AFSCME Local 954 Member Honored

Ron Kelley, the longest serving employee of the Franklin County Engineer’s Office was recognized for his outstanding years of service at the Engineer’s 2019 Employee Appreciation Ceremony.   

“Ron certainly deserves this award for his 41 years of service. He always does a great job and comes to work each day with a smile for everyone,” said AFSCME Local 954 President Ken Haynes. 

“I’m proud of Ron and the way all our members work together with the administration to keep Franklin County’s 261 miles of roads and more than 500 bridges and culverts safe year-round,” he said.

Kelly has served under five county engineers.  In 1978, Ron was new on the job and got a crash course in snow and ice removal when Ohio was hit by the worst blizzard in its recorded history.

AFSCME Local 954 member Ron Kelley and Franklin County Engineer Cornell R. Robertson

AFSCME Local 954 member Ron Kelley and Franklin County Engineer Cornell R. Robertson

Statement from Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga on Freedom Foundation

An out-of-state anti-union and anti-worker extreme and dangerous organization has come into Ohio with the goal to lower your wages, strip you of benefits and healthcare, and privatize your pensions. We need to stay stronger together more than ever now against the dangerous and destructive Freedom Foundation. Read the statement from Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga below.

Statement by Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga
on Freedom Foundation Deployment Against Ohio Workers

“The Freedom Foundation’s announcement that it will set up shop in Ohio is no surprise.  This out-of-state, extreme group has been attempting to undermine American workers’ collective bargaining rights since its inception.  We are proud that we have successfully fended off similar attacks in the past, and we stand ready to defeat the false rhetoric of this front group.  Their dangerous ideas would lower wages, reduce benefits and make workplaces less safe.”

“We need to work together in Ohio to help grow our economy from the middle out and we don’t need nor do we want these divisive groups trying to prevent that. Popular support for unions is high and Ohioans have directly supported our collective bargaining rights at the ballot box.”

Changes Coming to Ohio Public Employees Retirement System Benefits

After months of discussion, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) will institute a “freeze” to its annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2022 and 2023.  OPERS has stated that the elimination of the COLA for this two (2) year period will assist in sustaining the healthcare benefit for OPERS retirees. 

Under the current benefit structure individuals who retired prior to January 7, 2013 receive an annual 3 percent COLA.  Individuals that retired after that date have their COLA based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI) capped at 3 percent.  Once the freeze is eliminated in 2024, individuals will be returned to the status they held prior to the freeze being implemented.

In addition to the proposed COLA changes, OPERS is considering additional changes that will impact future retirees hired on or after January 1, 2022.  Known as Group D, these individuals would be impacted by the following changes:

COLA Freeze – A retiree’s first COLA would be delayed until the 2nd pension anniversary (24 months) after retirement.

Higher Member Contribution Rate – The Member Contribution Rate would be increased to 11 percent (currently 10 percent).

Benefit Eligibility – The prosed change would increase the Age and Service requirement needed to receive an unreduced benefit; currently age 55 with 32 years of service OR age 67 with 5 years of service.

Under the NEW eligibility requirement an individual would had to have reached one of the following thresholds:

  • Age 62 with 35 years of service.
  • Age 67 with 25 years of service.
  • Age 70 with 5 years of service.

Final Average Salary (FAS) – The amount of years used to calculate benefit would increase to 10 years (currently 5 years).

Reduction in Multiplier – The multiplier currently used to calculate retirement currently set at 2.2 percent would be reduced to 2 percent.

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 does not currently support the Group D plan because in our view, it places more of the burden on the backs of workers while threatening the overall financial stability of the system.  As OPERS continues to develop this plan we will keep members update to it status.

Sean Grayson Elected President of AFSCME Ohio Council 8

Left to Right Newly elected Council 8 President R. Sean Grayson, First Vice President Marcia Knox and former President John A. Lyall

In a resounding and heartfelt show of support, delegates to the 23rd Ohio Council 8 convention unanimously elected the union’s top leaders to new terms.

Without opposition, Ohio Council 8’s General Counsel Sean Grayson was elected as the new President of AFSCME Ohio Council 8 and former Field Services Director Marcia Knox was elected as First Vice President.

 

“I know I am leaving our union in good hands with Sean and Marcia at the helm,” said soon to be former president John A. Lyall.

 

“Having faith in their ability and the wisdom of Council 8 members, I knew they would be elected to the union’s top leadership positions. That made my decision to retire much easier,” Lyall said.

Ann Sulfridge

In addition, AFSCME Local 265 President Eddie Lawson was re-elected as Secretary  Treasurer and AFSCME Local 101 President Ann Sulfridge was re-elected as Recording Secretary.

Regional Vice presidents were elected without opposition in the Akron, Cleveland, Dayton and Youngstown regions. Elections were held for Regional Vice Presidents for the Athens, Columbus and Cincinnati regions and for trustees.

Eddie Lawson

Below are all those elected for Executive Boards across the state.

 


 

AFSCME Women Are Leaders

AFSCME WOMEN KNOW FIRSTHAND THE POWER OF POLITICAL ORGANIZING.

When AFSCME women stand together and lift our voices, we create strong communities. We organize for rights and respect, and in 2020 we will organize to make sure people in public service have a say in the elections.  

Whether you’re running for president, Congress, city council or anything in between, you had better be committed to public service and the people who get the job done every day. 

Women are a majority of public service workers and a majority of AFSCME members. We keep our communities thriving, and we won’t sit on the sidelines when the future of our country is at stake. Our deep love for our families and a commitment to our communities mean AFSCME women will work hard in 2020.

Read the full story here: https://www.afscme.org/now/afscme-women-lead

Labor Day Statement From AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall

On this Labor Day I want to recognize your dedication as professionals to serve the communities where you live and work.

Labor Day means many things to many people — the end of summer, back to school, or a day off to spend with family and friends.

But for AFSCME members, Labor Day stands for something special. It’s a day to honor our work, to stand up, speak out and take pride in what we do.

It’s a day to reflect on the values we hold — that every worker should be able to have a job that can support a family. Where access to an education and affordable healthcare isn’t a luxury and a secure retirement is within everyone’s reach.

Thank you for your service and your dedication to keep our nation and our great union moving forward.

In Solidarity,

John. A. Lyall

President AFSCME Ohio Council 8

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AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall Announces Retirement

Dear Sisters and brothers,

At our upcoming 23rd Biennial convention in October we will be electing and re-electing leaders responsible for the continued growth and effectiveness of our great union.

At this time I am announcing that, after much thought and consideration, I will retire and NOT run for re-election as AFSCME Ohio Council 8 president.

Many people think of John Lyall as the face of AFSCME Ohio Council 8. Those of you who know me understand that’s not true. I’ve always tried to make it clear that our union isn’t about me, our elected leaders, or professional staff. It’s about you – the members.

YOU are the people in charge of our union – each and every member. Ohio Council 8’s leaders and staff work hard to make our union great. But at the end of the day, we are a member-driven union. That means we need the participation of every member to make us that much better and that much stronger.

I am hopeful about our union’s future because I know it will be capable hands. While leaders come and go, our union always carries on. Clearly, Ohio Council 8 is not going anywhere except forward.

Sisters and brothers, I want you to understand that this was not an easy decision to make. However I know that it is the right one for me, my family and my union family, AFSCME Ohio Council 8.

Like any organization, we can benefit from new leaders and new ideas. I have full confidence that whoever YOU choose to lead us as our next president will take our union to even greater heights.

I look forward to the next great chapter in Ohio Council 8’s history. It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as your President. My heart will always be with our great union.

In solidarity,
John A. Lyall

Be Tick Smart!

Ticks – Beware These Summer Hitchhikers

The summer season is here, and many Ohio Council 8 members are busy mowing grass, removing brush and cutting back undergrowth in parks, along streets and highways, vacant lots and rights of way.

Summer is also tick season. Outdoor workers need to be vigilant to protect themselves and their families from these summertime hitchhikers. According to the Ohio Department of Health, your odds of getting bit by a tick and contracting a disease are getting higher each year in Ohio.

In the past four years, the number of cases of Lyme disease in Ohio nearly doubled, with 293 cases reported in 2018. There have already been more than 27 cases reported statewide so far this year.

In addition to Lyme disease, tick bites can also transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Health records indicate there were 38 Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases last year across Ohio.

If you experience a tick bite on the job, make sure you report the bite to your supervisor as you would any work-related injury. If the bite should make you ill, you will have proof that it occurred on the job and the documentation you will need to take sick leave or apply for workers compensation.

Thoroughly check yourself and your clothing at the end of your shift or soon after. Ticks are notorious hitchhikers and while you may not get bitten, you may be bringing an infected tick into your home where it could bite other family members or pets.

Click here for more information on tick bites.

Remembering AFSCME Local 250 Member Leroy Garrison Jr.

Ohio Council 8 is sad to report the death of AFSCME Local 250 member Leroy Garrison Jr., 48 who died Monday in an on the job accident.

A Cincinnati city electrical maintenance worker in the Department of Public Services, Garrison, a father of two, was working alone when he apparently came into contact with energized wires.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic death,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.  “He was a respected, long-time city employee and he will be missed by his family, his community and all who knew him.” 

Emergency crews responded after 911 callers reported the accident and found active wires covering the bucket of his City Public Services truck.

The city has suspended all non-emergency electrical maintenance while the death is investigated. Officials said flags at all city buildings would be lowered in Garrison’s honor according to the city manager’s office.

Dayton Tornado: Sen. Brown and Mayor Whaley meet with AFSCME members

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown met with Ohio leaders after more than 50 twisters rampaged across the state on the night of May 28. The storms, damaged property, and caused at least 130 injuries and one death.

While in Dayton Brown met with AFSCME 101 union leaders and Mayor Nan Whaley to assess the damage to the city’s water treatment plant that knocked out water service to thousands. In addition, some 80,000 area residents were without electricity.

“Senator Sherrod Brown and Mayor Nan Whaley came to our water plant today,” said AFSCME Local 101 President Ann Sulfridge. “With their leadership and the amazing dedication of our AFSCME Local 101 members working around the clock, we are recovering from the damage to our neighborhoods. Our community spirit is second to none. Proving, once again, we are stronger together,” she said.

All water and electricity services are expected to be  restored today.

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Left to right: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, AFSCME Local 101 President Ann Sufridge and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. (Photo by Tom Ritchie Sr.)

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