State Chapter Newsletter — February

Febraury 2021

● COVID19 Vaccinations. As you may know, SEIU is reminding all workers that they may want to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and has adopted 7 principals for the vaccination effort. The vaccines that are available will help make sure that all workers are protected. Together, we will work to bring an end to the pandemic.

● Chapter Update. The pandemic has dramatically impacted many members with the State of Ohio and countless workers have fallen ill with COVID19. Many members with the State of Ohio DRC and now DYS have also lost a co-worker or co-workers. Working together with member leaders, we have spoken out for additional personal protective equipment and safety measures as COVID19 has spread through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction system, as well as other workplaces where members are represented with the State of Ohio. The Union has also emphasized the importance of work-from-home status for as many members as possible. While we recognize that this is an impossibility for many members, we believe that those members who are able to do so, should be able to continue to work remotely.

● American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan would provide hundreds of billions of dollars for states, schools, and local governments. This funding is vital for public services and employers where members work. Send a message to your legislators about this important recovery plan

● Union Negotiations. Our Union sisters and brothers with OCSEA have already started bargaining. 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. The member-led negotiating committee will meet again in February to confirm our preparations. 

● The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. We have heard reports that underscore the need to stand strong together and united for upcoming negotiations. Non-Union employees with the State of Ohio have already been forced to accept concessions with no recourse. Recent events show that bureaucrats with the State of Ohio will continue to try to balance the budget on the backs of us, the working class workers, even while many are on the frontlines in this crisis. If you or someone you know has not yet completed their membership application, know that they 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, devalued, and stripped away.

● 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 the grievance moves through the process. The State of Ohio has not provided available dates as of yet for this grievance to be heard.

● 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 January 16th, 33% 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 and is just one example of how your Union negotiates benefits for your collective good. 

● State of Ohio DRC Member Granted Retroactive Pay. A member with the State of Ohio received incorrect information from human resources regarding how to take leave, which led to an improper loss of leave time. The member worked with the Union to file a grievance and was reimbursed. Additionally, the member was granted a week of additional pay to compensate for costs that were incurred. 

SEIU 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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