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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

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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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2019 Work & Wages Conference Recap

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

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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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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

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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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