WV/KY Healthcare

SEIU District 1199’s West Virginia and Kentucky Healthcare division represents nearly 7,000 workers. These fields include hospitals, nursing homes, community action agencies, clinics, councils on aging, Head Start, mental health, and blood services including the Red Cross.

National Assisted Living Week: A Message From President Becky Williams

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As you may know, this week is known as National Assisted Living Week. I want to take this chance to recognize all of you and this very important work.

Members who work at assisted living facilities help individuals maintain their dignity and independence as they age. I know that things have been particularly difficult for members this year and assisted living residents due to the COVID19 pandemic. Thank you for the work that you do each day.

Together, we will continue to speak out for safe jobs with fair wages and benefits, in addition to quality care.

In Solidarity,

Becky Williams – President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Standing Together for Nursing Home Safety and Unions for All

Nursing home members with SEIU District 1199 of all backgrounds have worked bravely across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, during the current pandemic. Members have faced hazardous conditions while providing health care services and support on behalf of long-term care residents.

Last week, a new study was released by a journal called Health Affairs about nursing homes, labor unions, and COVID19. The study found that at nursing homes where workers had a Union in New York State, COVID19 infection and fatality rates were significantly lower than at non-Union facilities. The study concluded that this is likely because “health care worker unionization may play an important role in ensuring access to appropriate PPE and implementing infection control policies that protect vulnerable nursing home residents.”

Members can contact elected officials online about the need for greater availability of personal protective equipment, the importance of a nursing home worker bill of rights, and the Heroes Act, which would guarantee hazard pay for frontline workers. Together, we will continue to speak out for priorities important to nursing home workers and for elected leaders to protect all workers.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Nursing Home Workers Need Unions for All

Solidarity Union Cookout in Beckley

 

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

Power the Polls and Help as a Poll Worker

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As you may know, America is facing a record shortage of poll workers this year due to the COVID19 pandemic. Our democracy depends on people from all walks of life who engage in civic participation to make sure that our nation’s elections run smoothly and that the votes of all people are counted.

If you can help with the November election, visit Power the Polls to get details on how to apply and participate. Poll worker positions offer personal protective equipment, paid compensation, and training. If you are a social worker, you may also be able to serve as a poll worker for CEU credit as per the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Together, we will work to ensure a safe, accessible, and fair election. 

In Solidarity, 

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

Stand With the Healthcare Heroes of Cabell Huntington Hospital

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The nurses and technical workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital are heroes who serve our community every day, providing vital health care services on behalf of working people, individuals, and families from across our region. 

These workers are currently negotiating with Cabell Huntington Hospital for a fair contract that protects health and safety through better staffing, while ensuring fair wages and benefits for themselves and their families. Below are some ways that you can support these workers in their contract campaign now: 

Write to Elected Officials. Submit a letter of support to your elected officials. Let your representatives know that you support the nurses and technical workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital as they stand together for a fair contract. Submit your name and a support letter here

Write a Letter to the Editor. Send a letter to the editor and share your support with the public. Visit this page for details on submitting a letter to the editor.

Tweet Your Support. Share your support on Twitter with messages of solidarity. 

Support Petition. Submit your name in support of Huntington’s hospital heroes. Sign the support petition here

Together, the workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital are united for good jobs and quality care.

In Solidarity, 

Joyce Gibson – Regional Director 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Solidarity Newsletter — September 2020

Solidarity Newsletter ● Dedicated Hospital Member Secures Severance Package. A member who had worked for fifty years at a hospital  in Northeast Ohio was not offered a severance package after his job was eliminated. The member and Union worked together and secured a severance package that included healthcare coverage, a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) of $4,800 which can be used until it is exhausted, and a payout of vacation time.

● ResCare Member in West Virginia Granted Pay After Administrative Leave. After being placed on administrative leave, a member with ResCare in West Virginia worked with the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. Through this process, the member was awarded over $1,000 in back pay.

● ResCare Member Successfully Reinstated After Wrongful Termination. A member with ResCare in Lake County, Ohio, with 30 years of service, was improperly terminated while on family medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Through the grievance process, the member worked with the Union and the termination was overturned.

● Hospital Member Receives Extra Pay After Being Denied Hours. A member who works at a hospital in Trumbull County, Ohio, was not contacted about hours that were available. This was a contract violation and the member worked with the Member Resource Center. Through the grievance process, the member was granted pay for all hours that were assigned to other staff in violation of the contract and over $350 in a payment.

● Members At a Nursing Home Speak Out for Safe Staffing. Members at a Toledo area nursing home recently held a candlelight vigil to speak out for quality care and safe staffing. Members at the facility are often mandated and the long-hours raise safety concerns. Together, members from this nursing home are continuing to speak out and stand together so that they can reach an agreement with management on mandation.

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. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

Member Resource Center Update
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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!”

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

Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses and Technical Workers Cite Substantial Community Support As Contract Negotiations Continue

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For Immediate Release: August 30, 2020
Press Contact: Joyce Gibson, jgibson@seiu1199.org, 304-654-0824.

A new effort is promoting ways that the public can stand with the hospital workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital amid the COVID19 pandemic. Nearly 1,000 individuals have signed up online to say that they support the nurses and technical workers in their Union contract campaign. 

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIANurses and technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital say that support for a fair contract with hospital executives is growing. While the number is increasing,
nearly 1,000 people have signed their names in support of their campaign through an online petition. Additionally, new digital ads and messages from local residents continue to show support from across the region.

In addition to an online petition, residents are sending letters of support to their elected officials. Community members are also posting messages and sharing their solidarity on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

“Local residents are reaching out to politicians at all levels of government to let their representatives know that they stand with these nurses and technical workers,” said Joyce Gibson, Regional Director with SEIU District 1199. “This contract campaign involves over 1,000 workers from all backgrounds who live and work in the community of Huntington,” continued Gibson. “These are our local heroes and they have always been here for the patients they serve. Local residents who are taking action online by posting messages of support on social media and contacting elected officials is meaningful – these workers are members of our families and they are our neighbors. Most importantly, these nurses and technical workers are working on the frontlines in this difficult time but they were also heroes long before this pandemic,” Gibson said.

Nurses and Technical workers state that they continue to call for a fair and equitable contract in addition to standing together for improvements in important areas such as staffing. “These workers appreciate the outpouring of support,” Gibson concluded. Members of the public can find ways to stand with the hospital workers at this link.

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

Register to Vote Online and Request an Absentee Ballot in West Virginia

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General Election Day this year will be on Tuesday, November 3rd. 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 West Virginia, you can register to vote or make updates to your registration online. The deadline to register to vote online in West Virginia is Tuesday, October 13th. Request your ballot as soon as possible. If you want to vote by mail, fill out an absentee ballot application and then submit it to your county clerk as soon as possible.

View this list of candidates that support working people that 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

Tell Congress: Protect All Workers

 Essential Workers Prayers

 

Election Update – Register to Vote Online and Request an Absentee Ballot in Kentucky

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General Election Day this year will be on Tuesday, November 3rd. 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 Kentucky, you can register to vote or make updates to your registration online. The deadline to register to vote online in Kentucky is Monday, October 5th at 4PM. Request your ballot as soon as possible. If you want to vote by mail, you can fill out an absentee ballot application online.

View this list of candidates that support working people that 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

Tell Congress: Protect All Workers

The U.S. House passed the Heroes Act on May 15th but inaction from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Senate republican leaders has left working families of all backgrounds in limbo. At the end of July, full pandemic unemployment assistance expired. Frontline workers are still without hazard pay, no matter what the conditions. Not only that, our public services are at-risk and losing funding.

Write to Congress today about this issue at this link. Union members are standing together to call on politicians and corporations to protect all workers.

In Solidarity,

Becky Williams – President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

 

New Data Shows Many Nursing Homes Have Less Than a Week’s Supply of Personal Protective Equipment as the COVID19 Long-Term Care Crisis Continues

New CMS data shows the potential for further PPE shortages and the ongoing crisis within long-term care facilities in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and across the United States. Union workers and nursing home advocates share their concerns as the COVID19 pandemic continues.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Contact: Anthony Caldwell at (330) 651-2042

COLUMBUS, OHIO – New data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services highlights shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies held by nursing homes across Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The newly released data, which has been reviewed by the American Health Care Association, shows that many nursing home facilities do not have a one-week supply of essential personal protective equipment items, such as N95 masks, surgical masks, and gowns.

“It’s important that nursing home workers have access to personal protective equipment so that they can protect themselves and the residents at the facilities where they work. If nursing home workers contract COVID19 due to shortages or improper PPE, that can put many nursing home workers and residents at-risk and potentially cause further outbreaks,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs with SEIU District 1199.

As detailed by the American Health Care Association, the CMS data, which was released on July 30th shows the following:

• In Ohio, 15% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of N95 masks, 6% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of surgical masks, and 9% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of gowns.
• In West Virginia, 34% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of N95 masks, 32% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of surgical masks, and 33% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of gowns.
• In Kentucky, 10% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of N95 masks, 13% do not have a one-week supply of surgical masks, and 10% do not have a one-week supply of gowns.

In June 2020, a survey by SEIU International, which included members of SEIU District 1199 in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, showed that over 76% of nursing home workers nationwide believe that not enough is being done to ensure access to personal protective equipment. Furthermore, two health care experts recently concluded in the Washington Post on July 28th that nursing home workers now have the most dangerous job in America due to the COVID19 pandemic.

“Nursing home workers put in long hours for low-wages,” said Sheila Hunter, a nursing home worker and member of SEIU District 1199 in Cleveland. “Without the proper protective equipment, nursing home workers aren’t able to protect themselves or the residents that they care for,” Sheila Hunter concluded.

“Even with the proper PPE, health care workers are still at high-risk,” continued Caldwell. “It is possible that the pandemic could worsen and it is certain to continue this fall and winter. Nursing home workers are calling on actors from all levels of government, nursing home operators, and private industry, to work together to ensure that these vital supplies are available,” Caldwell concluded.

Solidarity Newsletter – August 2020

Solidarity News August 2020 ● Member With Youngstown Nursing Home Wins Settlement. A member who worked for a nursing home for over 12 years was terminated. The member contacted the Union, which maintained that this was entirely unreasonable given that the member had only one active disciplinary issue and that this new infraction was common in the workplace. Through the grievance process and working with the Union, the member was able to secure a settlement of $1,000, an agreement by the employer not to contest their application for unemployment compensation, and a neutral reference.

● Bellefaire JCB Members Stand Together For Safety. Members with Bellefaire JCB, a service provider in Cleveland, have been standing together as Union members and co-workers to ensure workplace safety in relation to the current pandemic. Through their Union, these members negotiated a settlement under which Bellefaire JCB will make several important safety improvements, such as re-configuring workspaces.  

● Nurse at Northeast Ohio Hospital Secures Back Pay. An RN worked weekends as a PRN but contacted the Union after realizing that she was not being paid the $5.50 an hour premium pay that was negotiated by members in their contract. The employer agreed to pay her $1,000 for the hours she had worked without full compensation. Additionally, the employer agreed to ensure that all similarly situated PRN nurses would be compensated.

● ResCare Member in West Virginia Returns to Work. A member in West Virginia with a group home in Greenbrier County filed a grievance and as a result, an unjust dismissal was overturned. The member then returned to their same workplace, shift, and pay rate. The member was also issued back pay covering three weeks of work that were missed due to the dismissal.

● Southern Ohio Hospital Member Maintains Proper Status After Filing Grievance. A member had applied for a PRN position but was denied. The member had further inquired about working PRN but was told that no positions were available. Suddenly, many months later, the member was told that they were being moved to PRN status but the member no longer wanted or had an application active for such status. Working with the Union, the member was able to maintain their full-time job status.

 

PPE For Healthcare Workers Now

 PPE Now

 

Social Justice Committee Elections

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

The nomination process for the Social Justice Steering Committee has now closed. A listing with all candidates can be found at this link

All members in good standing, including retiree chapter members, are encouraged to participate and attend the bi-annual Social Justice Activist meetings. If you have questions, please contact me at (216) 246-8772.

In Solidarity,

Samara Knight – Executive Vice President
Civic Engagement and Community Outreach

Standing Together for a Relief Bill for All Working Families

It has been two months since the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act. Working people have been waiting for relief in this crisis. With inaction from U.S. Senate Republicans, pandemic related unemployment assistance is set to expire on July 31st.

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The U.S. Senate Republican proposal is not the rescue package that is needed. That’s why I am encouraging you to call 844-944-1556. When you are connected, ask your U.S. Senator to pass a strong economic relief bill that includes the important measures found within the Heroes Act. Tell your U.S. Senator that pandemic unemployment assistance must be extended.

Workers across Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, have been providing vital services and support in this crisis. Many families have felt the economic distress caused by this pandemic firsthand. It is more important than ever that workers make their voices heard. Together, we will continue to speak out for relief for all working families.

In Solidarity,

Becky Williams – President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Nursing Home Employees Picket Over Staffing Issues in New Martinsville