Pierrette “Petee” Talley Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

It is with great pleasure we announce that AFSCME’s own  Pierrette “Petee” Talley, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ohio Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI).

“This is a well-deserved recognition of her life-long career as a union activist. Beginning as an AFSCME Ohio Council 8 staffer in 1980, she rose to one of the highest offices of Ohio’s state federation of labor,” said Ohio Council 8 Field Services Director Marcia Knox, who introduced Talley at the APRI awards ceremony held in Dayton.

“Petee Talley has always been a dedicated trade unionist who has been described as “a Rosa Parks of the Ohio labor movement,” Knox said.

She has held several positions with AFSCME including working as the union’s political and legislative director in Michigan from 1994 to 1999.

In 1999, the national AFL-CIO appointed Petee to the position of Ohio Director of Field Mobilization. In that capacity she was responsible for directing and implementing programs that engaged union affiliates and activists around political, organizing and legislative activities and working with the state’s central labor councils.

Talley was elected as Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer in 2002 and retired in 2019. She succeeded Donald K. Day, the first African-American and first  public employee to hold the position.  She is the first woman to hold that position.

In January she was honored with the “World Peace Prize — Roving Ambassador for Peace” by the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.

Founded in 1965, the  A. Philip Randolph Institute (www.apri.org/) is an organization committed to the fight for racial equality and economic justice. Today, APRI is led by President Clayola Brown, whose vision and energy has sparked a new beginning for the organization and for the movement as a whole.

Left to right, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Dayton Regional Director Stacey Benson Taylor, Petee Talley, Ohio Council 8 Field Services Director Marcia Knox, and Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO Executive Director Dianne Walsh.

Rep. Sobecki responds to State of the State address with cautious optimism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 5, 2019

Rep. Sobecki responds to State of the State address with cautious optimism

COLUMBUS—State Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) today reacted to Governor Mike DeWine’s State of the State address and welcomed her guests from the 45th House District for the address, Andre and Tricia Baker.

“I applaud Governor DeWine for highlighting some of the struggles middle-class families like Andre and Tricia’s face across our state each and every day,” said Rep. Sobecki. “Education and equal opportunity are important priorities for Andre and Tricia, and many other Ohio families. I urge the Governor to follow through on his promises to address these issues and help middle-class families succeed and get ahead.”

Andre and Tricia’s two daughters attend Toledo Public Schools and face rapidly increasing college tuition costs and a high debt crisis. Andre works at Lucas County Jobs and Family Services in the maintenance department and is an officer with AFSCME Council 8 Chapter 544-01.

Left to right, State Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) former AFSCME Local 544 member, and union member Andre Baker and wife Tricia

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Local 3360 Wins Benchmark Contract at MetroHealth

AFSCME Local 3360 won a benchmark contract at Cleveland’s MetroHealth Hospital that increased wages, improved benefits and took a giant step toward a living wage for the union’s lowest paid members.

Overwhelmingly approved by union members, the contract includes a 6.5 percent across-the-board wage increase over the life of the three-year agreement. In addition, the union won a ground-breaking provision that established a $15 per hour minimum wage.

According to Julie Albers, president of the 2,000-member union, the move affected nearly 800 hospital employees including some 300 workers whose pay jumped by three dollars per hour.

“This was a huge gain that will improve the lives of our members and allow us to retain and attract the kind of people that make our hospital great,” Albers said.

In addition, the union made significant progress on health care benefits which will cover 100 percent of costs starting in the second year of the contract. Under the plan there will be no deductibles or co-pays at the doctor’s office, everything will be covered.

“There will be a cost increase, but the savings our members will receive will more than make up for that,” said Cleveland Regional Director Mark Davis.

“We also got a wellness program in the contract that includes a significant premium offset for those who participate, so the cost will be minimal,” he said.

MetroHealth is a public hospital serving the 1.2 million residents of Cuyahoga County Ohio where employees have been represented by AFSCME Local 3360 for 35 years.   

The AFSCME Local 3360 leadership team negotiated a bench mark contract with Cleveland’s MetroHealth hospital
that included a $15 minimum wage provision.

2019 AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Family Scholarship Now Available

The AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Family Scholarship committee is pleased to announce this year’s four-year, $2,500 per year women’s scholarship is named in honor of Carolyn Jackson, and this year’s men’s scholarship honors Donald K. Day.

Carolyn Jackson began her 20-year AFSCME career in 1978, when she was hired as office secretary for the Columbus headquarters office of Ohio’s newly united Public Employee Councils that we now know as AFSCME Ohio Council 8.

As her responsibilities grew, she was promoted to Administrative Assistant to Ohio Council 8 President Robert Brindza. Through the 1980s until she retired in 1998, Jackson played an important part in the union’s growth reliably coordinating and maintaining records and dependably providing administrative support.

Prior to joining AFSCME, she had a 15-year career as a secretary, working first for Batelle Memorial Institute and then as a legal secretary at a private legal firm.

     Jackson lives in Columbus Ohio and is still active in her church and community.

  Donald K. Day started his 32-year labor career as a member, and later became president, of AFSCME Local 1746, which represents Cuyahoga County employees, while working as a probation officer. In 1970, he joined AFSCME’s staff as director of the Cleveland-based Hospital Career Development Program. A year later, he became Assistant Director of AFSCME’s political legislative program in Columbus.

    In 1978, with the creation of AFSCME Ohio Council 8 which unified the state’s multiple public employee regional councils, Day was elected First Vice President and served Council 8 for nine years.

     During this time Day also served on the Executive Board of the Ohio AFL-CIO. In 1987, he left AFSCME after being elected the Ohio AFL-CIO’s Secretary Treasurer, a position he held until his death in 2002.  He was the first public employee to hold that position.      

     Day was active in civic and community organizations, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Columbus Urban League, NAACP, and served on the Franklin County Mental Health board and the Executive Committee of the Ohio Democratic Party.

    Before his career in the labor movement, he served in the U.S. Army, was a city firefighter and taught in the Cleveland Public School System.

     Ohio Council 8 First Vice President Harold Mitchell, chair of the executive board’s scholarship committee, encourages all eligible students to apply for the $2,500 per year, four-year scholarships. In addition to Mitchell, the scholarship committee includes Ohio Council 8 Cleveland Regional Vice President Julie Albers, Ohio Council8 Athens Regional Vice President David Logan, and Trustee Kim Gaines.

Eligibility Requirements:

An applicant’s parent must be an AFSCME Ohio Council 8 affiliated local union member who has been in good standing for at least one (1) calendar year prior to May 1, 2019.

  In addition, an applicant must graduate from high school in the year in which application for the scholarship is made and must attend a four (4) year accredited college or university as a full-time student.

   Full details are included in the official application brochure which is can be downloaded at afscmecouncil8.org and is also available at all Ohio Council 8 regional offices.

  Applications must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, May 1,2019. Applications which are  incomplete, or which are postmarked after the specified date, will be ineligible for consideration. Winners will be announced by June 30, 2019.

 

Learn more.

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

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