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


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.


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

Former Vice President of AFSCME Local 100 Lynnie Powell Presented With The 2019 Honorary Certificate of Applied Politics

Cleveland labor and political activist Lynnie Powell was presented with the 2019 Honorary Certificate of Applied Politics by The University of Akron’s prestigious Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

For more than 50 years Lynnie Powell has been a political icon in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Ohio Democratic Politics. Since 2004, she has been the Regional Political Director for the Ohio Democratic party and was Deputy Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for 13 years.

“As the former, long-time Vice President of AFSCME Local 100, the union representing City of Cleveland employees, Lynnie has never forgotten her labor roots. She has always focused on ways to make politics work for workers. This recognition is richly deserved,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

Over the course of her career Lynnie Powell has been advisor to U.S. Rep. Lou Stokes, his brother Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city, Cleveland City Council President George Forbes and countless others.

Powell served as Regional Political Director for the Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.  In addition, she is also the former Executive Director for the Black Elected Democrats of Cleveland.

Lynnie has four children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. She is a master gardener and each year plants a community garden and always gives away the fall’s harvest.   

The University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is a bipartisan research and teaching institute dedicated to increasing understanding of the political process with special emphasis on political parties, grassroots activity and ethical behavior. 


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.

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