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Disgusted with Distractions from Quality Care, RNs At Cabell Huntington Hospital Call Out Aggressive, Anti-Union Tactics

Registered Nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital are fed up with management pulling caregivers away from patients to dissuade them from uniting for a voice on patient safety and quality care.

HUNTINGTON, WV – Today, Registered Nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital will hold a press conference outside of the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital entrance to call on hospital executives and managers to stop their aggressive, anti-Union campaign that is pulling caregivers away from their patients. Nurses from all areas of the hospital, including critical care areas like ICU and NICU, have been forced into captive audience meetings with department managers and other executives on work time when they should have been providing quality care to patients.

“The Registered Nurses of Cabell Huntington Hospital care deeply about the health, wellness and safety of their patients,” said Sherri McKinney, spokesperson for the Nurses Organizing Campaign at Cabell Huntington Hospital. “These women and men wake up every day to provide the best quality care possible to the patients of our community, but the aggressive, anti-Union tactics by management are taking them away from their ability to do their jobs.”

Captive audience meetings are an aggressive tool used by hospital executives and managers under the advisement of their Union-busting consultants to pressure employees to pledge their allegiance to their employer, rather than what is in the best interest of the employee, their family or the patients that they serve.

Despite the registered nurses attending the latest Board of Directors meeting asking for them to intervene, hospital managers continue to pull nurses away from their patients.

These tactics come as an overwhelming majority of the more than 900 registered nurses at the hospital notified Cabell Huntington executives of their decision to organize with SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH after drastic changes in the operation of the hospital were announced by Mountain Health, the new parent company of both Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“By uniting together in their Union with SEIU, nurses will have a collective voice on the issues that impact their families and the care they provide our community,” continued McKinney. “Cabell executives and managers should allow our nurses to provide the care they are sworn to provide without distraction, intimidation or coercion by anyone.”

Registered Nurses and SEIU leaders will hold a brief press availability at 3:45 pm on Wednesday, November 6th, in front of Hoops Family Children’s Hospital entrance of Cabell Huntington Hospital, 1340 Hal Greer Boulevard Huntington, WV 25701.

WHO: Registered Nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital
WHAT: Press Conference Against Aggressive, Anti-Union Tactics
WHEN: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 3:45pm
WHERE: Hoops Family Children’s Hospital entrance of Cabell Huntington Hospital, 1340 Hal Greer Boulevard Huntington, West Virginia 25701

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State Newsletter – November 2019

state newsletter november

State of Ohio – Union Chapter News
The victories shared in this newsletter are the result of members sticking together and working with their delegates, leaders, co-workers, and the Member Resource Center, to actively enforce the contract. These employees believed that their rights had been violated and they stood together as Union members to win fairness. Membership has many benefits and being a member of SEIU District 1199 means having the ability to protect your rights at work. 

Arbitration Decision Affirms Union’s Long Standing Position. A delegate with the Ohio Department of Youth Services recently worked with the Union to file a related class action grievance and an arbitrator granted the grievance entirely. The arbitration decision concluded that when  a state agency wishes to move employees among units that hold different specific types of patients, it must make such a move by canvassing the employees and using seniority. The exception to this is 24.16 (B), which in certain circumstances allows a state agency to move an employee without canvassing. However, even then, that employee’s former spot must be filled by canvassing and seniority. You can read the arbitration decision here.

●Scholarship Award Winners Announced. The Union recently announced scholarship award winners for the year. Scholarship recipients included members and related students with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. View the list of scholarship winners.

Parole Officer Successfully Appeals Leave Conversion Error. A member with the Adult Parole Authority converted paid time off to sick time but hours were exchanged in error. The member immediately contacted human resources, which assured the member that they would help make them whole. The Department of Administrative Services later stated they would not fix the error. The Union worked to bring the issue to arbitration and the grievance was settled by issuing a payment for hours that had been unintentionally converted.

State Member Issued Time For Coursework After Grievance. A member with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services requested paid time off for course work, as outlined by the contract in Article 23.04 but was denied. The member filed a grievance and a settlement was offered before the grievance advanced to arbitration. The settlement included retroactive time off dating back to the start of the academic semester.

State Nurse Successfully Appeals Disciplinary Fine. A state member with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction received a 2-day fine for completing safety checks and having another nurse document them or documenting safety checks performed by another nurse. The member contacted the Union to file a grievance, as this was a widely accepted practice. The State of Ohio agreed to refund the fine and remove the discipline at the end of the year. 

Mental Health Worker Returns to Old Schedule After Change in Hours. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services works 12 hour shifts. The member was moved from 1st shift to 2nd shift and found no resolution. At the same time, the member saw that there was still a need for staff on her old shift. In a settlement, the employer agreed to return the member to the old shift and cited the change in hours as temporary.

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. For details visit: seiu1199.org/mrc/your-benefits-as-a-member

Member Resource Center – State of Ohio Chapter

MRC Register
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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SEIU Members Endorse Willoughby Eastlake Public Library Levy Renewal

The SEIU District 1199 Executive Board has voted to endorse the levy for Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library. The levy is a 10-year 1-mill renewal levy and will mean no increase in taxes. The levy renewal is needed to maintain services and will be on the November 5th ballot. SEIU District 1199 has represented staff members with Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library since 1996. 

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Health Care Coverage Open Enrollment for 2020 Open Until December 15th

If you or a family member need health care coverage for 2020, be sure to enroll. There are affordable plans but without a qualifying event, you must sign up between November 1st and December 15

Most people qualify for financial help. Share this message with family and friends.

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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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SEIU District 1199 Members With Harper Mills Hold Vigil in Beckley, West Virginia

beckleyBECKLEY, WEST VIRGINIA – Today, over 60 community members gathered at Harper Mills, a Stonerise Healthcare facility in Beckley. In attendance, were members of SEIU District 1199 who work at the facility and in the community, local supporters, and members of the United Mine Workers of America, among others.

Clyde McKnight, the Former President of the South Central Labor Council, held an opening prayer. He also expressed hope that Stonerise Healthcare would honor the contract that had been mutually agreed upon.

“We continue to ask Stonerise Healthcare to act in good faith and honor the contract,” said Leigh Ann Day, a Coordinator with SEIU District 1199. “A long-time Union member leader at the facility was recently terminated, even though she has been an exemplary employee. She served the residents of our community for 26 years,” she continued.  

Members who work at Harper Mills care greatly about their work and many spend long hours at the facility. The Union and members at the facility are asking Stonerise Healthcare to uphold the contract and make improvements. Staffing and quality care remain issues of concern.

Contact | Leigh Ann Day, Coordinator for SEIU District 1199 | 304-634-8720 | 

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Mercy Health Members in Lorain Unite to Bargain $15 an Hour Wage and Above

Mercy Health 2Members of SEIU District 1199 at Mercy Regional Medical Center last Monday overwhelmingly approved a new contract. The contract is a milestone in the fight for fair wages for all workers and members of our Union.

In our continuing fight to improve staffing and working conditions, improvements were made in areas such as representation and distribution of assignments. Our member bargaining committee was also able to secure significant wages increases, bringing those of us earning less than $15 an hour up and above $15 by January 2022. In addition, there will be increases for those already above $15 to recognize the years of dedication and hard work that it took to get there.

This victory was not easily won and was the culmination of years of work not only in the chapter by members and leaders but also by SEIU and our allies in the Fight for $15 – the local and national fight to increase wages and deliver dignity for all workers. The Union has organized workers across the country to advocate and demonstrate for a living wage, resulting in minimum wage increases from San Francisco and Seattle to Illinois and New York.

Under this new 5-year contract, the average wage will increase 21%. Some members will see even greater wage gains. These increases will mean we can give up a second job or send our children to a quality daycare, preschool, or later to college. For all of us, these increases recognize the work that we all do every day to care for our patients and our families.

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SEIU Members Endorse Andy Beshear for Governor of Kentucky

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Solidarity Newsletter – October 2019

solidarity 2Member News and Grievance Victories

Hudson Elms Member Successfully Appeals Suspension. A member with the Hudson Elms nursing home in Hudson, Ohio, was wrongfully suspended. The member contacted their Executive Board Member and the Union to file a grievance. Showing the power of standing together, the suspension was overturned and the member returned to work with back pay.

Favorable Arbitration Ruling for Cabell Huntington Hospital Member. A dedicated member and healthcare worker in Huntington, West Virginia, recently returned to work with full back pay and compensation, after being improperly terminated two years ago.

Member at Cleveland Healthcare Facility Back at Work. A member in Cleveland who worked for Morrison Community Living, a contractor for Judson Manor, had been on the job for 19 years before being terminated. Over the summer, his co-workers greeted him enthusiastically after he returned to work after almost 7 months off. The member was terminated without a fair and impartial review, especially given his spotless work record and years of service. Standing with the Union, the member received full back pay and compensation for denied benefits.

Nursing Home Member Negotiates Settlement. A member with a facility in Ohio believed they had been wrongfully terminated. The member worked with their delegate and the Union to file a grievance. The employer agreed to grant compensation and a neutral letter of reference.

● Grievance by Member in West Virginia Results in Additional Staffing. A dedicated member with Fairmont Regional Medical Center in West Virginia had concerns about staffing levels for her unit. She contacted the Union and joined with a co-worker to file a grievance. As a result, administrators took quick action and placed two job postings for the unit.

● Member With Cleveland School District Negotiates Settlement After Grievance Over Overtime. A member with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District worked with the Union to file a grievance, which had a successful outcome. In a settlement, CMSD agreed to make an extra effort to contact members to ensure that they would be notified for overtime opportunities.

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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State Newsletter – October 2019

State Newsletter October 2019State of Ohio – Union Chapter News

Landmark Arbitration Decision on Movement of Staff. A Psychiatric/DD Nurse at ODRC who works in the outpatient unit filed a grievance after she was pulled to work in the RTU over a less senior Psych/DD Nurse. Management argued that it had the right to reassign the nurses to various units within the department without considering seniority because the entire department was one work area. The Union argued that each unit made up a separate work area, and in order to pull someone from one unit to another, the manager had to first ask for volunteers, and if no one volunteered, seniority should be recognized. Arbitrator Goldberg agreed with the Union and sustained the grievance.

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. As of September 14th, 33% of the budget had been expended and $521,618 remained. 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.

OPERS Proposes Cuts for Future State Workers and Retirees. It was recently reported publicly last that OPERS is considering a range of changes and potential cuts. New public employees who start employment after January 1, 2022, would need to reach 62 and have 35 years of service to receive full pension benefits. The OPERS Board of Trustees has also voted to freeze cost of living adjustments (COLA) in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the OPERS Board of Trustees is considering changes to retiree healthcare benefits. We understand the concerns of retirees and state workers and are evaluating these proposed changes. 

State Members Reach Successful Outcome Over Scheduling Changes. Three nurses with the Ohio Department of Youth Services believed their schedules were being changed to avoid the payment of overtime. A nurse filed a grievance on behalf of himself and two co-workers. The state has ceased the scheduling practice that led to the initial grievance. The three members were awarded 8 hours of compensatory time each.

Adult Parole Authority Member Awarded Job Transfer. A member with the Adult Parole Authority learned that a position in another county had been posted but an internal canvass had not been conducted. The member worked with their delegate to file a grievance and was quickly awarded the position that should have been filled through an internal canvass.

State Nurse Acts to Protect Safety and Quality Care. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services was mandated to work overtime but had already worked two double shifts in the previous two days. The member believed that this was hazardous both as a worker and for the clients in their care. The member filed a grievance with the assistance of their delegate on the basis that being mandated to work this overtime was a violation of an agency-specific agreement and a negotiated cap on consecutive overtime. In a settlement, the agency agreed to follow agency-specific language which had previously set the overtime cap.

State Nurse Returns To Work With Full Back Pay After Arbitration Ruling. A nurse who had been terminated by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in 2017 was cleared by an arbitrator to return to work. The member was accused of failing to document food intake in an electronic system. However, an independent review had substantiated concerns about arbitrary data loss in that same system. The employer was also unable to show just cause in the termination of the member, who had worked for ODRC since 2006. The arbitrator ruled that the member should be “made whole” and that there was no evidence of “alleged violations of policy.”

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