Latest news! OCSEA member E-news June 29, 2022

Posted Jun. 29, 2022 by


Les Best Scholarship

Congratulations to our 2022 Les Best Scholarship winners!

OCSEA is excited to announce the recipients of the 2022 OCSEA Les Best Scholarships. Ten awards were given in the Dependents' College and Members' College categories as well as two book scholarships for members.

OCSEA’s Les Best Scholarship makes available a total of $12,000 in scholarships each year to OCSEA members, their dependents and spouses. Because there were no Spouse applicants received this year, the judges made additional awards in the dependents category. An additional $500 is also being awarded to two members through the Pat Callanan-Castro Book Scholarship.

Applicants are encouraged to reapply yearly, as Les Best Scholarship recipients are eligible to win up to three total awards during their educational journey.

OCSEA's 2022 Les Best Scholarship winners:

Dependent’s College/Vocational

  • Isha Patil - parent, Prachi Thombarer, Ohio Dept. of Health
  • Isabelle Kolleth - parent, Adam Kolleth, Dept. of Youth Services
  • Tyler Edgar – parent, Gerald Edgar, Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction
  • George Eric Morar II - parent, George Eric Morar, Ohio Dept. of Transportation
  • Ashley Lockhart - parent, Carl Lockhart, State of Ohio, SCI
  • Madeline Kocher - parent, Russ Kocher, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Autumn Novak - parent, Adam Novak, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bailey Trusty - parent, Donald Trusty, Ohio Dept. of Transportation

Members’ College

  • Matthew Jakestic - Ohio Dept. of Public Safety
  • Michelle Washington – Ohio Dept. of Education

The Selection Process:

Each year, an outside panel of independent judges with backgrounds in education or labor affairs makes the Les Best Scholarship award determinations to ensure fairness and impartiality. Our judges this year were Stephanie Sanders, Vice President of Enrollment, University of Toledo, Dr. Matthew Ides, Organizer, Ohio Education Association, and Jill McNaughten, a retired guidance counselor with Grandview Heights City Schools.

Points are awarded to each applicant based on requirements for the three scholarship categories, and include points given for essays, grade transcripts, ACT scores, community service and union activism. During the final judging session, the final scores for each applicant from each judge are added together and then averaged. The top score-getters from each category are awarded the scholarships.

Again this year, the judges were impressed with the quality of the applicants’ essays, which answered the question prompt, “During the pandemic, OCSEA and other unions were involved in helping to ensure union members were safe on the job. Why are unions so important during times of crisis such as this?"

Check out Member-only discounteD events around the Fourth holiday

Make the most of the upcoming holiday with member-only discounts to games during the week of the Fourth of July and throughout the summer. OCSEA members get access to sporting event discounts and special deals to the Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Crew and Columbus Clippers.

Cincinnati Reds:
Tickets start as low $12.91

  • Reds vs Atlanta Braves | Fri, July 1, 6:40 PM
  • Reds vs. NY Mets | Wed, July 6, 6:40 PM

Columbus Crew:

30% off for AFSCME members for the following games this season:

  • Crew vs. Philadelphia Union | Sat, July 3, 2022 • 7:30 PM
Columbus Clippers:

$8 per person tickets plus Wednesday Dollar Day Deals (4-5 concession items priced at $1 a piece):

  • Clippers vs. Nashville Sounds | Wed, July 6 • 7:05 PM | 

Get ticket purchasing links and check out the year-round member discounts and deals at (Member login also required). Looking for more summer fun? Visit

Democracy and unionism go hand-in-hand

In order to maintain our political autonomy as a nation, workers must continue to fight for economic autonomy: control over their own economic well-being. “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence,” said Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt when trying to introduce an economic bill of rights in 1944.

Unions participation is one of the very last examples of American democracy at work, detailed the Economic Policy Institute in their study released in late 2021. Union membership gives members a vehicle to have a voice at work, and also to have a voice with elected leaders for improving circumstances in their communities that goes beyond just voting every two or four years.

And Americans are taking notice of the power of worker voices, with 65 percent currently approving of labor unions. The Covid-19 pandemic and other political and economic factors are likely responsible for this increase in support as well as the rise of national unionization efforts from retail, tech companies, media and more. As of May, 100 Starbucks stores in 25 states have voted in favor of unionizing, with hundreds of stores awaiting union votes. Also this year, workers at the Staten Island, NY Amazon warehouse won their historic union vote, which their employer is aggressively fighting at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) despite a solid vote for unionization. Their efforts are encouraging other Amazon shops to fight for unionization.

And hundreds of OCSEA members saw what democratic action can look like when they rallied at the Ohio Statehouse on June 17 at the Rally for Respect. Together public union members, with their supporters, demanded recognition of their efforts during the pandemic and real compensation for their sacrifices. But the rally was just the beginning. OCSEA activists are now taking their efforts back to their locals, reminding their union co-workers that there's a lot we can do if we strongly band together. And they are reminding community members about the importance of public services that keep our communities going.

Interested in Keeping the Solidarity Going? Go HERE to learn more about what you can do to build on the power of union democracy.

Union Made Fourth of July