Solidarity Newsletter – October 2019
Member News and Grievance Victories
● Hudson Elms Member Successfully Appeals Suspension. A member with the Hudson Elms nursing home in Hudson, Ohio, was wrongfully suspended. The member contacted their Executive Board Member and the Union to file a grievance. Showing the power of standing together, the suspension was overturned and the member returned to work with back pay.
● Favorable Arbitration Ruling for Cabell Huntington Hospital Member. A dedicated member and healthcare worker in Huntington, West Virginia, recently returned to work with full back pay and compensation, after being improperly terminated two years ago.
● Member at Cleveland Healthcare Facility Back at Work. A member in Cleveland who worked for Morrison Community Living, a contractor for Judson Manor, had been on the job for 19 years before being terminated. Over the summer, his co-workers greeted him enthusiastically after he returned to work after almost 7 months off. The member was terminated without a fair and impartial review, especially given his spotless work record and years of service. Standing with the Union, the member received full back pay and compensation for denied benefits.
● Nursing Home Member Negotiates Settlement. A member with a facility in Ohio believed they had been wrongfully terminated. The member worked with their delegate and the Union to file a grievance. The employer agreed to grant compensation and a neutral letter of reference.
● Grievance by Member in West Virginia Results in Additional Staffing. A dedicated 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 result, administrators took quick action and placed two job postings for the unit.
● Member With Cleveland School District Negotiates Settlement After Grievance Over Overtime. A member with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District worked with the Union to file a grievance, which had a successful outcome. In a settlement, CMSD agreed to make an extra effort to contact members to ensure that they would be notified for overtime opportunities.
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!”
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BrightSpring ResCare Bargaining Update and Member Newsletter
The Bargaining Committee and BrightSpring Members Stand United
We are stronger together. Over the last year, Union members with BrightSpring “ResCare” have stood together to win countless grievances, provide the best possible client care, and defend the contract.
We are also in the middle of a very important bargaining campaign – it is critical that we stand together and support the negotiating committee. We have already fought back successfully against proposed concessions from management in several areas. The member negotiating committee heads back to the table on October 1st and October 2nd to continue with economics, such as wages, insurance, mileage, and vacation time.
We need members to wear purple each Friday. Text photos of your work groups showing solidarity to Administrative Organizer Greg Haddox at (740) 606 – 0772.
Bargaining Update for BrightSpring “ResCare” Members
• The Union has proposed a living wage with a path to $15 and is holding firm.
• The Company has agreed to give the Union a 30-day notice if it intends to subcontract and provide the name and contact information for the subcontractor.
• The Union has rejected the company’s full economic package that only includes a $0.25 increase for Ohio workers and a 1% increase for West Virginia workers. The company has also proposed a starting rate of $9.15 an hour with benefits or $9.65 with PILOB. The Union still has increases for shift and weekend differentials, and medication delegation, on the table.
• The Union fought back and maintained current language in regards to recognition.
• The Union won an increase in the time for Union orientation from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
• The Union fought back to maintain the 90 day probationary period. The employer wanted 180 days.
• The Union fought back and successfully maintained our health and safety language.
• The Union fought back to keep organizer access with 24 hour notice to facilities and 48 hour notice for meeting space at core offices.
• Wages and other economic benefits are on the table for the next session. Management wants to take away your legal right to file claims against them in court over civil rights, discrimination, and all other protected rights and wants you to grieve and arbitrate these issues. The Union is fighting back.
SEIU Members & Appalachian Regional Healthcare Reach Agreement on Highlands Regional Medical Center
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.
Membership Meeting in Huntington
Regional Membership Meeting in Huntington on August 14th.
Leadership & Delegate Training on July 20th
There will be a leadership and delegate training in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, on July 20th, 2019. All delegates, executive board members, grievance chairs, and general members, are invited attend this training on how to make our Union stronger.
What: Leadership and Delegate Training.
When: Saturday, July 20th, From 10 AM to 4 PM.
Where: The training will be held at the Quality Inn located at 1887 Highway 23 in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.
Registration for this training is now closed. Questions? You can always call the Member Resource Center at 877-419-7348.
BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Member Wins Grievance Over Unjust Job Dismissal
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.
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH Scholarship Program
Who is eligible?
All SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH members in good standing and their immediate family members are eligible.
What are the requirements?
You must have been accepted or currently enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year educational institution or technical school and actively enrolled in a degree, post bachelor’s degree or certification program.
You must be enrolled for a minimum of five (5) credit hours in a course required or related to the degree or certification.
You and your immediate family member(s) are eligible if you have been a member in good standing of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH for at least two years prior to the application deadline.
How do I apply?
Complete scholarship eligibility criteria, requirements and applications are available here:
• SEIU 1199 Scholarship Form
• SEIU 1199 Scholarship FAQ
Members may also obtain an application packet including eligibility criteria information and an application by calling the Member Resource Center hotline at 1-877-419-SEIU (7348).
This program is now closed for 2019. The application process will re-open on June 1, 2020.
• Scholarship Recipient List For 2018
• Update/Renew Your Membership
Applications may submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH
Member Resource Center
1395 Dublin Road
Columbus, Ohio 43215
BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Newsletter
We are stronger together. Over the last year, members with BrightSpring (“ResCare”) have stood together to win countless grievances, provide the best possible client care, and defend the contract. We are currently working on and in the middle of this year’s contract negotiations for BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Homecare, in addition to the master contract.
As we are in full-swing with our bargaining campaign, it is important we stand together and support the negotiations committee. Congratulations to all elected committee members!
The third step of our 6-month bargaining campaign will include meeting and training the newly elected committee. This training will take place on April 4, 2019 beginning at 10am. The location for the training is at the Comfort Suites (167 Elizabeth Pike, Mineral Wells, West Virginia).
If you are listed as part of the committee please go ahead and request this day off of work so you can attend. Please watch your email and/or text for upcoming announcements on events. If you have received this notice through U.S.P.S. or if your contact information has changed, please call the Member Resource Center with your email address and/or cell phone number as soon as possible to ensure that you are receiving the latest updates.
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.
If you believe your contract is being violated at work, do not hesitate to contact the Member Resource Center.
Issued by the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Chapter Bargaining Committee.
Member Leader Training in West Virginia and Ohio
A training for Delegates and Member Strength Coordinators will be held on April 6th, 2019. The meeting will also include new member orientation and will be held at several locations across West Virginia and Ohio. Registration and further details are available here.
Members Lobby at the West Virginia Capitol to Protect Medicaid & Fund Senior Programs
Members of SEIU District 1199 are at the West Virginia Capitol today for our Lobby Day of Action. The West Virginia Legislature is expected to close out their annual session soon.
Workers are asking their representatives to stand against “work requirements” for Medicaid if reintroduced. They are also asking legislators to support critical funding for senior programs (HB 2625), fiscal support for hot and cold food trucks, and an increase in the senior meal reimbursement rate. These areas of public policy are all important to working families.
We are also encouraging members of the public to contact their legislators to ask them to protect Medicaid without work requirements. From “right-to-work” to other anti-Union attacks, working people in West Virginia have faced many challenges. We must speak out and stand together.
Huntington Health and Rehabilitation Members Unite for New Contract
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.
Protect Medicaid Coverage Without Bureaucracy in West Virginia
Last week, House Bill 3136, was introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates. This legislation would mean the loss of critical Medicaid coverage for individuals across West Virginia. Work requirements could immediately impact 95,000 West Virginians who do not have enough hours or are unemployed.
Medicaid work requirements create unnecessary government bureaucracy and make it harder for working people to stay healthy and find work. Communities across West Virginia have faced difficulty and such requirements will limit access to care for many who are already vulnerable. Work requirements would also be a major setback as the state battles an opioid crisis.
Contact your legislators about the importance of vital coverage provided by Medicaid without burdensome requirements.
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.
[A staff member] 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!”
West Virginia Purple Power Lobby Day
On Tuesday, March 5th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, members of SEIU District 1199 will meet for a Purple Power Lobby Day of Action at the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia.
West Virginia Lobby Day Flyer
West Virginia Lobby Day Facebook Event Page
FREE Parking & Shuttle Service. We will meet on the 2nd level of the rotunda. All members/guests are encouraged to park at Laidley Field located at 200 Elizabeth Street in Charleston, WV 25311. Free shuttle bus service will take you to and from the East Wing entrance to the Main Capitol Building.
There are three easy ways to register. When you register please identify that you are attending the West Virginia Lobby Day of Action. Register online at seiu1199.org/MRC, over the phone by calling 1-877-419-7348 or email by sending a message to MRC@seiu1199.org.