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State of Ohio Chapter Newsletter

State Newsletter September 2019 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
Member Benefits Small
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

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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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2019 Work & Wages Conference Recap

SEIU Members from District 1199 WV/KY/OH, Local 1 and the Chicago Regional Joint Board of Workers United joined over 100 people gathered in Cleveland for the “Which Side Are You On: Cleveland Work and Wages Conference” hosted by Policy Matters Ohio on Friday, August 23rd.

Lynn Radcliffe, SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH Retiree Executive Board Member, kicked off the conference telling the crowd that Unions for All is the best way to build an economy and a democracy that works for everyone.

“Our Union is out there every day fighting for better wages and working conditions for all workers,” said Radcliffe. “And that goes beyond the walls of our Union shops and pages of our contracts, we are also fighting for our community because we are the community.”

Lynn’s words were reverberated throughout the day with many speakers and panelists echoing our call for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and a union for all working people—Black, white, and brown—and to work together to hold politicians accountable.

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BrightSpring ResCare Bargaining Update and Member Newsletter

ResCare Bargaining Update 9.4.19
The Bargaining Committee and BrightSpring Members Stand United

We are stronger together. Over the last year, Union members with BrightSpring “ResCare” have stood together to win countless grievances, provide the best possible client care, and defend the contract.

We are also in the middle of a very important bargaining campaign – it is critical that we stand together and support the negotiating committee. We have already fought back successfully against proposed concessions from management in several areas. The member negotiating committee heads back to the table on October 1st and October 2nd to continue with economics, such as wages, insurance, mileage, and vacation time.

We need members to wear purple each Friday. Text photos of your work groups showing solidarity to Administrative Organizer Greg Haddox at (740) 606 – 0772.

Bargaining Update for BrightSpring “ResCare” Members

• The Union has proposed a living wage with a path to $15 and is holding firm.

• The Company has agreed to give the Union a 30-day notice if it intends to subcontract and provide the name and contact information for the subcontractor.

• The Union has rejected the company’s full economic package that only includes a $0.25 increase for Ohio workers and a 1% increase for West Virginia workers. The company has also proposed a starting rate of $9.15 an hour with benefits or $9.65 with PILOB. The Union still has increases for shift and  weekend differentials, and medication delegation, on the table.

• The Union fought back and maintained current language in regards to recognition.

• The Union won an increase in the time for Union orientation from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

• The Union fought back to maintain the 90 day probationary period. The employer wanted 180 days.

• The Union fought back and successfully maintained our health and safety language.

• The Union fought back to keep organizer access with 24 hour notice to facilities and 48 hour notice for meeting space at core offices.

• Wages and other economic benefits are on the table for the next session. Management wants to take away your legal right to file claims against them in court over civil rights, discrimination, and all other protected rights and wants you to grieve and arbitrate these issues. The Union is fighting back.

SEIU District 1199 Member Resource Center

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BrightSpring (“ResCare”) members with SEIU District 1199 work hard to provide quality care. Standing together, members regularly win back pay, advocate for quality care, and work to uphold the contract.

If you are having an issue at work and believe the contract is being violated, contact the Member Resource Center. Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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SEIU Members & Appalachian Regional Healthcare Reach Agreement on Highlands Regional Medical Center

PRESTONSBURG, KENTUCKY – SEIU District 1199 and Appalachian Regional Healthcare have collaboratively reached a recognition and contract assumption agreement for Union members who work at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. SEIU District 1199 represents over 250 workers with Highlands Regional Medical Center and has represented members at the hospital since the 1980’s. As of August 1, Highlands Regional Medical Center is now a part of the ARH system.

While the full details of the agreement are confidential, the parties worked hard to ensure that a fair and equitable agreement was reached. The agreement offers improved healthcare coverage for bargaining unit members at the hospital with 100% paid in-network coverage. The agreement also recognizes the seniority of the hospital’s dedicated unionized employees and will carry-over accrued personal time, sick leave, and vacation time.

“This agreement will reward the hard work our members do, and it shows that negotiations conducted in good faith can lead to a contract that is beneficial for workers, the hospital, and the community,” said Joyce Gibson, West Virginia and Kentucky Healthcare Division Director for the Service Employees International Union District 1199.  “By standing together, our members were able to improve benefits, provide union security and preserve quality care and services for our patients and visitors. We thank Appalachian Regional Healthcare for their commitment to this important hospital and the provision of quality care.”

CONTACT | Joyce Gibson, West Virginia / Kentucky Healthcare Division Director for the Service Employees International Union District 1199 | Phone: 877-419-7348.

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SEIU Members Endorse Levy for The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County

This week, members of SEIU District 1199 voted to endorse renewing the library levy for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. The levy will be on the November 2019 ballot and is needed to maintain services.

In 2018 alone, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County had 952,262 individual visits and staff answered 252,916 reference questions. This 5-year renewal levy would not increase taxes, as an existing 2.4 mill property tax levy is set to expire at the end of 2019. There has been a union presence with this library system for decades. 

Public libraries make our communities stronger. We are encouraging all local voters to support this levy renewal in November.  

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One Cleveland Rally for $15 and a Union (Photos)

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We Rise – Update Your Membership in 2019

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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State Chapter Newsletter – July 2019

State Chapter Newsletter 7.1.19
State of Ohio – Union Chapter News

New State Contract Books. The State contracts have arrived and the Administrative Organizers are working to get them to your delegates, agencies, and institutions.  Last fall, State of Ohio members united to negotiate and ratify a strong state contract, which granted annual wage increases of 2.75% (2018), 2.75% (2019), and 3.00% (2020). The contract also increased tuition reimbursement by $200,000, protected health insurance costs, boosted the equipment allowance for Adult Parole Authority members, and gave 22 hours of compensatory time as a bonus for full time members. New contract books have been ordered and will be available soon.

Adult Parole Authority Lobby Day. In April, members with the Adult Parole Authority held a lobby day at the Ohio Statehouse. Parole officers met with many members of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate to discuss legislative priorities and the importance of their work to public safety and Ohio’s communities.

Educational Development Fund. In addition to funds still available at this time, on July 1st, the Educational Development Fund will renew with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. This fund is negotiated as a part of the contract and allows reimbursement for approved training and educational expenses.

Congratulations to Member Ron Arnett. Mr. Arnett, an RN and member leader, was named the employee of the year at the Dayton Correctional Institution in May 2019.

State Nurses Receive Substantial Overtime Settlement. Two nurses, who are members with the State of Ohio, recently received significant settlements after overtime was improperly denied. The members stood together and contacted the Member Resource Center. Through the arbitration process, the members showed that this loss of overtime hours denied due process. A settlement was reached, which had a combined value of over $45,000.

Significant Arbitration Victory on Administrative Leave. The State of Ohio has often utilized an unfair practice that denied workers on administrative leave supplemental pay. In a recent arbitration decision regarding members of SEIU District 1199, an arbitrator ruled that the State of Ohio is no longer permitted to continue the practice of deducting pay supplements from paychecks when state bargaining unit members are out on administrative leave.

State Member Challenges Written Reprimand. A member at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction recently received a written reprimand, which they considered unjust. The member filed a grievance and the state agreed to remove the discipline after a shortened period.

Member Receives Significant Settlement. A state member was terminated after over a decade with the state. The member contacted the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. As an outcome of the grievance, the member was allowed to resign in lieu of the termination and the member also received a settlement of $11,500.

Department of Youth Services Member Receives Reimbursement. A state member with the Ohio Department of Youth Services made an emergency purchase for the direct benefit of a youth on parole but was not reimbursed promptly. After filing a grievance, the member was reimbursed with interest.

Member Resource Center Update 

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The Member Resource Center has assisted with a substantial number of grievances for State of Ohio Members. 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.

As a snapshot, in May 2019, the Member Resource Center assisted with filing 55 grievances on behalf of State of Ohio Members alone. The Member Resource Center standing by to assist members Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

SEIU District 1199 Scholarship Program

Members of SEIU District 1199 and their immediate family members can now apply for the scholarship program. Eligible members must be in good standing and have been a member for at least two years. The scholarship program is open to applications for those who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in an accredited two or four year educational institution or technical school and a degree, post bachelor’s degree or certification program. The deadline for scholarship applications is September 1, 2019. Eighteen $1,000 scholarships are available for members who reside in Ohio.

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BrightSpring (“ResCare”) Member Wins Grievance Over Unjust Job Dismissal

A dedicated member with BrightSpring (“ResCare”) recently worked with the Union to successfully reverse a job dismissal. With the protections provided by the Union contract and with assistance from the Member Resource Center, the member filed a grievance. 

The member first had an investigatory interview but had difficulty with questions that were confusing. The confusion and related responses were brought up through the grievance procedure and the member then spoke further. Management restored the member to their former position and granted 80 hours of back pay. 

Representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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Free College Member Benefit With Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community College

Free College Benefit SEIU District 1199
Members of SEIU District 1199 are eligible for a free college benefit with Eastern Gateway Community College. This benefit is open to eligible members, retirees, and their families. Eastern Gateway Community College is also a part of the University System of Ohio.

This program fills the gap between federal, state, or employer education grants the student receives and the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for some online programs. It is open to eligible members and retirees, in addition to spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, and dependents.

In addition, the Union also has partnership arrangements with Southern New Hampshire University and Columbia Southern University

For more information and to enroll with Eastern Gateway Community College, visit SEIU Member Benefits

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