Celebrating union public service workers across Ohio

Posted May 8, 2023 by

This week is the annual Public Service Recognition Week, and we're celebrating all the OCSEA public employees who make Ohio a better place. Public employees are our neighbors, our friends and family (including union family) who have dedicated their lives to public service and give of themselves for the betterment of all. That's what public service is about and why OCSEA members should always be celebrated for their selflessness and dedication.

This includes OCSEA sister Lisa Dalton-Sims, a Customer Service Assistant 2 for the Ohio Department of Medicaid. "What motivated me to be in public service was my knack with people. I’m the type of person who believes in the very best in people and giving back," said Lisa. She says, before coming to Medicaid, she worked as a manager in the private financial sector, running multiple offices. She says being in public service has made her feel like she's really making a difference.

This week is also National Correctional Officers Week and National Nurses Week, the perfect time to honor public employees who keep us safe and well. Thank you to our frontline union members for all you do. See more spotlights below.

National Correctional Officers Week

Celebrating union leaders in Corrections

It's National Correctional Officers Week, and we're so grateful for the OCSEA Correction Officers and all union prison staff across Ohio who have taken on some of the toughest jobs in the country.

Today we're spotlighting union leaders Sam Fero and Stephanie Behnke who are not only working hard as Correction Officers at the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) in Youngstown but are giving of their time to make sure that the voices of Ohio's public prison staff are heard.

Sam and Stephanie are elected union leaders of OSP Chapter 5041. Sam is president and Stephanie is vice president of the chapter. Both are Union Stewards, but Stephanie leads the contract enforcement charge as the chapter's Chief Steward.

Thank you to all the union leaders who are volunteering with their chapters to make a difference. It can be a thankless and trying job. In a time when prison staffing vacancies in Ohio's prisons are at an all-time high, having a union voice is critical to making sure that staff are not only heard but safe and not overwhelmed. It's the local boots-on-the ground union leaders like Stephanie and Sam who make sure members' concerns are heard.

National Nurses Week

Georgetown nurse takes pride in serving Veterans

It’s National Nurses Week and today we’re celebrating, Nickol Dick, a restorative nurse for the Ohio Veterans Home (OVH) in Georgetown, Ohio. Nickol works alongside the therapy department where she ensures that her veteran patients maintain their strength and mobility after an illness or injury.

She says she feels honored to be a nurse working with Ohio’s veterans. “I absolutely love the Veterans Home. I love the guys, both the camaraderie and the stories,” she said.

Nickol’s family has deep roots in military service. “My husband, my daughter, father, have all been in the service. We are a huge service family,” she said. In fact, her daughter is fifth-generation military, where she serves in the Navy.

Nickol also said she gets to serve some of the people she grew up with in Georgetown. “With this being my hometown, there are local people I’ve taken care of. It’s nice to be able to say thank you and help take care of them,” she said.

“I’ve worked in the civilian world where it’s a different ball game, I know. But here I love the environment and the pride of coming to work on Labor’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day and to see 30 flags flying when I get to work. It can’t help but touch your heart. I’m lucky to be there. With this job I get to be a part of that and it’s wonderful,” she beamed.

We're thankful for Nickol and all our public nurses across Ohio. Thank you!!