On behalf of the Officers, staff, and members of our Union, I want to thank you for your dedication to serving and protecting the people of the Great State of Ohio. We know that you do incredible work in difficult conditions every day and this pandemic has only added to the stress and challenge of your daily lives. We are all in this together and our Union will stand with you every step of the way.
Your service to the State of Ohio is also being recognized by Governor DeWine, DRC Director Annette Chambers-Smith, DYS Director Ryan Gies and others in state government. To recognize the added challenges you are facing during these difficult times, the Directors of DRC and DYS announced today that they are signing executive orders to provide hazard pay to DRC and DYS members both inside the institutions as well as to Parole Officers within the Adult Parole Authority.
We have been working with the Directors to raise concerns about your safety, health, and well-being and they deserve to be commended for listening and taking important steps to address our concerns. However, we disagree with the exclusion in DYS’s order to exempt Juvenile Parole Officers and are continuing to raise our concerns at the highest levels.
The hazard pay indicated in today’s Executive Orders (DRC 20-02 and DYS 20-01) are pursuant to OAC 123:1-37-04 (Hazard Pay) and is not in any way connected to, nor does it impact the separate Emergency Pay Stipend provided for in the collective bargaining agreement. This is a completely separate issue that is being processed through the grievance procedure and the hazard supplement provided in the executive order does not impact that in any way.
The amounts of hazard pay are identified below:
- DRC/DYS Institution in RED status, which means that there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or an inmate. This means that a majority of inmate movement stops, and other specific criteria depending on the Warden’s decisions, protocol and the security level of the institution(s). The hazard supplement for RED institutions will be 10%.
- DRC/DYS institutions in ORANGE status, which is a heightened state of awareness and caution but without any confirmed cases of COVID-19. At the current time, all institutions that do not have any confirmed cases are in code ORANGE, this includes all DYS institutions at the current time. The hazard supplement for ORANGE institutions will be 7.5%.
- DRC/DYS institutions in GREEN status, which is a normal functioning institution with little or very limited concern for COVID-19 transmission. The hazard supplement for GREEN institutions will be 5%. There are currently NO institutions in GREEN status.
- The members of the Adult Parole Authority will receive a 7.5% hazard supplement. This is in addition to the current 5% risk supplement provided in the contract. This is again, specific to the OAC provision and does not impact or change any contractually provided benefit.
The OAC specifies the level of hazard pay supplement as follows:
- Unusual hazard condition 5%
- Considerable hazard condition 7 1/2%
- Exceptional hazard condition 10%
The hazard pay will be retroactive back to April 1st, 2020 and will remain in effect so long as our as the State of Emergency is in effect.
While we sincerely appreciate the Directors’ leadership on this significant increase in the pay for our Union members, we must continue to work together to secure increased wages, enhanced benefits, and improved protections for our membership within DRC, DYS, and all state agencies. The Directors of the other agencies within state government should follow the lead of these state agency leaders on this important issue.
Our SEIU/1199 Leadership Team will continue to work with the Office of Collective Bargaining, the Department of Administrative Services and all state agencies to negotiate and explore further job protections, benefits, and communicate all concerns to the appropriate agencies. As always, we will do our very best to address each and every member’s concern during this unprecedented time. We will emerge from this crisis Stronger Together.
Stay strong, stay united, stay home, stay UNION.
Joshua D. Norris
Executive Vice President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH