State of Ohio – Union Chapter News
• Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund for members of 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.
• Successful Training Events Held for State Members. In August, intermediate and advanced delegate trainings were held at the SEIU District 1199 office in Columbus. Over 50 state delegates attended the two trainings on how to further stand with their co-workers. The Advanced Delegate Training held on August 28th is pictured above.
• State Nurses Win Class Action Grievance. A group of nurses with the State of Ohio recently won a class action grievance with a favorable ruling from an arbitrator. The nurses had been asked to transfer bio-hazards to the basement of their workplace when other means of disposal were not available. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the nurses, as contract language is clear that the proper role for such state nurses is limited to the provision of healthcare services. The Arbitrator said in his decision “…in the absence of irregular or unusual circumstances requiring RNs to remove other bio-hazardous waste (other than sharps), regardless of its accumulation rate and existing need for removal, is in violate of Section 42.04 of the Agreement and the Employer is directed to cease this specific requirement of RNs and to develop a viable alternative to the removal.”
• State Member Reimbursed $1,500 After Successful Grievance. A state member took a $1,500 course for the benefit of their work on behalf of the public. The member submitted the expense for reimbursement from the Educational Development Fund, which was negotiated as a part of the Union contract. Although the expense qualified for reimbursement, due to various factors, the request was denied by the Department of Administrative Services. With assistance from the Union and research by staff with the Member Resource Center, the member filed a grievance. The Department of Administrative Services then approved the reimbursement request.
• Member With The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Successfully Appeals Fine. A member with the State of Ohio’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction carried out a work assignment in good faith but was issued a 2-day fine for allegedly using poor judgement. The member contacted the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. As a result, the member successfully appealed the 2-day fine and the discipline will also expire a year early.
• State of Ohio Nurse Issued Overtime Opportunities After Grievance. A nurse with the State of Ohio was improperly passed over for overtime opportunities on more than one occasion. The member worked with their delegate to file a grievance. As a result of the grievance, the State of Ohio agreed to make the member whole for the lost overtime.
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 WV/KY/OH 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.
Member Resource Center Update – 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!”