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Lorain Public Library Members Negotiate New Contract That Ensures Quality Services

Members with the Lorain Public Library System recently bargained a new contract that will ensure the quality provision of services for the duration of the agreement.
Members from many backgrounds stood together for this new contract and they are deeply committed to their work. Like other public library members of the Union, they do this work because of the important role that libraries have in our communities.

Negotiations were open to all members, with many wearing buttons – sessions were later held online. When negotiations started before the pandemic, one bargaining session lasted until 1AM in the morning.

The new contract includes the following improvements

Wage Increases. The contract includes wages increases that total 8% over three years. These wage increases recognize the work of the dedicated staff despite concerns about the Public Library Fund.  
• Minimum Staffing Language. The contract sets a minimum level of staffing. This was important to the bargaining committee and will ensure safety for the public and chapter members.
• Improved Bereavement Leave. Language was improved in this area.
• New Advancement Opportunity. A new job title was created that will increase pay for many members with the library system.  
• Active Shooter Training. This training will now be offered to bargaining unit members but will not be mandatory.
• Annual Fire and Tornado Drills. Such drills will help ensure that library staff have the knowledge and ability to assist the public, if needed.  

Many chapter members have decades of experience but they were also joined for bargaining by rising chapter members who are new to the library system. Members with the Lorain Public Library System are united by their understanding of the importance of library services.

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College Programs for Union Members

SEIU District 1199 offers discounts for members and eligible family members through arrangements with colleges. These programs include a range of benefits with Columbia Southern University, Southern New Hampshire University, Central State University, and Eastern Gateway Community College. 

Membership with SEIU District 1199 provides access to the member benefit programs detailed below. If are not yet a dues paying member, sign a membership card at this link.

Free College Benefit SEIU District 1199
Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community CollegeEastern Gateway offers a free online Associate’s Degree college benefit for members and retirees, in addition to eligible family members. If you live near Youngstown or Steubenville, you can also can participate in this program and take classes on campus. 

Ohio’s Central State University. Union Plus, one of your Union’s member benefit programs, has partnered with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio. Central State University is now offering a program for Bachelor’s Degrees for members and eligible family members. This program is available online at a reduced cost or low/no cost (e.g. depending on grants). The program is open to students with an Associate’s Degree or 60 credit hours of coursework in a related major. Additionally, students who have a degree from Eastern Gateway Community College can now transfer into the Bachelor’s Degree program at Central State University. 

Southern New Hampshire UniversitySNHU offers Bachelor’s Degrees and Associate’s Degrees for $3,000 a year for members and eligible family members.

Columbia Southern UniversityColumbia Southern offers Associate’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, Mater’s Degrees, and Doctoral Degrees. SEIU District 1199 has a tuition discount agreement for members. 

If you need assistance with member benefits, you can always contract your Member Resource Center. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

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Hamlet Village Members Stand Together for Contract With Stronger Wages and Benefits

Members with Hamlet Village – black, white and brown – stand united for good jobs and quality care. Members with this senior living provider, which is located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, recently stood together for a new contract and were able to make many improvements.

Beneficial terms of this recently negotiated contract include: 

• Wage Increases. Across-the-board wage increases for the next three years.
• Bonuses. A longevity bonus and a bonus upon ratification.
• Improved Delegate Language. Members with this facility will now have 3 delegates, in addition to their e-board member.  
• Vacation Roll-Over. Members can now roll-over 40 hours of vacation time, which will make a substantial difference.
• Bereavement Leave. Improvements in the area of bereavement leave. 
• Representation. The new contract includes language relating to the Member Resource Center, which will help the MRC provide enhanced representation.
• Delegate Training. The contract ensures 6 paid delegate training days per year.

Members worked as a team to bargain this contract, just as they do each day to provide the best possible care. These new terms provide for significant improvements that will last through the current crisis and beyond.

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Letter: Put Workers First, Not a Blank Check for CEOs

My job has always been to provide care and protect others from germs, viruses, and diseases at the nursing home where I work. Every day, my co-workers and I do everything that we can for our residents.

A virus as deadly as COVID-19 is different though and I worry about bringing it home. As I travel to and from work, I sense that other people feel the same way that I do. Some would love to stay home but who would provide the critical care that is needed for the residents where we work?  

Congress has passed multiple bills in response to the COVID-19 crisis, but so far they have fallen short of providing the support we need. Frontline workers still lack needed personal protective equipment, sufficient sick leave, and the wages that we deserve. Many workers in my area and some of my Union brothers and sisters have been laid off and are unsure of how to cover the bills. 

Big corporations and many companies are doing just fine and others are getting relief funding. At the same time, our public services — like our schools, libraries, and health care system — are all at-risk.

Join with me and send a letter to demand that we get the personal protective equipment that we need. Second, call Congress at (877) 851-2521 and tell them that they must protect all workers.

If we stand together and demand better now, we can not only protect all workers and come back from this tragedy, but ensure fairness for us all as we move forward together. 

In Solidarity,

Cassie Cooper Nursing Home Worker 
Union Member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

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Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Members Stand United to Win Significant Wage Increases

OneClevelandLogoMembers with Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital recently stood together, across all differences, to negotiate a new contract. This new contract improves wages and working condition for all bargaining unit members. The contract was only possible because the bargaining committee stood united as fellow co-workers and Union members.

The contract includes the following wage increases and terms:

1. Retroactive Ratification Bonus. All members who were earning below $15 an hour will receive a bonus of $500. This payment is being issued for the 80+ caregivers who did not receive an increase to $15 an hour.
2. Living Wage Increase. All bargaining unit members who are currently below $15 an hour are being brought up to that amount, under the new Union contract. This impacts 80+ caregivers who were making less than $15 an hour.
3. Market Rate Wage Increases. Workers in several job classifications will receive a significant wage increase. These increases will apply to members who work as maintenance mechanics, electricians, painters, power plant mechanics, central supply room technicians, and nursing department assistance III’s.
4. Annual Wage Increases. A 2% wage increase each year for three years. 
5. Longevity Bonus. This one-time bonus applies to those “stepped out” at progression steps 6 and 7. In total, 70+ employees are receiving this bonus.
6. Shift Differential. Workers negotiated an additional $1.00 an hour increase for second and third shift work.
7. Longevity Increase. Workers with 15 years or more of service will receive an additional $0.25 an hour.
8. Disciplinary Language. The member bargaining committee negotiated a new 10-day required timeline for the hospital to administer discipline. This is very significant as without such a timeline, members had sometimes received notice many months later.
9. Representation. The contract includes language that will help enable the Member Resource Center to further provide representation. 

Through these negotiations, members were able to speak out about their need for improved wages and working conditions. Sometimes things get tough but they pulled together for themselves, their co-workers, and their families.

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Governor DeWine: Honor Our Contract

 Emergency Pay
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National Library Workers Day: A Message From President Becky Williams

Today is National Library Workers Day and this week is National Library Week. Your SEIU District 1199 family wants to take a moment to recognize all library workers.  

Public libraries across Ohio make our communities stronger. In many ways, libraries have always brought people together, even when they have been apart. The services that you offer are vital and transformative. Now more than ever, we will work together to ensure that all libraries are safe. 

We truly appreciate you and the work that you do on behalf of the public. On this special day and everyday, we thank you for all that you do.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams – President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

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State Chapter Newsletter – April

photoState of Ohio – Union Chapter News
● Keeping Ohio Moving Forward Photo Campaign. We are asking state chapter members to take a selfie photo with the title “Keeping Ohio Moving Forward.” Please share a photo highlighting your work and include a message of inspiration or hope. We plan to use these photos to honor the work of members in this crisis. Details on this project are available at this link. You can always take the selfie at home if you work in a location where phones are prohibited, as we want all members to have an opportunity to be recognized for the work that you do as a part of the solution to this crisis.

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) language Article 35, Emergencies. We believe that the current state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine falls well within the intent of this language and that all members who work during this declared emergency are entitled to the $8 per hour stipend referenced in the CBA. While many of our fellow citizens engage in critically important steps such as staying home, teleworking, and social distancing, you continue to protect and serve the public each day. We will keep you updated as the grievance moves through the process.

● Hazardous Duty Pay Supplement. Governor DeWine announced last week that members with the Department of Youth Services, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and Adult Parole Authority, will receive a hazardous duty pay supplement, which will be retroactive back to April 1st and continue while we are in emergency status. Full details on the pay supplement are available here. The hazardous duty pay supplement is contractually different from the emergency pay stipend, which is outlined under Article 35 of the CBA. This was NOT negotiated with the Union and implementation is being done solely by these agencies. These supplements are provided in the Ohio Administrative Code and not the CBA.

The state has taken this action, in violation of the ORC chapter 4117, unilaterally and without negotiation with the Union, as would have been proper. The Union is collaborating with other unions that represent members with the State of Ohio and we will be filing an unfair labor practice regarding this unilateral action by the state. This is not because the hazard pay is unwarranted but because the legal obligation to negotiate is not absolved during this time. If these agencies are permitted to make decisions and enact provisions with regard to your pay, they will surely not stop here.

● Recent Chapter Votes. Members recently voted in favor of letters of agreement to provide for additional pay in sick leave above the 70% after the first 36 hours for any member dealing with a COVID-19 situation. Members with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have also voted on allowing members to work in institutions if the need would arise, the hiring of intermittent employees to help with the need for staff if we get to that point, and a leave pool donation for ODRC members. ODRC members also passed an LOA to allow CNP’s and PA’s work voluntary overtime hours as RN’s to assist with limiting mandatory overtime.

All of these agreements were passed by an overwhelming vote of the membership. Thank you for your timely responses. As we continue to work with the State of Ohio we will continue to bring any changes to you, the membership, to vote democratically as we do with all contractual changes. Thank you again for your responses, participation, and support.

● 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 April 11th, 27% of the budget, which totals $207,604.39, 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.

● Protecting Yourselves, the Public, and Each Other. Thank you for all that you do and we ask that you continue to do everything you can to keep yourselves and all of us safe. Thank you for your sense of duty and safety and for doing so much to protect yourselves, your families, your coworkers, and everyone during this time of crisis. We will emerge from this crisis stronger together.

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. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton, Ohio.

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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Cleveland Health Care Workers Demand More PPE (NewsNet5)

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Keeping Ohio Moving Forward

Together, members of SEIU District 1199 are keeping Ohio moving forward. Members with the State of Ohio are heroically working each day to provide critical services and support on behalf of the public. 

Without the brave work of members of this Union, critical agencies, and institutions with the State of Ohio would not be able to carry out and fulfill their vital missions. Whether you are assisting your agency from home or on the front lines, we want the public to know about the important work that you are doing.

We Are Asking Members to Take a Photo to Highlight Your Work:

Take a selfie with a homemade sign and your message of hope or inspiration. Include on the sign the title “Keeping Ohio Moving Forward,” the hashtags listed below, your work details, and your custom message. Then send your selfie by email to media@seiu1199.org.

1. Include the line at the top “Keeping Ohio Moving Forward.” 
2. Use hashtags #SEIUDistrict1199 and #UnionStrong.
3. Please personalize your sign with a message of hope and inspiration. 
4. Add the name of your agency, your location, and your job/role.

The Union would like to make a video with these photos. Without your work, it would not be possible to keep Ohio moving forward during this crisis.

Be sure to send your selfie photo to media@seiu1199.org. Please take good care of yourselves and each other.

In Solidarity,

Joshua Norris – Executive Vice President

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

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