This week, the Office of the Ohio Attorney General sent a Notice to Negotiate to OCSEA demanding that the union come to the table to discuss cost savings as the result of the state budget crisis. OCSEA members in the AG Office, an elected-official agency, negotiate a contract with their employer that is separate from the main OCSEA contract ; however, the pay raise increases often mirror that of the main OCSEA and State collective bargaining agreement.
The union's argument to the AG's Office is the same: "Our AG members have sacrificed and sacrificed, and it's never enough. It's time to look at alternative solutions and stop balancing budgets on the backs of state workers," said OCSEA Pres. Chris Mabe. The AG's office already announced this month that it was privatizing its Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA), which the union denounced. The union has worked diligently to find positions for those OPOTA staff impacted by the layoffs.
As mentioned in the Mid-term bargaining story above, OCSEA says there are multiple ways the state could save on costs that don’t punish essential workers. In AG it could include reductions in top-heavy management and exempt staffing, an elimination of private contracts and tapping into the state’s Rainy-Day Fund. AFSCME members also continue to demand that Congress act to #FundtheFrontLines and aid state and local governments in crisis.