Sisters and Brothers of the State of Ohio Chapter of SEIU District 1199,
Earlier this week, the State of Ohio declared a state of emergency. We are proud to represent workers that provide services to the public both in normal times and during times such as these. We have been in contact with many state workers who are having work difficulties in regards to COVID-19. We are working to coordinate efforts with the State of Ohio and to help make sure that you remain protected at work during this time.
We have taken several pro-active steps:
1. We have filed a class action grievance for every member citing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) language Article 35, Emergencies. We believe that the current state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine falls well within the intent of this language and that all members who work during this declared emergency are entitled to the $8 per hour stipend referenced in the CBA. While many of our fellow citizens engage in critically important steps such as staying home, teleworking, and social distancing, it is YOU who continue to protect and serve the public each day.
2. We are aware that numerous agencies are conducting screenings of employees at entry and are sending members home who present with even the slightest of symptoms; some of which are not related to the diagnosis of COVID-19 as they are the result of other health conditions. We have created an information sheet that we are asking any member who is sent home as a result of this to complete. You can return the form to the Union’s Member Resource Center so that we can compile a complete list of everyone impacted.
3. We have notified the office of collective bargaining that we are aware of the seriousness and difficulties that this emergency has caused. That being said, we also have maintained and reminded them that while this is a serious and unprecedented time in our history, the contract remains in full force and effect and that we are more than willing to sit down and discuss solutions to these issues, but we will not allow our members rights and CBA to be ignored and disregarded. We have requested dates and times to discuss the issues we have identified above and others as they come to our attention, as we want to be part of the solution to this emergency.
Please stay strong and vigilant during these unprecedented times. Know that your Union is doing everything we can to provide real time updates and information. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Joshua D. Norris – Executive Vice President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH