State of Ohio – Union Chapter News
● Adult Parole Authority. Final passage of the State of Ohio’s Operating Budget for FY20 – FY21 included good news for communities across Ohio. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction had initially proposed forcing some counties that receive services from the state to start their own probation departments. Counties would have been offered temporary grants without a guarantee of future funding. Ohio’s parole offers work each day to keep the public safe and the proposal risked creating an unfunded mandate and could have jeopardized public safety. The final version of the budget significantly scaled back the proposal and the APA has committed in writing that there will be no parole officer layoffs and officers will not be required to relocate.
● State Member Back at Work After Termination Set Aside. A dedicated member was terminated from employment with the state. After contacting the Member Resource Center, his grievance went to mediation and the state agreed to return the member to their position with a time served suspension and restoration of seniority.
● Major Class Action Settlement on Behalf of Doctors with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Four female psychiatrists came forward after learning of significant pay discrepancies among fellow doctors within their agency. Specifically, there was documentation that male doctors with less longevity were receiving higher pay. Through this grievance, the Union thoroughly reviewed supplemental pay for physicians at the agency and found that established guidelines for determining pay lacked transparency and needed additional standards. Under a settlement, the doctors will receive wage increases, which total $85,000 over the course of their current contract. The Union is now in the process of negotiating a transparent and non-discriminatory wage determination process.
● Educational Development Fund. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund for members with SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. This fund was negotiated as a part of the contract and allows reimbursement for approved training and educational expenses. In 2018, members negotiated a substantial increase in funding for the Educational Development Fund as a part of the current contract. The Union will provide regular updates on the balance of the fund as the fiscal year continues.
● State Grants Proper Compensation After Grievance. A member needed to use emergency leave in a situation protected by the contract. The state contract dictated that the member should have been paid at 100% for certain related hours. However, the member was only paid at 70% and contacted the Member Resource Center. In a favorable outcome, the State of Ohio agreed to pay the full amount and issued the payment
● State Nurse Successfully Defeats Written Reprimand. A nurse with the State of Ohio received a written reprimand, which they believed to be unjust. The nurse contacted the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. In a settlement, the state agreed to remove the reprimand early. The reprimand was only active for about a month total, instead of the standard two years.
● Member Awarded Comp Time After Improper Denial. A State of Ohio member with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction used comp time to attend a hearing regarding a worker’s compensation claim. While use of the time was allowed, it was improperly denied. The member contacted the Union and received the proper payment after filing a grievance.
SEIU District 1199 Scholarship Program
Members of SEIU District 1199 and their immediate family members have until September 1st, to apply for the scholarship program this year. Eligible members must be in good standing and have been a member for at least two years. The scholarship program is open to applications for those who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in an accredited two or four year educational institution or technical school and a degree, post bachelor’s degree or certification program. Eighteen $1,000 scholarships are available for members who reside in Ohio.
SEIU District 1199 Union Member Benefits Program
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 Membership Card.
SEIU Member Benefits has also partnered with Eastern Gateway Community College, which is a part of the University of Ohio System, to offer a free college benefit. Additional details on member benefits are available here.
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!”