workers With Cabell Huntington Hospital Vote to Form a Union

Technical Workers and Therapist Unit – CT Specialist Techs, Medical Lab Tech II’s, Nuclear Medicine Techs, X-Ray Techs, Radiation Therapists, Respiratory Therapists, and Ultrasound Techs With Cabell Huntington Hospital Vote to Form a Union and Join Together With Hospital Nurses, Maintenance, and Service Workers 

By a majority vote, technical workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital say YES to joining a Union.

HUNTINGTON, WV – Yesterday, over 150 technical workers voted to stand together and negotiate with Cabell Huntington Hospital after voting to organize their Union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH. In late 2019, 1,000 registered nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital voted to unionize in one of the biggest organizing victories since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state. SEIU District 1199 has also represented 1,000 service and maintenance workers with the hospital for over 40 years.

“The workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital work hard every day to provide the best quality care to the patients and community they serve,” said Joyce Gibson, Regional Director with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “It is important that these workers have the ability to hold hospital executives accountable, and negotiate a fair and equitable legally binding contract.”

These technical workers have worked side-by-side with SEIU members in every area of Cabell Huntington Hospital. Now, they will all have a stronger voice together. SEIU now represents over 2,000 workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

“These important technical workers will have a voice in wages, benefits, and working conditions,” Gibson continued. “Like the other unionized workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital, they know that by uniting together, they can stand up for our patients, our community, and our families.”

Contact | Joyce Gibson, SEIU District 1199 Regional Director | 304-654-0824 |

Solidarity Newsletter – February

Solidarity Newsletter 2.20.20
Member News and Grievance Victories
● Ohio ResCare Member Granted Mileage Reimbursement. A member with ResCare in Wood County, Ohio, was not reimbursed for mileage and expenses. Working with the Union, the member was issued a payment for $400 but was still not made whole. Standing together, the grievance has been resolved and an additional $150 payment was granted. 

● Discipline Against Mercy Allen Hospital Member Reduced. A member in Oberlin, Ohio, assisted another member with accessing workplace benefits. The member had worked for the hospital for 20 years and is a highly dedicated employee but had used a work computer to help a fellow co-worker outside of work time. The Union and member successfully argued that the discipline was unduly harsh and it was reduced to a “documented counseling,” which is not a formal form of discipline.

● Ohio Nursing Home Member Issued Settlement After Dispute. A member who worked for an Ohio nursing home was terminated after a disagreement. The member filed a grievance and reached a settlement that included being paid compensation for all unpaid PTO and sick time.

● Ohio Nurse Works With Union to Successfully Address Scheduling. A nurse with Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Ohio, works weekend shifts only. However, recently, the member was assigned to work on holidays that did not fall on the weekend. The Union advised that this was a contract violation and after this was raised with management, the scheduling issue was resolved.

● West Virginia Healthcare Member Secures Retroactive Pay. A ResCare member in Mineral County, West Virginia, was supposed to receive a wage increase in 2018 but the increase was not issued. The member had worked significant overtime and hours over the relevant period and worked with the Union to file a grievance after the employer recognized the wage increase but did not offer back pay. In a successful outcome, the member was issued $900 in retroactive pay. 

Big Sandy Health Care Members Reach Contract in Unanimous Vote

This week, members with Big Sandy Health Care in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, ratified a new no-concessions contract agreement. Members with Big Sandy Health Care work each day to provide critical health care services to the local area.

The three year no-concessions contract includes the following terms:

• Wages. Bargaining unit members will receive an $0.80 raise in the first year, a 4% raise in the second year, and a 4% raise in 2022. Start rates are also being increased by $0.40 in the first year, 4% in the second year, and 4% in the third year.
• Healthcare. Under this agreement, members will receive 100% employer paid healthcare coverage.
• Improved Contract Language. The contract includes language that will help the Member Resource Center provide enhanced representation to members of the bargaining unit.

Standing together in union, people from all walks of life are making a difference for their families and their communities. We are stronger together.

Burlington House Members Stand Together to Negotiate New Contract With Improved Wages and Staffing

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This week, members with Burlington House Rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s Center, a long-term care facility in Cincinnati, joined together in union to ratify a new 5 year contract agreement. No matter where we come from, we work hard for our families. Members with Burlington House took action together to reach this agreement, which will lift wages and help ensure quality care.

The contract provides for a number of improvements that range from staffing and safety to wages. This no-concessions contract includes the following terms:

• Paid Time Off (PTO). A new PTO scale recognizes the number of years that dedicated members have worked at the facility. With the new scale, most members will receive 2-4 additional PTO days each year.
• Annual Wage Increases. Members of the bargaining unit will receive annual wage increases that range from 2.5% to 3% during the first three years of the agreement. The contract will then re-open for further negotiations.
• Improved Start Rates. New start rates will lift wages for maintenance workers, cooks, and nurse aides. The start rate for State Tested Nurse Aides (STNAs) will now increase to $13 an hour. STNA’s below this level will be brought up to the new rate.
• Health and safety. The new contract includes health and safety language in the area of staffing, which is an important priority for members at this facility and others. 
• Improved Contract Language. New language included in the agreement will help provide representation through the Member Resource Center.

Congratulations to the bargaining committee and all members with Burlington House. We are stronger together. 

Mercy Springfield Members Ratify New Contract With Path to $15

Congratulations to all members with Springfield Regional Medical Center. A new contract was ratified last week that includes substantial wage increases for the bargaining unit, including a path to a $15 by 2022. Members will move immediately to $13 an hour, which may equate to a substantial raise.

Below are some of the new terms of the no-concessions contract

A $15 an hour minimum wage for all members by 2022
Annual wage increases for workers who already make $15/hr (and above) 
Language that will give members a personal day, in addition to current PTO time
A new $1 an hour premium for environmental services members 
Non-discrimination language that will protect workers in several areas 
Reimbursement for ServSafe Training for nutrition services members
A simplified 2-step grievance procedure 

Congratulations to the member bargaining team for standing united to bargain this new contract. We are stronger together. 

JFSA Union Members Ratify Contract With Better Terms

Members with the Jewish Family Services Association of Cleveland work as direct support workers, home care aides, and in other important roles. Today, members ratified a no-concessions contract. From wages to health insurance, the contract includes beneficial contract terms and improvements in several areas. 

The contract includes the following terms

• Health Insurance Rate Reduction. The contract ensures reduced health insurance rates, which was very important for members of the bargaining unit. 
• Health Insurance Waiting Period. The contract also provides for enrollment in health insurance after 60 days of employment, instead of 90 days, which was the language under the previous contract. 
• Union orientation.
The new hire orientation program will now include union orientation, which will help ensure that the bargaining unit remains strong. 
• Wage Increases.
Members will receive wage increases for all classifications in each year of the agreement. The starting rate for home health aides will increase immediately by $1.25 an hour. Over the three year agreement, the starting rate for home health aide II positions will increase by $1.74 per hour. Workers in the home health aide II position will receive an immediate raise of up to $1.50 if below the new starting rate. Direct support workers will also receive an immediate raise of up to $1.25 an hour raise if below the new starting rate. 

Congratulations to the bargaining committee and members with the Jewish Family Services Association of Cleveland. We are stronger together. 

Mercy Health – $15 Minimum Wage

Solidarity News – December 2019

Solidarity Newsletter Cleveland Community School District Member Wins Grievance Over Work Distribution. A member with the CMSD was having difficulty at work with the way assignments were being distributed in regards to heavy shipments of frozen food items. She worked with the Union to file a grievance. As a result of the grievance, the school district agreed to follow up with the area supervisor and affected employees to make sure that work was distributed equally.

Dedicated Member With ResCare in West Virginia Returns to Work. A member in Kanawha County who works for ResCare (“BrightSpring”) believed he had been improperly terminated and worked with the Union to file a grievance. Through this process, the member was awarded his job back. He received 5 weeks of back pay and restoration of PTO time and seniority.

Job Dismissal Overturned After Grievance. A highly dedicated member had worked for a hospital in Southern Ohio for nearly 20 years. The member was dismissed from their position due to a claim of absenteeism and tardiness. Through the grievance process, the member showed that the absences were due to circumstances that fit within an exception in the attendance policy. 

Member With St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Receives Settlement. A member with St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland was dismissed. While Ohio is generally an “at-will” employment state, the Union contract meant that the employer had to show “just cause.” Though the Union was prepared to take the case to mediation, the employer proposed a $3,000 settlement, which was mutually agreeable to both parties.

Mercy Regional Medical Center Member Awarded Full-Time Position. A member with MRMC in Lorain, Ohio, had been working full-time hours as a PRN for three years with no benefits or offer for a full-time position. The member worked with the Union to file a grievance and was quickly hired into a full-time position in a favorable outcome. 

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. Last month, Union Plus announced a new college program with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio, which is a benefit available for members and eligible family members. For details visit: seiu1199.org/mrc/your-benefits-as-a-member

Member Resource Center Update
The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

Breaking News: Nearly 1,000 Nurses Vote to Organize with SEIU at Cabell Huntington Hospital

By a majority vote, the Registered Nurses of Huntington’s fourth-largest employer say YES to their Union.

HUNTINGTON, WV – Tonight, nearly 1,000 Registered Nurses will have the ability to negotiate with Cabell Huntington Hospital for safe staffing and improved patient care after voting to organize their Union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH.  With one of the biggest organizing victories since West Virginia became a Right-to-Work state, nurses are sending a resounding message to working people across West Virginia that forming a Union is the best way to shift the balance of power away from corporations and toward the people.

“This is a great day for the Registered Nurses of Cabell Huntington Hospital as well as a great day for our community,” said Joyce Gibson, Regional Director with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “The nurses in our community know by uniting together, we can stand up for our patients, our families, and our community.”

Tonight’s victory for the Registered Nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital comes just a little over a month after notifying their employer of the intent to organize in early October. The nurses decided to organize with the SEIU after hospital executives refused to address their concerns about short staffing and mandatory overtime, including in vital areas of the hospital like the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  

“My co-workers and I know the best way to advocate for our patients and support our families is through our Union,” said Stacey Bias, a Critical Care Float Nurse at Cabell Huntington Hospital. “We look forward to sitting down with hospital executives to negotiate a Union contract that allows us to better care of our families and the families of our community.”

For over 40 years, Registered Nurses have worked side-by-side with SEIU members in every area of Cabell Huntington Hospital. Now, with the addition of nearly 1,000 registered nurses, workers will have a stronger voice.

“By coming together and organizing their Union, the dedicated nurses who provide essential, compassionate healthcare are determined to hold hospital executives accountable to the community,” continued Gibson.

Northeast Ohio Nursing Home Member Awarded Settlement After Job Dismissal

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

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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

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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

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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!”