State Newsletter – February 2020

State Newsletter

State of Ohio – Union Chapter News
● Update on Proposed OPERS Pension Plan Cuts. Last month, the OPERS Board of Trustees voted to approve cuts to retiree healthcare. The OPERS Board of Trustees has also proposed a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment freeze for current retirees in 2022-2023 and for new retirees in the first two years after they retire. While retiree healthcare changes do not require legislative approval, changes to the COLA must be passed through the legislative process. Additionally, a bi-partisan group of legislators is preparing to propose bills that would bring further oversight to the pension system. We are following these developments and will keep members up to date. Contact OPERS about these changes through the form on this page.   

● 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 January 4th, 32% of the budget and $249,616.67 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.

● State Member at the Department of Health Settles Overtime Grievance. A member with the Ohio Department of Health had her schedule change suddenly. In a successful outcome, the scheduling changes were classified as voluntary overtime, which means that such hours will count against mandatory overtime at a later time.

● State Member Successfully Appeals Fine. A member with the ODRC was fined relating to a patient care issue, which the member believed was beyond their capacity and control. After filing a grievance, the employer agreed to reduce the issue to corrective counseling, which is not a formal form of discipline and return the money from the fine.

● State Parole Officers Challenge Reprimand. A group of dedicated members with the Adult Parole Authority stood together to challenge a reprimand that they believed was unfounded. In a settlement, the employer agreed to remove such reprimands earlier than contractually obligated. 

● State Nurse Wins Grievance Relating to Mandation. A nurse with the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs stood with his delegate to file a grievance. The nurse was mandated to work, however, the employer did not properly canvass for those who could work overtime and offer such overtime in line with seniority as prescribed by the contract.

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 or on campus in Youngstown or Steubenville. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new college program with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio. For details visit: seiu1199.org/mrc/your-benefits-as-a-member

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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