State Chapter Newsletter — April

State Chapter Newsletter● Union Negotiations Update. The member-led bargaining committee has been diligently working to collaborate and prepare for bargaining. We expect to start bargaining with the State of Ohio in the next few weeks. To keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming contract negotiations advance we are asking all state bargaining unit members to submit updated personal email addresses and contact information online

● State of Ohio Member Receives Settlement Check for Over $70,000. A member with the State of Ohio was terminated in 2017. In January 2019, an arbitrator ruled that the dismissal was improper and that the member should be reinstated with back pay. Though the member returned to work, the State of Ohio continued to deny the award that was issued. In 2021, after many arguments and just prior to moving to an arbitration hearing to determine the amount owed, a final settlement was reached and the member received a check for over $70,000. This is a small sample of the power of being a Union member and solidarity. Without her Union this member might never have been returned to work, let alone received the back pay she so rightfully deserved.

● Delegate Trainings for Member Leaders. A very successful delegate training was held in March with 25 delegates from the State of Ohio chapter. An intermediate delegate training will be held on May 26th, in addition to an advanced delegate training on July 21st. These trainings provide the tools needed to stand with co-workers and ensure the Union contract is followed. Delegates are a crucial part of the foundation of your Union and ensure that members have leaders at their work sites. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a delegate have them contact their Administrative Organizer for more details on how to become a leader in your chapter.

● Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund (EDF) for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. Additionally, $88,149.07 was left remaining at the end of FY20, which rolled over. As of March 27th, 31% of the balance remains available for reimbursement. Funding for the Educational Development Fund was negotiated by member leaders as a part of your collective bargaining agreement. 

● The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. When approached about concessions by the State of Ohio during the pandemic, your elected leaders and member leaders of SEIU District 1199 refused to allow the contract to be opened and maintained the negotiated increases and protections for 2020. Though non-Union workers were forced to accept cuts, the Union protected the contract and preserved all the contractual rights and benefits contained. This is another small example of how the power of membership and solidarity work together to protect your hard fought benefits and contractual protections. Unions make everyone stronger and standing together is the only path forward. United we stand, divided we beg.

All bargaining unit members can easily sign a membership card online. By signing a membership card, new members are sending a firm signal to the State of Ohio that they are willing to stand united for improvements in their contract and will not sit idly by while their livelihoods and protections are attacked and devalued. Sign a membership card online to become a member today.

If you are already a member, add your name to the state chapter member bargaining pledge to say that you stand united with fellow members and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach a fair contract as negotiations progress

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing our 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. Send a message to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and ask him to honor the contract and grant the emergency pay that was mutually agreed upon. We will continue to keep you updated as this grievance moves through the process. 

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, Ohio.

Member Resource Center – State of Ohio Chapter
The Member Resource Center has provided assistance to a substantial number of members with the State of Ohio. Members have stood with their co-workers to win grievances, which relate to workplace health and safety, protection of the public, and fundamental fairness, among other issues. Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!

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