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Men United to the Polls in Cleveland


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To Our Members: We’ve Got YOUR Back

By now you have probably received an email from this out-of-state, anti-worker organization calling themselves the Freedom Foundation or OptOutToday? If you are like me, you deleted it quickly and put it in the trash where it belongs.

For those of you who don’t know much about the so-called “Freedom Foundation,” they are funded by out-of-state billionaires who want to destroy unions and elect anti-worker, anti-union candidates that will keep wages low, eliminate paid sick leave, and slash crucial funding for quality public services like the reliable and front line services you provide.

In fact, the Freedom Foundation is a long-time advocate and contributor of so-called Right to Work Laws like Senate Bill 5, which we soundly defeated before and will do again if necessary. We will not allow the wealthy and the out of touch politicians to work in the shadows through failed organizations like the Freedom Foundation to lower wages, take away the benefits, healthcare, and protections you negotiated through your Union. They are trying to attack your solidarity and strength and make your workplaces less safe while eroding your protections and securities to enrich their overflowing pockets.

Don’t believe their lies and misleading information. They are using every trick in the book to further divide workers by badgering SEIU members via your private work email and cell phones. Sowing division and weakening workers’ rights is truly their ONLY goal.

Most of us, no matter our color, origin, or gender, want our communities and our country to be places where freedom is for everyone. We beat groups like them when we defeated Senate Bill 5, and we won’t allow anyone to take away our dignity, rights, and respect on the job and in our communities. That’s why the members of our Union are proud to continue to stand in solidarity, united to fight for the improvement of the lives of all working people as we strive for a more just society for all people. Ignore these out of town billionaires and stand united to win for working families as we have always done.

In Solidarity,

President Becky Williams
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

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Nursing Home Staffing and PPE Crisis

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State Employee Development Fund

The Employee Development Fund (EDF) renewed on July 1, 2020, with $750,000 in additional funding for FY21. We have been provided with the following update, which is current as of 10/10/20: 

Amount Paid (as of 9/26/20): $239,205.39
Amount Approved (as of 10/10/20): $39,143.83
Amount Submitted (as of 10/10/20): $52,604.20
Total Expended: $330,953.42

Budget + Rollover (FY21): $831,149.07
Total Remaining: $500,195.65
Percent Remaining: 60%

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Member Resource Center.

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2020 Union Scholarship Winners

Vernal Wiley, Highlands ARH

West Virginia
Stephanie Fiber, child of Tina Fiber, Northern Panhandle Head Start

Andrew Leist, child of Sarah Parks, Cabell Huntington Hospital
Jake Meek, child of Retha Meek, American Red Cross – Huntington
Shauntina Reed, child of Priscilla Reed, Rescare – West Virginia

Tiera Cross, Lutheran Hospital

Andrew Curry, child of Kim Moore, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Valerie Dranchak, child of Christa Dranchak, Greene County Public Library
Amanda Frerking, child of Mary Frerking, Stark County District Library
Christina Fulton, Zepf Center
Stephanie Furino, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Marc Judy, child of Lisa Judy, Steward – Trumbull Regional Medical Center
Ariel McLain, child of Erica McLain, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Keith Nelson, child of Tasha Nelson, Rescue Mental Health
Tamhra Phelps, Mercy Lorain – RNs
Cara Potocki, child of Therese Potocki, Frontline Services
James Snowden, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Gage Thompson, child of Kristina Thompson, OS – Department of Developmental Disabilities
Rachel Witten, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Trisade Zimmerman, child of Dwayne Henson, OS – Ohio Veterans Home

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A Message From a Member Leader: Our Vote is Essential

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It has been a tough time.
 I’m worried about my loved ones and for our friends, neighbors, and whole country. It has been an especially tough time for all of us.

We have called legislators, marched in the streets, held vigils honoring the lives of frontline workers and nursing home residents lost to COVID19, and stood together demanding job protections, PPE, and hazard pay. Despite all this, we haven’t gotten the support that we need.

If they haven’t listened so far, they must hear us at the ballot box. On November 3rd and during early voting, we have the chance to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of our country. This is a ticket that supports making it easier for folks to join a Union, a $15 minimum wage, standing up for racial justice, and taking on big companies that don’t respect workers.

Early voting is ongoing now in each county in Ohio. You can view early voting locations and hours onlineYou can also vote by mail and I’m telling all of my friends to send back their ballot as soon as possible.

I’m making my action plan. I want every elected leader to know that we will be speaking out on Election Day. Visit MyVoteIsEssential.org to do the same! Our vote is essential. Visit MyVoteIsEssential.org and join with me. 

In Unity, 

Carol Ford – Healthcare Worker in Cleveland
Member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Visit the Member Election Center for member endorsements and details for voters. 

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Take Action & Share Your Support for the Cuyahoga County Library Levy


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State Chapter Newsletter – October

state newsletter updateState of Ohio – Union Chapter News
● The Value of Union Membership and a Strong Chapter. Non-Union employees with the State of Ohio have been forced to accept concessions with no recourse. If you are a non-member, you can sign a membership card online. Recent events show that bureaucrats with the State of Ohio will continue to try to balance the budget on the backs of us, the working class workers, even while many are on the frontlines in this crisis. Preparations for negotiations with the State of Ohio are underway and the member-led negotiating committee will meet soon. We will keep the membership up to date as preparations and upcoming negotiations advance. 

● Emergency Pay Class Action Grievance. SEIU District 1199 has filed a class action grievance for every member citing our 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. Send a message to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and ask him to honor the contract and grant the emergency pay that was mutually agreed upon. We will keep you updated as the grievance moves through the process.

● Educational Development Fund Update. On July 1st, the Educational Development Fund (EDF) for members of SEIU District 1199 renewed with an additional balance of $750,000 available for reimbursement. Additionally, $88,149.07 was left remaining at the end of FY20, which has now rolled over. As of September 12th, 63% of the balance remains available for reimbursement. Funding for the Educational Development Fund was negotiated by member leaders as a part of your collective bargaining agreement and is just one more example of how your Union negotiates benefits for your collective good. 

● State of Ohio Member Successfully Challenges Missed Overtime. A member with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services volunteered for overtime but a worker who was not currently at work was granted the hours. Through the grievance process, the State of Ohio agreed to properly award the overtime hours. The strength of this part of the contract is important because it prevents workers from being mandated by ensuring that all workers who are working are first canvassed for volunteers. 

● State Member Files Grievance Over Internal Training Quality. An SEIU District 1199 member stood together with other co-workers to file a grievance over the quality of training at a State of Ohio mental health facility. As a result of the grievance, a committee was formed to establish training standards and a new plan. The workers will meet with management within 90 days to finalize the new plan.

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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Stand With the Union Healthcare Heroes at the Stillwater Center

Stillwater no shadingMembers with the Stillwater Center in Dayton, Ohio, have worked tirelessly on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. Many Union members have contracted COVID19 through their work in this crisis. These nurses are currently standing together in unity to negotiate their next 3-year contract.

The Stillwater Center is a public entity within Montgomery County. Though the workers cannot negotiate with the commissioners directly, the Montgomery County Commission can empower the Stillwater Center to authorize wage increases in these negotiations. Read the letter the workers sent on September 17th to members of the Montgomery County Commission here

These Members also contacted the Union in early August and believed that infectious disease protocols needed to be heightened to prevent the spread of COVID19. After the Union issued a press release on August 10th, additional workers and residents ultimately contracted COVID19.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley also recently sent a letter on behalf of the nurses with the Stillwater Center. Thank you to Mayor Whaley for standing with these nurses and their families. 

Stand with these workers by sharing this post through the Facebook button below and send a letter on their behalf to the Montgomery County Commission. They need a fair contract in this time of crisis. 

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Member Campaign for a Fair Contract at Cleveland State University

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