Over 500 OCSEA union leaders converged on Columbus August 24-26, 2023 to represent their local union membership at the OCSEA 35th Biennial Convention. This included electing the three statewide officers; making updates to the OCSEA Constitution, which rules the business of the union; and passing resolutions, which allows the union delegation to take a stance on issues that directly impact public union members.
The delegation voted to re-elect all three current officers. This includes OCSEA President Chris Mabe, Vice President Gerard "Rocky" Jolly and Secretary-Treasurer Kathy Gersper.
Delegate activists participated in a variety of events, workshops and panels that promote the union mission and give leaders tools to take back to their chapters. This included a massive Staff the Front Line rally to promote public service union jobs in Ohio; a celebration of 40 years of collective bargaining with former Gov. Dick Celeste and AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who both sat at the first bargaining table; and a celebration of public employee organizing successes and challenges from newly organized AFSCME activists in the Franklin County Public Defenders Office, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati.
Delegates participated in discussions about the future of work, building their New Employee Orientations, telling their union story and building union leadership.
Special guest Sen. Sherrod Brown surprised delegates and thanked them for their diligent public and union service that makes Ohio happen. "When you love this country, you fight for those who make it work!" said Sen. Brown. "We know the fights we have to fight...And that starts with staffing the front lines!" he said
Regarding Constitutional amendments, most were housekeeping or clarifying in nature. One major change includes permitting the OCSEA Judicial And Internal Affairs Committee (JIAC) to explore and recommend that the OCSEA Board of Directors consider implementing electronic and/or phone voting options for State Board of Director Elections that will allow greater participation from members in picking their statewide board leaders.
Passed resolutions included recommitting to New Employee Orientation, celebrating 40 years of collective bargaining, fighting public sector attacks, standing up to privatization, supporting labor-friendly candidates and more.
See all convention news at con.ocsea.org.