Mourning Richard Trumka

Richard Trumka

It is with a heavy heart we mourn the untimely passing of national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.  Richard Trumka was a tireless advocate for workers’ rights and always stood with AFSCME to defend the rights of public employees.


      Rich began his work in the labor movement as a coal miner and rose through the ranks to become the leader of the United Mine Workers of America and then became the leader of the national AFL-CIO. Throughout his career he never forgot where he came from and was always on the side of workers on every issue and in every  struggle.

      Rich was on our side when anti-union forces in Ohio tried to take away our hard won collective bargaining rights in 2011. He was with us leading the labor movement’s response to the most anti-worker presidential administration in our lifetime.

      Rich was labor’s voice in the media, in congress, and more importantly, with us in person on the picket line, at rallies and demonstrations, and graced our AFSCME conventions with his message of solidarity and the key part public employees play in communities in Ohio and the nation.

      We can all honor Rich’s legacy by fighting to pass the PRO Act and building solidarity with working people every chance we get. We are sending our love and prayers to the Trumka family and everyone in the AFL-CIO and labor movement as we mourn the loss of a true leader and a strong voice for workers in America and around the world. 
R. Sean Grayson,
President AFSCME Ohio Council 8, AFL-CIO

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Scholarship Winners 2021!

The Ohio Council 8 Executive Board is pleased to announce that Simone Hester has been awarded the Patricia Kittle Scholarship and Michael Patterson has been awarded the Leroy Elmore Scholarship as part of the Ohio Council 8 2021 Family Scholarship program.

Simone Hester

Simone is the daughter of Sunday McDuffey is a 16-year member of AFSCME Local 3411, which represents employees of the Toledo City Clerks office.

A graduate of the Toledo School for the Arts, Simone was a motivated student who achieved an outstanding academic record and skill as an artist. In addition, she participated in many school and community activities including serving as a vocal advocate for several medical causes in her community.

In her winning essay, Montgomery saw firsthand the difference a union can make.  As the child of a single parent “the opportunity to become a union member provided my mother with one of the most important things she desperately needed  – job security.”

Simone will be attending Kent State University this fall and plans to follow her passion as an artist and become a fashion designer.       

Michael Patterson

The 2021 men’s scholarship winner, Michael Patterson, is the son of 19-year AFSCME Local 0027 member Robin Patterson. An active member of the union representing Cuyahoga County office of Child Support Services, she serves on the union’s executive board. 

Michael graduated from Euclid Hills High School, where he was an active student with a strong academic record.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, was the, captain of the varsity basketball team for two consecutive years and was respected by his classmates and teachers. 

In his winning essay, Michael recounted lessons he learned through his mother’s association with AFSCME.  “My mother would always say ‘there is strength in numbers” and through her actions I learned a group has more power than a single person.”

Michael will be attending John Carroll University in the fall where he plans on pursing a communications degree with a goal of becoming a sports reporter.

The 2021 AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Scholarships are named in honor of Patricia “Pat” Kittle and Leroy Elmore .

Sister Kittle worked as a registered nurse at Trumbull Regional Medical Center for more than 42 years. A graduate of the Trumbull Memorial School of Nursing, she embarked on a career dedicated to the selfless care for others. 

A key activist during the successful nine-day strike for union recognition in 1999, Pat went on to serve as vice president of AFSCME Local 2026 for 20 years and in 2019, she became Union President. 

A caring individual, she was regarded as a person who could solve any problem with grace and efficiency. Pat passed away in June of 2020.

Brother Elmore started his health care career in the 1960’s and was employed by Cleveland’s Mt. Sinai Hospital as a pathology assistant starting in 1971.

A year later, he was instrumental in forming an AFSCME local union at the hospital and served as a member, steward and union president for more than ten years. In 1985, he joined the AFSCME first as an organizer and later he became an Ohio Council 8 staff representative and in 1998, he became Cleveland Regional Director. 

In 2001, he joined the AFSCME Ohio Care Plan as Plan Administrator and served for 12 years before retiring, topping off his 39-year AFSCME career.

Leroy lives in Euclid Ohio and is still active in the community.

Ohio Council 8 First Vice President Marcia Knox, chairperson of the executive board committee that reviews the scholarship applications, wished Simone and Michael the best of luck pursuing their higher education goals.  

The Ohio Council 8 Family Scholarship program was established in 1982.

Memorial Day 2021

AFSCME Local 771 City of Ironton Ohio members putting flags up along the city’s flood wall along the Ohio River. Member, Brain Caudil handing flags up to Wade Jenkins, and member Joe Brammer -not shown – is driving the truck.

On Monday, May 31st America will remember the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country. From large cities to small towns AFSCME Ohio Council 8 members across the state take great pride in honoring those who have served our nation.

Members in Council 8’s Athens region, serving 14 counties in Southeastern Ohio, included Ohio River towns of Ironton and Portsmouth, members of AFSCME Local 771 and AFSCME Local 1039 were on the job helping their communities honor those that served.

“Our members show their civic spirit every day on the job, but Memorial Day weekend is special,” said Athens Regional Vice President John Ackison, president of AFSCME Local 1699 representing Ohio University Employees in Athens, Ohio.

“Our members feel this is important and they take it seriously. Our region is made up of many smaller cities like Ironton and Portsmouth where our members are especially proud because most have family members who served the nation and they take putting up Memorial Day decorations as a personal duty as well as a job,” Ackison said.  

AFSCME Local 1039 City of Portsmouth members manicuring the city cemetery for Memorial Day weekend.

The first national celebration of Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) took place May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery. 100 years later in 1968, Congress established Memorial Day as a Federal holiday. The change went into effect in 1971.

AFSCME Local 1252 Members Make Gains

Local 1252 members ratify contract by overwhelming margin in drive-through voting

The members of AFSCME Local 1252, representing the staff at OhioHealth O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens ratified an agreement that improved wages and benefits for more than 350 nurses, respiratory technicians and other health care professionals and support personal covered by the new 2-year agreement.  

In addition to an average wage increase of 3 percent each year, the contract maintained current benefits along with fully-employer paid AFSCME Ohio Care Plan coverage including dental, prescription drug, vision, life insurance and Care Plan Teledoc – which enables members to talk to a doctor able to consult, diagnose and prescribe over the phone at no cost. 

Improvements to the current contract include the addition of 12 weeks paid maternity leave, and in addition paid sick time, short-term disability leave at 70% pay, and 80 hours of bereavement leave. 

“The committee did a great job and we made some big gains that are important to our members,” said Union President Pat Waller. “A large portion of our members are women and the addition of paid maternity leave is a huge improvement over relying on sick leave as we did in the previous contact,” she said.

Athens Firefighter Loses Life in Line of Duty

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 is saddened to report the passing of Nelsonville Ohio senior firefighter Jeff Armes, who died in the line of duty at the scene of a structure fire Sunday, May 2, 2021.

A member of AFSCME Local 2845B, Armes, 38, of Nelsonville, collapsed while actively fighting a fire. Fellow firefighters and EMS administered CPR and advanced life support care. Armes was transported by Athens County EMS to OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in Athens where he was pronounced dead.

He had worked as a fireman for the Nelsonville Fire Department since 2011 and was a longtime volunteer for the Starr Township, Hocking County, Ohio fire department.

Jeffrey is survived by his parents, loving wife, Lezlee Renee and children, Ayden and Teylar Armes.

“Jeffery will be greatly missed by our union family,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President R. Sean Grayson. “We offer his friends and family our sincere condolences.”

Celebrating National Nurses Day

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Known as “The Lady With the Lamp,”  Florence Nightingale was a British nurse, social reformer and statistician best known as the founder of modern nursing.

National Nurses Week is devoted to thanking nurses and other healthcare workers for the hard work they do every day keeping patients healthy, especially after a year of stress and long hours caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland, an employee at the United States Department of Health, sent a letter to President Eisenhower proposing a National Nurses Day. An official proclamation was not made. The following year, people began celebrating National Nurses Week on their own.

In 1974, President Nixon issued a proclamation by the White House as establishing a National Nurse Week. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

Since then the nation has used this opportunity to recognize nurses everywhere and celebrate their dedication and commitment to their patients and their profession. 

Now more than ever it is time to recognize AFSCME Ohio Council 8 and all nurses.

Workers Memorial Day 

Fifty years ago on April 28, the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect promising America’s workers the right to a safe job. 

While the law was a great step forward for private sector workers, public employees were exempt. It would take Ohio’s public sector workers another 23 years, including an eight-year battle in the Legislature, to end this deadly discrimination and win the same workplace protections.

Without OSHA protections Ohio public employees could not even refuse to enter an unsafe area if they believed their lives were in danger.

The law was won because of the tireless efforts of Ohio’s AFSCME unions which organized for safer working conditions and demanded government action. While the law passed in the Ohio House several times it always died in the Senate.

The law for the first time created a legal obligation for public employers to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards.

Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality in Ohio and across the nation. But our work is not done.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the inextricable link between workplace safety and the health of our communities. Organized labor will continue to organize and strengthen job safety to save lives and make the workplace a safe place.

AFSCME MEMBERS: Tell your Senators to pass the Pro Act!


Attention AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Sisters and Brothers,

Today is the AFL-CIO National Day of Action for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Call your senators and tell them to support working people by voting YES on the PRO Act.

Let’s show the Senate that AFSCME Council 8 members are pro-union across the Ohio and across party lines.

Call Your Senators

Our outdated labor laws are no longer strong enough to protect us in the workplace.

High-profile corporations openly union-bust without facing consequences. Anti-worker lawmakers have passed wage-killing and racist right to work laws in 27 states. Inequality has skyrocketed as workers have been denied a voice on the job.

The PRO Act would change that.

It’s the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression. And it’s also a civil rights and economic stimulus bill. If we can get this passed, working people will thrive for generations to come.

It passed the House on March 9 with bipartisan support, and President Biden has urged Congress to send it to his desk. The Senate is the final obstacle.

So let’s flood the Senate phone lines with support for the PRO Act. Call your senators and tell them to vote YES on the PRO Act.

In Solidarity,
R. Sean Grayson
President, AFSCME Ohio Council 8

P.S. There are also in-person actions being organized across the country during our National Week of Action, April 26-May 1, 2021. Find one near you.

2021 AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Family Scholarships Are 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 Patricia Kittle, and the men’s scholarship honors Leroy Elmore.

 

Patricia “Pat” Kittle worked as a registered nurse at Trumbull Regional Medical Center for more than 42 years. A graduate of the Trumbull Memorial School of Nursing, she embarked on a career dedicated to the selfless care for others. 

A key activist during the successful nine-day strike for union recognition in 1999, Pat went on to serve as vice president of AFSCME Local 2026 for 20 years and in 2019, she became Union President.

Throughout her career Pat continued her activism. She served on AFSCME International’s Nursing Advisory Committee, AFSCME’s Nursing congress, as a Volunteer Member Organizer, and oversaw the local union’s Member Action Team.

A caring individual, she was a person who could solve any problem with grace and efficiency. Pat passed away in June of 2020.

 

Leroy Elmore started his health care career in the 1960’s and was employed by Cleveland’s Mt. Sinai Hospital as a pathology assistant starting in 1971. 

A year later, he was instrumental in forming an AFSCME local union at the hospital and served as a member, steward and union president for more than ten years. In 1985, he joined the AFSCME International project staff as an organizer. Two years later he became an Ohio Council 8 staff representative in the Cleveland Region and in 1998, he became Cleveland Regional Director. 

In 2001, he joined the AFSCME Ohio Care Plan as Plan Administrator and served for 12 years before retiring, topping off a 39-year AFSCME career.

Leroy lives in Euclid Ohio and is still active in the community.

Ohio Council 8 First Vice President Marcia Knox, chair of the executive board’s scholarship committee, encourages all eligible students to apply for the $2,500 per year, four-year scholarships.  

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 June 1, 2021.

In addition, an applicant must graduate from high school in the year in which an 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 can be downloaded at (insert link).

Applications must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, June 1,2021. Applications which are incomplete, or which are postmarked after the specified date, will be ineligible for consideration.

Click here to download the application.

Ohio dramatically expands vaccine eligibility while other numbers go up

Ohio got two more pieces of hopeful news about the coronavirus Tuesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that because of rapidly expanding supplies of the vaccine, all Ohioans 16 and over will be eligible to get a shot by the end of March. At the same time, the percentages of residents already eligible for the vaccine are showing marked improvement after weeks of slow growth.

Increased production of the first two vaccines to be used in the United States and the approval of a third have tripled the number of weekly doses flowing into the state from early February. Growing supplies prompted DeWine to make his Tuesday morning announcement.

“It’s a moral imperative that we move as quickly as we can to vaccinate all Ohioans who wish to be vaccinated,” DeWine said in a tweet. “We expect a significant increase in vaccines coming to Ohio soon, so we will expand vaccine eligibility.”

Read the full story from the Ohio Capitol Journal here.

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