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Solidarity Newsletter – February

Solidarity Newsletter 2.20.20
Member News and Grievance Victories
● Ohio ResCare Member Granted Mileage Reimbursement. A member with ResCare in Wood County, Ohio, was not reimbursed for mileage and expenses. Working with the Union, the member was issued a payment for $400 but was still not made whole. Standing together, the grievance has been resolved and an additional $150 payment was granted. 

● Discipline Against Mercy Allen Hospital Member Reduced. A member in Oberlin, Ohio, assisted another member with accessing workplace benefits. The member had worked for the hospital for 20 years and is a highly dedicated employee but had used a work computer to help a fellow co-worker outside of work time. The Union and member successfully argued that the discipline was unduly harsh and it was reduced to a “documented counseling,” which is not a formal form of discipline.

● Ohio Nursing Home Member Issued Settlement After Dispute. A member who worked for an Ohio nursing home was terminated after a disagreement. The member filed a grievance and reached a settlement that included being paid compensation for all unpaid PTO and sick time.

● Ohio Nurse Works With Union to Successfully Address Scheduling. A nurse with Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Ohio, works weekend shifts only. However, recently, the member was assigned to work on holidays that did not fall on the weekend. The Union advised that this was a contract violation and after this was raised with management, the scheduling issue was resolved.

● West Virginia Healthcare Member Secures Retroactive Pay. A ResCare member in Mineral County, West Virginia, was supposed to receive a wage increase in 2018 but the increase was not issued. The member had worked significant overtime and hours over the relevant period and worked with the Union to file a grievance after the employer recognized the wage increase but did not offer back pay. In a successful outcome, the member was issued $900 in retroactive pay. 

Member Resource Center Update
MRC Register
The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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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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Mercy Springfield Members Unite to Ratify Contract With Path to $15

Congratulations to all members with Springfield Regional Medical Center. A new contract was ratified last week that includes substantial wage increases for the bargaining unit, including a path to a $15 by 2022. Members will move immediately to $13 an hour, which may equate to a substantial raise.

Below are some of the new terms of the no-concessions contract

A $15 an hour minimum wage for all members by 2022
Annual wage increases for workers who already make $15/hr (and above) 
Language that will give members a personal day, in addition to current PTO time
A new $1 an hour premium for environmental services members 
Non-discrimination language that will protect workers in several areas 
Reimbursement for ServSafe Training for nutrition services members
A simplified 2-step grievance procedure 

Congratulations to the member bargaining team for standing united to bargain this new contract. We are stronger together. 

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JFSA Union Members Ratify Contract With Better Terms

Members with the Jewish Family Services Association of Cleveland work as direct support workers, home care aides, and in other important roles. Today, members ratified a no-concessions contract. From wages to health insurance, the contract includes beneficial contract terms and improvements in several areas. 

The contract includes the following terms

• Health Insurance Rate Reduction. The contract ensures reduced health insurance rates, which was very important for members of the bargaining unit. 
• Health Insurance Waiting Period. The contract also provides for enrollment in health insurance after 60 days of employment, instead of 90 days, which was the language under the previous contract. 
• Union orientation.
The new hire orientation program will now include union orientation, which will help ensure that the bargaining unit remains strong. 
• Wage Increases.
Members will receive wage increases for all classifications in each year of the agreement. The starting rate for home health aides will increase immediately by $1.25 an hour. Over the three year agreement, the starting rate for home health aide II positions will increase by $1.74 per hour. Workers in the home health aide II position will receive an immediate raise of up to $1.50 if below the new starting rate. Direct support workers will also receive an immediate raise of up to $1.25 an hour raise if below the new starting rate. 

Congratulations to the bargaining committee and members with the Jewish Family Services Association of Cleveland. We are stronger together. 

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We Rise – Update Your Membership

An updated membership helps to ensure that our chapters and Union remain strong. We are stronger together.

Sign a Membership Card
The membership form is available online.  Membership also provides access to the Union’s benefit programs, a free community college benefit, an annual scholarship program, and more. 

Visit the membership form online to submit a new membership or update/renew. 

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Texas v. Azar: Lives At-Risk as Court Refers ACA Case for Review

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SEIU District 1199 Staff Give Back and Issue Donations

SEIU District 1199 staff recently approved holiday donations to charities across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. The funding for these donations was gathered through voluntary staff contributions. 

Donations are being issued to the following organizations and causes:

• $1,000 to Genesis House Domestic Violence Shelter: Lorain, Ohio
• $1,000 to Turning Point Domestic Violence Services: Prestonsburg, Kentucky 
• $1,000 to the West Virginia Women’s Resource Center: Beckley, West Virginia
• $200 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank: Cleveland, Ohio
• $200 to the God’s Pantry Food Bank of Kentucky 
 $200 to the Northwestern Ohio Food Bank: Toledo, Ohio
• $200 to the Mahoning Valley Second Harvest Foodbank: Youngstown, Ohio
• $200 to the Akron-Canton Foodbank: Akron, Ohio
• $1,000 to the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, Ohio
 $1,000 to the Central Ohio Worker Center: Columbus, Ohio 

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Solidarity News – December 2019

Solidarity Newsletter Cleveland Community School District Member Wins Grievance Over Work Distribution. A member with the CMSD was having difficulty at work with the way assignments were being distributed in regards to heavy shipments of frozen food items. She worked with the Union to file a grievance. As a result of the grievance, the school district agreed to follow up with the area supervisor and affected employees to make sure that work was distributed equally.

Dedicated Member With ResCare in West Virginia Returns to Work. A member in Kanawha County who works for ResCare (“BrightSpring”) believed he had been improperly terminated and worked with the Union to file a grievance. Through this process, the member was awarded his job back. He received 5 weeks of back pay and restoration of PTO time and seniority.

Job Dismissal Overturned After Grievance. A highly dedicated member had worked for a hospital in Southern Ohio for nearly 20 years. The member was dismissed from their position due to a claim of absenteeism and tardiness. Through the grievance process, the member showed that the absences were due to circumstances that fit within an exception in the attendance policy. 

Member With St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Receives Settlement. A member with St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland was dismissed. While Ohio is generally an “at-will” employment state, the Union contract meant that the employer had to show “just cause.” Though the Union was prepared to take the case to mediation, the employer proposed a $3,000 settlement, which was mutually agreeable to both parties.

Mercy Regional Medical Center Member Awarded Full-Time Position. A member with MRMC in Lorain, Ohio, had been working full-time hours as a PRN for three years with no benefits or offer for a full-time position. The member worked with the Union to file a grievance and was quickly hired into a full-time position in a favorable outcome. 

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. Last month, Union Plus announced a new college program with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio, which is a benefit available for members and eligible family members. For details visit: seiu1199.org/mrc/your-benefits-as-a-member

Member Resource Center Update
The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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