Stop Extreme Attacks on Collective Bargaining

House Bill 298, which was recently introduced in the Ohio General Assembly, is the latest extreme attack on our freedom to bargain for a better life. This bill would severely limit the rights of working people by curtailing what they can collectively bargain. Even though Ohio voters resoundingly rejected attacks on collective bargaining rights by repealing Senate Bill 5/Issue 2 in 2011, some state legislators persist with these unfair and punitive measures.

CLICK HERE to E-mail you state Representative now and tell them to stop the attacks on collective bargaining.

While the extreme legislators behind this bill will tell you that it is about limiting sick days for public employees, we know the truth. This is just the first step in trying to silence our voice at the workplace. Today they try to limit how we collectively bargain for sick days; tomorrow it will be about limiting how we collectively bargain over pay, safety in the workplace and how we grieve unfair conditions. This legislation comes straight from Senate Bill 5. This is their attempt to pass that bad legislation piecemeal and we must fight back against ANY attempts to limit our voice on the job.

CLICK HERE to download a workplace flier and help us spread the word about this bad  bill . Share the flyer with your co-workers and tell them to call the 888 number to be connected to their State Representative and have their voices HEARD.

Instead of these unnecessary and undue attacks on our collective bargaining rights, the General Assembly should be focused on helping municipalities get the state funding they need to serve and protect our communities. Please download the flyer  HERE  and share with your co-workers. We need to tell the General Assembly to stop attacking the basic freedoms of working people and to oppose House Bill 298.

And don’t forget to CLICK HERE to E-mail you state Representative now and tell them to stop the attacks on collective bargaining.

Pulling the Plug on Health Care – Last Minute Republican ACA Repeal Plan is Worst Yet

Called “the last best chance” to repeal Obamacare, the bill offered by Republican Sens. Graham and Cassidy may not be the last proposal, but it is by far the worst one yet.

Under Graham-Cassidy 32 million Americans will lose insurance and 800,000 of them will be Ohioans.

This is not “repeal and replace” – it’s flat out repeal. This is “pulling the plug” on Obamacare – period. All funding for health care goes away in 2027.

The bill includes letting insurers discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, increases out-of-pocket costs, and eliminates the ACA’s “essential health services” including pediatric care for children.

“This last-ditch ‘Hail Mary pass’ to repeal Obamacare, makes it clear that Senate Republicans are desperate for a win – no matter who gets hurt. It’s hard to call America great when health care is a privilege only for those with the money to pay for it,” said Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

Call Sen. Rob Portman now and tell him “don’t pull the plug on 32 million Americans — vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill.”

Toll-Free: 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)

Regional Offices:

Cincinnati 513-684-3265
Cleveland  216-522-7095
Columbus 614-469-6774
Toledo       419-259-3895
Washington D.C. 202-224-3353

Or visit his website to fill out an email contact form at: https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

Unemployment Compensation – No Cuts to Benefits for Ohio Workers!

AFSCME Ohio Council and labor leaders from across Ohio participated in the recent Ohio AFL-CIO Lobby Day as part of a two-year effort to derail harsh legislation aimed at slashing unemployment benefits for Ohio workers.

Aimed at making the system solvent after years of employers short changing the fund, the bill’s cuts fell on the backs of workers.  The original bill introduce early in the session would have cut benefits down form 26 weeks to only 12 weeks.  In addition, new rules would have made it easier for employers to discharge workers and harder for the jobless to qualify for benefits.

“Labor showed its strength and through a sustained effort we were able to keep this bad bill bottled up most of the session,” said AFSCME Council 8 Political and Legislative Director Robert Davis.  “We were prepared when this bill came up in the lame duck session. Our work resulted in the bill being pulled and replaced with new legislation,” he said.

While the new bill would still cut benefits—reportedly from 26 to 20 weeks—it does raise rates employers will pay.  Other objectionable side issues were removed from the bill.

While the new bill isn’t perfect, there is still time for political mischief before the end of the session, Davis said. “We still need to keep the pressure on so this new bill stays on course with no ‘poison pill’ amendments. We still need you to contact your legislator to tell them how critical the unemployment compensation safety net is for working families,” he said.

You can call your Senator or Representative toll free.  Call 1-844-213-8172, ask for your legislator and you will be connected to their office.

Tell them that the unemployment compensation safety net for working families is critical – No Cuts!

 

 

 L to R Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Peter McLinden, Council 8 Staff Representative Tracy Oates,  Political and  Legislative Director Robert Davis, Athens Regional Director John Johnson and Staff Represntive Deborah Chonko, prepare to lobby against cut to unemployment benefits.

L to R Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Peter McLinden, Council 8 Staff Representative Tracy Oates, Political and Legislative Director Robert Davis, Athens Regional Director John Johnson and Staff Represntive Deborah Chonko, prepare to lobby against cut to unemployment benefits.

A Thanksgiving Message from John Lyall

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 3.09.52 PMThanksgiving is a time when we gather family together and regardless of the circumstances or the challenges we faced over the past year, we join together to give thanks for what we have — each other.  The same is true of our Union family.

We’ve built a stronger AFSCME Ohio Council 8 ready to face the future with courage.  We’ve made tough decisions, organized new members and defended our rights. And we have done it as a family, as a Union.

We have just come through a bruising election. For more than a year the campaign sparked passionate debate within our union as it has within our country. The election is over and now it’s time to focus our energy on making our jobs more secure, negotiating decent pay and benefits, and making our workplaces fairer and safer.

Our ability to respect our differences and work together is why America is admired by much of the world.

In his last Thanksgiving message to America, President John F. Kennedy wrote: “Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed… Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom… when our cause is so great let us not quarrel amongst ourselves … our Nation’s future is at stake.”

Ohio Council 8 members have always stuck together and looked out for each other. I am confident we will continue to do so.  We all have much to be thankful for.

First Vice President Harold Mitchell and all the officers of Ohio Council 8 join me in thanking you for the work you do.  May you and your family enjoy a safe and joyful Thanksgiving.

In Solidarity,

John Lyall

President, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, AFL-CIO

AFSCME Election Day Victories

Voters across Ohio showed their support for public services and the people who provide them by passing AFSCME endorsed funding measures.

The Toledo region topped the list with one city and seven Lucas County funding issues.

Voters approved a critical city 0.75 percent income tax. A rejection would have been devastating to the city which would have had to cut the budget by more than $55 million.

 

toledo-zoo-yard-sign

The other six Lucas County levies won by a sizeable margin including:

∙ a five-year, 0.75-mill levy for The Toledo Zoo where employees are represented by AFSCME Local 3640.

∙ Lucas County Children Services Board where employees are represented by AFSCME Local 544 won approval of a 1.4-mill levy renewal.

Voters also approved funding issues for Lucas County Public Library, Lucas County Emergency Services and the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority.

In the Cincinnati Region, voters approved Issue 44, a tax levy for Cincinnati Public Schools. AFSCME Local 232 represents the district’s support employees.

In the Akron Region, voters supported – by a two-to-one margin – an operating levy for the Stark Area Regional Transit Association, where employees are represented by AFSCME Local 1880.

In the Dayton Region strong voter support won Issue 9, a City of Dayton tax issue along with a successful funding levy for the Fairborn City School District where workers are represented by Council 8.

cinci_schoos

The Youngstown Region had successes when voters approved funding for the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities where employees belong to AFSCME Local 1143, and ballot box success for a critical City of Warren tax issue with the support of AFSCME Local 74 members who provide many city services.

“Through AFSCME Power in Action your union supports it’s members at the ballot box and at the bargaining table,” said Political and Legislative Director Robert Davis. “For pubic employees every election is important because the outcome often has a direct affect on us and our families.”

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AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on 2016 Election Results


WASHINGTON
– AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement on the results of the 2016 election:

“As we take stock of the message voters sent yesterday, we see that many were motivated by a real, palpable fear for their ability to provide for their families. We must come together now to address that economic insecurity while not falling prey to the politics of division and hate. We must focus on rebuilding the middle class and restoring the American Dream for everyone, not just the privileged few.

“For our part, the 1.6 million public service workers of AFSCME will never quit working to make their communities safer, healthier and better places to live. We will do what we do best to hold President-elect Trump accountable on his promise to restore the American Dream: organize and advocate for solutions for all working people, from affordable health care for all, to reducing student debt, to rebuilding America’s infrastructure.”

AFSCME Members ‘Get Out The Vote,’ Help Hamilton County Surpass Early In-Pereson Voting Numbers for 2012

With the conclusion of Saturday’s early voting and with two days of early voting to go, Hamilton County had a total of 25,740 early, in-person voters who have cast their ballots in 2016 — a total that surpasses the figure for all of 2012.

AFSCME members hit the pavement with AFSCME President Lee Saunders (center) to knock doors and make sure that everyone has the opportunity to vote.

Friday set a record for the highest number of early in-person voters in the county’s history, with 2,174 voters casting ballots at the early voting location at 824 Broadway St., Cincinnati.

cinci_group

Union to Picket Beef Cattle Auction in Mansfield

Next week, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction will auction off its award-winning herds of Angus beef cattle as well as additional farm equipment at Mansfield Correctional Institution as part of a plan to close all 10 state prison farms.

In protest, activists from the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association and those affected by the farm closures will be picketing at that location on auction day, Tuesday, October 25, 2016, from 9 a.m. until noon.

DR&C has already sold hundreds of dairy cattle as well as a massive inventory of farm equipment in public auction. Some of the equipment sold for pennies on the dollar and large barns that were built just this last year sit empty, having never been used.

The union had sought an injunction from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to halt the sale of prison farm assets until a pending grievance was arbitrated. The court denied the union’s request. A grievance filed by the union regarding the closures is still pending. 

What: Picket of prison farm cattle auction

When: October 25, 2016

 Where: In front of the Mansfield Correctional Institution, 1150 N. Main St., Mansfield, OH 44905

Time: 9 a.m. – noon

OCSEA represents approximately 30,000 state employees who work in a wide range of security, regulatory, administrative, direct care, maintenance, customer service and other positions, including 8,600 who work in the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction. For more information, contact Sally Meckling, 614-865-2602 or 614-404-3881 (cell).

 

Senate Bill 329: Destroying Essential Services

On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate approved a bill that would effectively allow for the dissolution of state government departments if they deem them to be unnecessary. The same government departments that provide for the state’s economic vitality and competitiveness.

Under the new bill, departments would have to justify their existence every four years. Departments that provide Ohioans with education, public safety and other services could be stripped away.

Read more about the bill by clicking here.

 

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2016/09/ohio_senate_passes_bill_that_w.html

Labor Day Message

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 3.09.52 PMAmericans look at Labor Day in many ways. As a three-day weekend, the end of summer, back to school, or the start of the ‘political season’. No matter what your plans, take a few minutes to consider why we celebrate Labor Day.

The original intent of Labor Day was to provide a holiday to honor the social, technical, and economic achievements of American workers and their unions. It was intended to be, and in many ways remains, an annual national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our nation.

And Labor Day 2016 is an excellent opportunity to honor the cornerstone of worker’s rights – the National Labor Relations Act(NLRA).

Signed into law in 1935 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the “New Deal”, the NLRA gave working people the opportunity to stand together and organize for better wages and working conditions. It created the National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights.

Throughout its history, the NLRA has proven itself to be the great equalizer in the fight for a balanced economy that works for everyone.

It’s encouraging that those who feel the economic deck is stacked against them are starting to get the message that a government that cares about working people can level the playing field.

It’s also become clear that organizing or joining a union makes a real difference. It’s more than dollars and cents, it’s a voice on the job and the health care and retirement security workers and their families deserve.

A recent poll found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they have a positive view of labor unions, the highest approval rate since 2008.

And that’s something to celebrate.

Happy Labor Day.

 

6800 North High Street, Worthington, Ohio, 43085-2512
Phone: 614-841-1918
Fax: 614-841-1299