AFSCME Council 8 Local 2950 member, Josh Keller, Bears The Cold To Care For Animals At The Columbus Zoo

The sub-zero temperatures were tough for anyone, but especially those who work outside. Wind chill temperatures hit 31 degrees below zero in central Ohio.

It was so cold in central Ohio Wednesday that ice caked the eyelashes of Josh Keller as he made his rounds at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium caring for the reindeer, moose and wolverines.

At the Hilton Columbus Downtown across from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, parking attendants wearing ski caps, gloves and warm jackets welcomed any chance to huddle inside for a few moments between attending to a steady stream of visitors pulling up outside.

AAA Auto Club worker Bob Byrum was managing to stay warm as he drove around the city jump-starting cars with one exception: “The fingertips, more than anything, get cold,” he said as he fidgeted to get a car started in Worthington.

Wednesday was a challenge for anyone going from their home to the car to work in the sub-zero weather, but for workers who spend their time outdoors, the conditions were brutal and potentially dangerous.

Read the full Columbus Dispatch article here.

 

 

 

Photo by the Columbus Dispatch

State board rules Wright State faculty strike can continue

The board’s decision came after an emergency meeting was called for Sunday during which attorneys for the administration and the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors each made their cases.

The administration on Thursday filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the state, asking it to declare the faculty strike unauthorized.

Read the full article in the Dayton Daily News here.

The picket line continues.

Union Benefits Go Far Beyond the Workplace

Unions also fortify the social safety net and aid communities on the path to self-sufficiency.

Organized labor has been through a tough half-century, as deindustrialization, economic deregulation, and an all-out right-wing attack have decimated union membership across the country. But new research shows how the benefits of organized labor extend far beyond union members’ paychecks: Unions also help fortify the social safety net and push workers’ families and communities toward long-term self-sufficiency.

According to a study by University of Minnesota researchers on the effects of union membership on Uncle Sam’s balance sheets, unionized workers overall contribute more in tax revenue, rely less on welfare, and secure more sustainable jobs. The analysis, which tracks tax and income data from 1994 to 2015, shows a clear immediate payoff: union members’ average yearly income (about $48,000) is roughly $7,400, or 16 percent, more than what nonunion workers earn. In turn, these higher-earning workers also depend less on benefits like food stamps or cash assistance.

Read the full article from The Nation here.

World Peace Prize for Ohio Labor Leader

Fr. Sean McManus, Secretary-Treasurer Petee Talley, Barbara Flaherty

CAPITOL HILL – The first woman to serve in a top Ohio AFL-CIO position has been honored by the World Peace Prize organization. Pierrette “Petee” Talley of Columbus is the first woman to hold one of the top two offices in the 56-year history of the Ohio AFL-CIO—Secretary-Treasurer. Ms. Talley, a member of AFSCME Local 3616, was first elected in 2002.

“No one is more deserving of this honor than Secretary Treasurer Talley.  I am proud to stand with the labor community as we recognize her as richly worthy of  this most prestigious award,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

On Monday, January 7, 2019, in the United Food Commercial Workers union hall, Columbus, the World Peace Prize of “Roving Ambassador for Peace” was conferred upon Ms. Talley.

The Prize was presented by Fr. Sean McManus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize. The presentation ceremony was chaired by Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, Irish National Caucus, and a Judge on the World Peace Prize Awarding Council. Fr. Mc Manus described Secretary-Treasurer Talley as “a Rosa Parks of the Ohio labor movement.”

Ms. Talley said: “This is truly a tremendous honor and I am deeply humbled to accept it on behalf of workers in Ohio and across the nation. World peace is a mission that we all must aspire to in our quest for justice for those who labor in the building of our nation’s goods and services, and we do so unselfishly and with pride, in the spirit of peace.”

Fr. McManus Speaking.

Fr. Sean McManus and John Lyall, President, Ohio AFSCME

 

Pierrette “Petee” Talley, Secretary-Treasurer of Ohio AFL-CIO

Acceptance Address on Receiving the World Peace Prize ” Roving Ambassador for Peace.”

Thank you all so very much for being here today as I accept this very prestigious award.

To Father Sean McManus, the Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize Awarding Council who deemed me worthy of the proposing my name for the Prize. Thank you also to the 14-member panel of International and Interfaith judges that unanimously agreed. Thank you, Ms. Flaherty, for traveling here today to present the award and my sincerest thanks to all of you for being here today as I accept this award on behalf of the workers and the labor movement that I love so dearly. As a movement for worker justice, it is difficult to separate what we do as advocates for fairness on the job from the cause of peace.

You will often hear us when we are in the midst of an action chant, “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE, OR NO CONTRACT, NO PEACE.” What we are suggesting is that in the face of injustice, those who are at the origins of injustice based on indifference, greed, bigotry, and inequality, must be called to task…

Also, to be clear, this award is also an acknowledgment that if we KNOW JUSTICE, we will KNOW PEACE and that means we must also be keepers of the peace in the face of attacks against humanity.  That means, living one’s life in love, truth, integrity, and commitment to others; something I try to live out daily. … I’m reminded every day that I’m in service to others, to workers who have a voice through collective bargaining, and those who do not.  I’m in the fight for justice and peace because I believe that we must harness our collective power as we continue the fight for our respect at work and in our communities with our neighbors, collectively pushing back against those seeking to keep us divided.

I will continue to serve even as the threat of injustice looms all around us; I will continue to stand for peace and love. My early upbringing in the church, where we learn the golden rule, grounds me and keeps me humble as I have answered the call. My family couldn’t be here today, but I thank them for their sacrifice while I’m doing this work that eats into so much family time.

I’m grateful for the love of my union family, AFSCME, Ohio AFL-CIO staff and affiliates, APRI, CBTU, my family and that I have the support of organizations that I serve with and all the folks who are in the trenches making a difference every day. 

I leave you with a bible verse James 3:18 that reads “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Do we have any peacemakers in the hall?  Do we have any justice fighters in the hall?

Thank you for bestowing this great honor of “Roving Ambassador for Peace”!

Union wins back jobs of illegally fired members

Action by AFSCME Ohio Council 8 won back the jobs and pay owed 13 illegally fired Willoughby Hills employees caught in the cross-fire between the northern Ohio city’s feuding Mayor and City Council.

The 13 workers were fired after the city’s Mayor angered a majority of city council members by recognizing the union and including certain positions in the bargaining unit. 

Because of their ongoing irritation over this issue, the same Council members attempted to reject the tentative agreement reached between Ohio Council 8 and the Mayor.  However, by not objecting within the 30-day window period required by the State Employment Relations Board (SERB), the agreement became the new union’s first contract.

City Council then attempted to overrule the Mayor and hired outside counsel to demand that the union re-open the contract and negotiate over wages and the disputed positions. While the union agreed to discuss the Council’s concerns, it steadfastly refused to reopen the contract.

City Council’s next move, without notice or an opportunity to bargain, was to lay off virtually all of AFSCME’s bargaining unit employees claiming the City lacked funds to retain the jobs.  However, no other non-AFSCME city personnel were targeted for layoff.

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 promptly filed an unfair labor practice charge with SERB to demand the return of its fired members.   

Effectively argued before the full SERB board by Ohio Council 8 Associate Counsel Michelle Evans, the board found that no budgetary constraints required the layoffs and the City Council’s action was a pre-text to eliminate the union and its supporters.

The board ordered the reinstatement of the workers with back pay from their April 30, 2018 layoff date, which could cost the city an estimated $250,000 to $300,000.

New Years Greetings from AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall

New Year’s Greetings,

The beginning of a new year is a time to both reflect, and to look ahead.

Working together AFSCME Ohio Council 8 members faced and overcame many challenges in 2018. And for that we are grateful.

In the coming year our union will continue to fight for dignity on the job.  AFSCME members will be working every day to insure our livelihood is protected, that we are safe at work, and that our contracts are respected by management.

In 2019, we expect the efforts by the far-right wing to weaken our union will continue.  We will see this on the job, in the courts, in the political arena, and at our front doors.

In unity there is strength. Standing together as AFSCME Ohio Council 8 members, we are prepared to effectively deal with the issues that lie ahead.

On behalf of the officers and leaders of AFSCME Ohio Council 8, I wish you and your family all the best for a happy, healthy New Year.

In Solidarity,

John A. Lyall
President
AFSCME Ohio Council 8, AFL-CIO

Union Power Wins Strong Contract

A united membership and a committed negotiating committee won AFSCME Local 1880 a successor contract with the Stark County Area Regional Transportation Authority (SARTA). The agreement, which included wage increases and benefit improvements, was overwhelmingly approved by union members.

The three-year contract calls for 3 percent across-the-board pay increase in each year of the agreement.  In addition to the percentage increase, the contract included a 40-cent-per hour equity increase in the first year and a $1,000 signing bonus. 

With SARTA being one of only a handful of transit systems fueling busses with hydrogen, its Hydrogen Mechanics received a $3 per hour equity increase due to the more dangerous work environment and the special skills needed to maintain the vehicles.

The union also made significant improvements in health care benefits.

“Improving heath care was the committee’s number one priority,” said Shawn Daum, president of the 155-member local union.  “We were able to reach agreement on a $750 yearly health care premium which is reduced to $250 by a $500 credit for participation the wellness program.” 

The union was also able to maximize the cost-effective vision, dental and other health care services provided by the Ohio AFSCME Care Plan.

According to Daum, the union “finally got a foot in the door” on sick leave. In the absence of actual sick leave, members will now be able to convert up to 3 days of vacation in case of an illness without going through the usual approval process, “and that’s a start,” he said.

Left to right. Lee Brunkhart, Shawn Daum, Pam Penix, Johnnie Mea Bingham, Paul Henrich, Joe Risby and Chris Cooper

Breakfast with Santa and Firefighters

AFSCME Local 1091 members held a “Breakfast with Santa” community service event to raise money for the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.

The 16-member union will use the money to buy hand tools and equipment and to help the Hillsboro community with fire prevention awareness.

“We’re trying to raise money so we can buy things we usually pay for out of our own pockets,” said AFSCME Local 1091 Steve Vance.

The union is only three years old and is one of a handful of new unions organized by AFSCME Ohio Council 8 representing part-time paid volunteer firefights around Ohio.   

From Left, Union president Steve Vance, Spencer Boond,

Tyler Coleman and Brandon Robinson.

Ohio Council 8 Volunteer Member Organizers Skill-Up

Ohio Council 8 members joined more than 160 AFSCME members from around the country who gathered in Las Vegas last week to lift up the voice of public service workers and move our union forward. 

“No one is better than a union member to explain the benefits of joining and belonging to a union.  That’s why VMOs are so effective organizing new members and in internal organizing,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Organizing Director Steve Roth.

Conference attendees participated in skill-building training sessions as well as gaining practical organizing experience. Leaving the classroom and hitting the streets, VMO’s knocked on the doors of Nevada state workers in anticipation of a pro-union administration by the state’s new Governor. 

For AFSCME Local 2191 Columbus Health Department President Jamie Shoemaker, the conference “was a great opportunity for information sharing and ways to make sure our union continues to grow. Our message was clear – joining a union is the best way to improve lives of all public employees – in Nevada and Ohio.”   

President Lee Saunders addressed the VMOs on the first day of the conference, telling them, “No matter the politician or the boss, it’s on us to grow this union and take care of our families and those we serve. And that’s why we are here. VMOs have a set of experiences and perspectives that cannot be replaced.”

In addition to Shoemaker, Council 8 members Kelly Bennett of Dayton, Keava McLoughlin of Columbus, Marilyn Fletcher, of Toledo, Quanna Murphy and Linda Wilson  of Cincinnati, Shawn Daum of Akron, and Tina Brown of Athens, attended the conference.

AFSCME Local 2191 President Jamie Shoemaker, first row left, joined by other O-H-I-O AFSCME members at the International Union’s Las Vegas VMO conference.

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 stands strong with Lordstown workers

AFSCME Council 8 is standing strong with workers in Lordstown, Ohio as they fight to keep the General Motors Lordstown Complex running and save the countless jobs that rely on the complex.

 

Drive It Home Ohio is a collaborative effort bringing together the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce and UAW local 1112, along with local business, community and religious leaders, workers, consumers and their families, to urge General Motors to support growing their investment at the Lordstown Complex. We build cars in northeast Ohio and those jobs build our economy in the region and all across the state. Drive It Home will grow jobs in the Mahoning Valley, protect manufacturing jobs in our state and ensure that American cars are made in the United States.

 

American-made cars should be made in America. No more outsourcing jobs and leaving American workers behind. Join us in supporting the efforts of Drive It Home Ohio and the workers in the Mahoning Valley. They have been loyal, hard working dedicated members of the GM Family for 52 years and we need to remind GM and the world that you don’t turn your back on family.

 

Find Drive It Home Ohio on Facebook and Twitter and like and follow their pages to show your support!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Drive-it-Home-Ohio-2154785934574190/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/driveithomeohio

 

You can also sign up for updates and additional information at the Drive It Home Ohio website: http://driveithomeohio.com/

 

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