State Chapter Newsletter – April

photoState of Ohio – Union Chapter News
● Keeping Ohio Moving Forward Photo Campaign. We are asking state chapter members to take a selfie photo with the title “Keeping Ohio Moving Forward.” Please share a photo highlighting your work and include a message of inspiration or hope. We plan to use these photos to honor the work of members in this crisis. Details on this project are available at this link. You can always take the selfie at home if you work in a location where phones are prohibited, as we want all members to have an opportunity to be recognized for the work that you do as a part of the solution to this crisis.

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has 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, you continue to protect and serve the public each day. We will keep you updated as the grievance moves through the process.

● Hazardous Duty Pay Supplement. Governor DeWine announced last week that members with the Department of Youth Services, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and Adult Parole Authority, will receive a hazardous duty pay supplement, which will be retroactive back to April 1st and continue while we are in emergency status. Full details on the pay supplement are available here. The hazardous duty pay supplement is contractually different from the emergency pay stipend, which is outlined under Article 35 of the CBA. This was NOT negotiated with the Union and implementation is being done solely by these agencies. These supplements are provided in the Ohio Administrative Code and not the CBA.

The state has taken this action, in violation of the ORC chapter 4117, unilaterally and without negotiation with the Union, as would have been proper. The Union is collaborating with other unions that represent members with the State of Ohio and we will be filing an unfair labor practice regarding this unilateral action by the state. This is not because the hazard pay is unwarranted but because the legal obligation to negotiate is not absolved during this time. If these agencies are permitted to make decisions and enact provisions with regard to your pay, they will surely not stop here.

● Recent Chapter Votes. Members recently voted in favor of letters of agreement to provide for additional pay in sick leave above the 70% after the first 36 hours for any member dealing with a COVID-19 situation. Members with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have also voted on allowing members to work in institutions if the need would arise, the hiring of intermittent employees to help with the need for staff if we get to that point, and a leave pool donation for ODRC members. ODRC members also passed an LOA to allow CNP’s and PA’s work voluntary overtime hours as RN’s to assist with limiting mandatory overtime.

All of these agreements were passed by an overwhelming vote of the membership. Thank you for your timely responses. As we continue to work with the State of Ohio we will continue to bring any changes to you, the membership, to vote democratically as we do with all contractual changes. Thank you again for your responses, participation, and support.

● Educational Development Fund Update. Last July 1st, the Educational Development Fund for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. As of April 11th, 27% of the budget, which totals $207,604.39, remains 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 due to the fact that in previous years the fund had been depleted far in advance of the July 1st renewal date.

● Protecting Yourselves, the Public, and Each Other. Thank you for all that you do and we ask that you continue to do everything you can to keep yourselves and all of us safe. Thank you for your sense of duty and safety and for doing so much to protect yourselves, your families, your coworkers, and everyone during this time of crisis. We will emerge from this crisis stronger together.

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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