AFSCME Local 1002 City Workers Win Strong Contract

Lima City Council voted to approve a new contract with AFSCME Local 1002 which increases wages by 6.5 percent over the life of the three-year deal.

The new agreement includes an across-the-board first-year pay increase of a 2.5 percent, and additional 2 percent increases in 2018 and 2019.

The agreement also includes an increase in the uniform allowance, extends the shift differential to employees that work Saturdays and Sundays, and includes a $900 signing bonus.

“We could not have done it without a strong bargaining committee,” said Adam Maguire, who led the negotiations. “They stayed ‘AFSCME Strong’ and never quit. They’re a great team,” he said.

The contract covering more than 100 city workers is retroactive to the beginning of 2017.

The Local 1002 negotiating committee.

Happy Nurses Week from AFSCME Council 8!

During National Nurses week we celebrate and honor the commitment and dedication of our front line health care providers — nurses!
Operating room nurses and techs at Trumbull Memorial Hospital salute their fellow care givers.

“We salute every nurse for their tireless work to meet the needs of their patients,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.  “Nurses are passionate about their work because they are also healers, teachers, and leaders during the most trying times of our lives,” he said.

“Nurses are the backbone of the health care industry and I’m proud to be represented by AFSCME Ohio Council 8, said Tom Connelly, president of AFSCME Local 2026, which represents 378 nurses at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren.

“So proud of all my fellow nurses but most importantly my brothers and sisters from Trumbull Memorial Hospital. You have helped patients enter and exit life and all points in between. Nurses can be found in hospitals, clinics, public health, military service, in the air and on the sea, wherever life and health needs safe guarded!  So proud to be one ! God bless all of you who stand with and for the patient!,” Connelly said.

Each year National Nurses Week is celebrated during the week of May 12 in honor of the founder of modern nursing: Florence Nightingale.

Along with her trail blazing 19th century work in establishing sanitary “proper care” standards, she was also known for her night rounds to aid the wounded during the Crimean War, establishing her image as the “Lady with the Lamp”.

In addition to 311-bed Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Ohio Council 8 also represents health care workers at 69-bed Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland.  AFSCME Ohio Council 8 health care worker across the state including Akron City Hospital, Barberton Citizens Hospital, O’Bleness Hospital in Athens, University of Cincinnati Hospital, University of Toledo Medical Center, and MetroHealth System in Cuyahoga County.

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on the American Health Care Act

WASHINGTON – AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement on the passage of the American Health Care Act through the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The political fig leaves that were added behind closed doors to garner votes do nothing to change the facts of this bill. It will still leave at least 24 million Americans uninsured, still cut Medicaid in exchange for tax handouts for corporations and millionaires, still cause costs to skyrocket for older Americans and still eviscerate the protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

“Patient groups, healthcare providers, and voters in blue states, red states, and purple states alike have already spoken out repeatedly against this cruel and dangerous legislation. But the House of Representatives and the Trump administration chose to ignore their pleas. It now falls to the U.S. Senate to finally listen to the American people and stop this bill in its tracks.”

ACA Repeal is looming: Here’s what you can do.

It’s not over til it’s over. Reportedly by this Wednesday Republicans in Congress are set to take another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Each “replacement” gets worse than the last repeal and replace attempt.

This bill still takes coverage away from 24 million people and still cuts $880 billion from Medicaid.  And it breaks a key promise by eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Three moderate Ohio Republicans are being pressured by top conservative leaders, including President Trump and Vice President Pence, to vote yes on the bill which will be up for consideration before next week’s Congressional recess.

Call or e-mail Ohio US 6th District Representative Bill Johnson, 7th District Representative Bob Gibbs, and 14th District Representative David Joyce, today. Their information is below.

Tell them to do the right thing and vote no on the latest repeal and replace plan that will hurt Ohioans.  We will remember in November.

Workers Memorial Day 2017

Today, on the 46th anniversary of the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “AFSCME Ohio Council 8 joins all of labor remembering those working men and women who have lost their lives on the job,” said Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

On April 28, 1971, OSHA was given responsibility for establishing safe and healthful workplaces for all workers – “except public employees, who were specifically excluded,” he said.

“It would be another 23 years and many lives lost before Ohio’s public employees won the right to a safe workplace.  And it was AFSCME that led an eight-year battle that finally won a state job safety law in 1993,” Lyall said.

With no legal responsibility to provide worker training and safety equipment, safety was an after thought.  This led to thousands of injures and the on-the-job deaths of about 20 public employees every year.

The new law gave Ohio’s public employees the right-to-refuse unsafe work if they reasonably believed they faced imminent danger or death. Prior to the law workers were routinely disciplined or fired for refusing to perform clearly hazardous work.

Ohio Council 8 Political and Legislative Director Robert Davis stressed that OSHA is part of the Labor Department, which is why President’s nominee for Secretary of Labor and his proposal to cut 20 percent of the department’s budget is so critical.

“It’s not just politics, it’s a matter of  life and death for working Americans. We all need to pay attention and raise our voices for safe jobs,” said Davis.

Get the Degree You Need to Succeed – New Programs Added to AFSCME Free College Benefit


Dear Ohio Council 8 Member,

A recent survey showed that nearly 100% of surveyed members are excited that AFSCME is offering the AFSCME Free College Benefit. This benefit is helping make college a reality for thousands of our members and their families.

We have heard from many of you that you’d like to see additional programs offered through the AFSCME Free College Benefit. To that end, we are pleased to announce that our partner, Eastern Gateway Community College, is now enrolling students for Summer and Fall for the following online Associate Degree and Certificate programs.

Healthcare — These programs will get you started in this dynamic, growing field!

  • Healthcare Management (Business Management Degree Concentration)
  • Patient Navigator Certificate — An excellent program designed to train students for patient-centered work in healthcare.

BusinessThe changing economy means workers need to regularly update their skills. These programs will help you do just that.

  • Business Management Degree with additional Concentrations in:
    • Human Resources
    • Health Care Management
    • Marketing
    • Finance
  • EGCC is also offering a Business Management Certificate
    • Option for accounting concentration
  • Accounting

Paralegal  The Paralegal Program is designed to prepare students for employment in a law environment in both public and private sectors.

Associate of Individualized Study Degree — A flexible program designed for students who have substantial previous college credit.

Criminal Justice Degree — Many of our members can receive college credit for their Corrections or Peace Officer Training certifications.

Associate of Arts Degree — A great way to get started on your college degree.

Early Childhood Education Degree — Many courses will count toward state education standards points and help providers earn more pay.

Visit or call 888-590-9009 now to enroll. Summer classes begin May 30 and Fall classes begin August 21. All full-dues paying AFSCME members and their families* are eligible. Take just one class or go full-time. And you’ll never have to pay for tuition, fees or e-books. Get started today!

(* Family is defined as children and grandchildren, step children and step grandchildren, spouses, domestic partners and financial dependents.)

Spring into a New Home!


Choose a Union Plus Mortgage
Now’s a great time to spring into a new home. AFSCME can help. If you’re a dues paying AFSCME member in good standing, an AFSCME member retiree, a spouse or domestic partner of an AFSCME member, or the parent or child of a union member, you’re eligible for the Union Plus Mortgage Program.

Click here for more information.


Shop Smarter with Consumer Reports Digital

Spring is a great time to find a great deal on appliances, televisions and electronics. Buy the best by using the comprehensive archive of expert, unbiased reviews from Consumer Reports Digital. AFSCME members save 26% off the annual subscription rate with their Union Plus discount.

Subscribe Today by Clicking Here.


Earn Cash Back on Your Home Sale or Purchase

March through July are the most popular months for buying a house. If you’re looking to buy or sell, Union Plus Real Estate Rewards can save AFSCME members thousands of dollars. Every real estate agent that the Union Plus Real Estate Rewards program uses is pre-screened and is the best in your area, based on performance and service.

Learn More.

Shut down the government?

Dear Ohio Council 8 Member,

Here we go again. In just a few days, our country faces the threat of another government shutdown, all over a multi-billion dollar game of chicken President Trump and extremists in Congress are playing with our nation’s budget.

If our government shuts down, it will be because President Trump has threatened to veto any budget that does not defund key pieces of the Affordable Care Act, and pay for a $1.4 billion down payment on his proposed border wall.

Call your Senators today and tell them to pass a clean budget that supports working families and does not cut health care for millions.

If this budget stalemate results in a government shutdown, even funding for state and local public service workers is affected. A shutdown could cost us the resources we need to do our jobs, and it will cost our communities the public services they rely on.

For our communities, for our families and for our country, we need to stop this shutdown before it happens.

Call your Senators today and tell them to pass a clean budget that supports working families and does not cut health care for millions.

Those of us who spend every day making our communities stronger, safer and healthier know how important it is to keep the government running. Make sure Congress and President Trump know our communities are depending on them.

In solidarity,

Lee Saunders
AFSCME President

Two statistics you need to know


Dear Leader,

I can’t emphasize enough how devastating making Ohio a “Right to Work” is Wrong state would be for working people.

Today, I’m going to tell you about two numbers that are truly unbelievable, but unfortunately all too real.

“Right to Work” is Wrong because it will make all of us, union and non-union workers, poor. In RTWIW states, the average household median income is $681 less per month. What would you do right now to reduce your household monthly budget by nearly $700? And that’s every house in your community.

The next number I’m going to talk to you about is even worse if you can believe it, and that is the death rate on the job in “Right to Work  is Wrong states is 49% higher than in free bargaining states like Ohio.

Yes, 49% higher. 

We all want our loved ones, spouses, children, neighbors to go to work and come home safe and sound. In “Right to Work” is Wrong states, the death rate is 49% higher. And that means fewer loved ones are coming home at the end of the shift.


There’s a simple reason for this: Workers lose their voice and their freedom and their rights on the job with this deviously named anti-worker idea.

So, let’s keep our incomes rising, ourselves and our loved ones safer, and let’s stand together because “Right to Work” is WRONG for Ohio, wrong for working people and wrong for all of us.

In solidarity,
John Lyall
AFSCME Council 8

Friday’s Labor Folklore: Helen Keller — Labor’s Unsung Hero


“The true task is to unite and organize all workers on an economic basis, and it is the workers themselves who must secure freedom for themselves, who must grow strong.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968) is perhaps the most recognized symbol of the disability community – a powerful representative of a person overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles. Yet the now-mythic story of Keller as a deaf-blind child learning to communicate with her teacher has overshadowed the complex story of the mature advocate, activist, lecturer and author who honed her intellect and leveraged her celebrity to side with the disadvantaged the world over – especially in defense of the American working classes.

Born in Alabama to a wealthy family, she lost her sight and hearing as an infant as a result of illness.

In 1903, at the age of 22, she published the first installment of her autobiography “The Story of My Life,” which became a bestseller and brought her worldwide fame.

In 1908 Keller joined the American Socialist Party (SP) and the Women’s Suffrage movement.

In 1912, she joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), noting in her lectures that that many forms of blindness prevalent in the U.S. were traceable to industrial working conditions.

Journalists, interviewers and editors frequently redacted, edited or outright censored her comments to fit the sensibilities of the times. Keller herself noted the contradiction in the way her life and ideas were treated – how the iconic story of the disabled child cast a long shadow over her own mature ideas and activism. In the second installment of her autobiography in 1929, she reflected:

“So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly . . . but when it comes to discussion of a burning social or political issue, especially if I happen to be, as I so often am, on the unpopular side, the tone changes completely. They are grieved because they imagine I am in the hands of unscrupulous persons who take advantage of my afflictions to make me a mouthpiece for their own ideas . . . I like frank debate, and I do not object to harsh criticism so long as I am treated like a human being with a mind of her own.”

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