AFSCME members Support Toledo’s Striking Nurses

Members of AFSCME Local 2415 representing University of Toledo Medical Center employees showed their support for nearly 2,000 nurses and support technicians on strike at Mercy Health’s St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

The dispute centers on two main issues: fair and equitable contract so they can get back to the work they love — caring for our community,” said Randy Despoisto, President of the 2000-member union at UTMC.

United Auto Workers Locals 12 and 2213, representing St. Vincent Medical Center workers, filed unfair labor practice charges against the hospital because of supervisors who have been threatening employees in one-on-one captive audience meetings urging them not to participate in strike.

Since July 30, the two sides have met a total of 56 times. The unions are negotiating the first labor contract for Mercy Health since it nearly doubled in size last year. St. Vincent has about 2,764 workers, and 1,884 are under union contract.

Local 2415 member Desiree Spears, second from right, with union President Randy Desposito, far right, support striking nurses at St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.


For Immediate Release

April 24, 2019



CLEVELAND – John Lyall, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 president, announced today an agreement has been reached with Cuyahoga County, and nurses and medical staff at the Cuyahoga County Jail will have jobs and not face being fired without due process.

Lyall thanked UAW Region 2-B Director Rich Rankin, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairwoman Shontel Brown, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, County Council President Dan Brady and MetroHealth Systems CEO Dr. Akram Boutros for their efforts over the past week to work together to ensure the nurses and medical staff were not fired.

“The nurses and medical staff at the Cuyahoga County Jail are dedicated, caring, and deserve to be respected for their commitment to our community,” said John Lyall, President of AFSCME Ohio Council 8. “I’m hopeful that our elected and community leaders will double their resolve in the future to stand up for working people. When workers like these nurses and medical staffers contribute so much to the well-being of our community, they in return deserve to be treated fairly with a living wage, health care, and dignity. They were not asking for anything more than to keep working, and I’m glad we were able to make sure they will have jobs.”

The picket line scheduled for the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Dinner on April 28th has been cancelled.

Lyall also thanked Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, Petee Talley, retired Secretary Treasurer, Ohio AFL-CIO, Northshore Federation Executive Secretary Harriet Applegate, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, President Pat Gallagher, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, and leadership in OAPSE AFSCME, SEIU 1199 and FLOC for their support and help in bringing the sides together.


For more information:

Joe Weidner


AFSCME Stands Up For County Jail Medical Services Workers

In a move to remedy chronic staff shortages and improve conditions at the county jail, the Cuyahoga County Council recently discussed a planed contract with MetroHealth System to take over all jail medical operations.

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Staff  Representative Carlisha Powell was on hand at the public meeting to stand up for members of AFSCME Local 2927 which represents 35 licensed practical nurses, social workers and other service employees at the jail.

Powell noted that some county medical service employees have worked at the jail for more than two decades and asked the Council to protect their jobs.

The union is asking that all the jail’s AFSCME bargaining unit employees be guaranteed jobs when MetroHealth takes over the operation scheduled for later this year.

Nurses and other health care and support personnel at MetroHealth are represented by AFSCME Local 3360.
Pictured: AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Staff  Representative Carlisha Powell

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 ( 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


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


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 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.

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