The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association
Union News / April 29, 2021
Renewing the promise for worker safety
Fifty years ago this week, Workers Memorial Day was enacted. And with it came the Occupational Safety and Health Act promising every worker the right to a safe job. As a labor movement, we are still fighting, 50 years later. Every April 28, we mourn those we have lost on the job, but it's more than just a day. It's an EVERYDAY reminder that this nation can and should do better to keep workers safe on the job.
As we grieve those we have lost from COVID-19 and other workplace hazards around Ohio and the nation this past year, we must continue to push forward. That means renewing that promise that the lives of working people mean something and that all workers have the necessary protections from COVID-19, future pandemics and other hazards at work.
We must renew the promise for worker health and safety. It’s time to:
- Increase Safety Budgets
- Improve Safety Enforcement
- Defend Health and Safety Protections
- Pass the PRO Act (see below for more and to take action)
Tell U.S. Senate: Pass the PRO Act for worker safety
Workers Memorial Day and passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act are so incredibly intertwined. That’s why this PRO Act Week of Action we must remind Congress that not only are union rights good for the economy, they are essential for the safety of all workers.
Together, public and private union members as one, we must mobilize to pass the PRO Act, so workers have a voice on the job when it comes to their health and safety. We must fight for the right of every worker to have a safe job. Workers' safety and workers’ voice go hand in hand. And that’s why every U.S. senator should support and vote YES on the PRO Act. It's time for Congress to act to strengthen workers’ rights and protections and provide resources and action needed for job safety enforcement.
The PRO Act that protects and enforces union rights is key to workplace safety. Call for action! Write your Senator HERE or call 866-832-1560.
It's National Work Zone Awareness Week
For many of our ODOT brothers and sisters, their "office" is the highway. That also means those working along our highways are some of the greatest at-risk workers. It's National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) and an urgent reminder for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. By practicing extreme caution on the roads, we ensure that our ODOT brothers and sisters can make it home safely each and every night.
In 2020 alone, Ohio work zones have had 4,540 crashes—killing 19 people. According to ODOT, 7,378 citations were reported last year in work zones around the state. Nearly half of those citations were for motorists traveling at least 20 miles over the speed limit in a work zone, our members' "offices." Ohio's worse than average statistics demonstrate the importance of work zone safety and the role every citizen plays in making sure roadway workers get home safely.
National Work Zone Awareness Week is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season that encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. Drivers are urged to take note of reduced speed limits, eliminate distractions and be watchful for roadway workers and their equipment. Learn more about Ohio's Move Over Law, which has included ODOT employees for nearly a decade thanks to the efforts of OCSEA , ODOT and other stakeholders working in partnership.
Did you know? More workers are killed on the job in non-union "Right to Work" states because workers have lost their union voice to stand up for their safety? The worker death rate is 58 percent higher in "Right to Work" states.
RSVP for THE Union's upcoming Health and Wellness Webinar
In conjunction with Optum Health, OCSEA is offering a 2-part webinar series on Stress and Resilience. The 2-part series will take place starting next week on Thursday, May 6 at 6 p.m. and again on Thursday, May 13 at 6 p.m. Each session will last about an hour. Come join other OCSEA union members in a LIVE webinar to learn about the signs of increased stress and how you can become more resilient as a way of coping with it.
To sign up, click on the links below:
Webinar #1: Build Your Resilience
Date: May 6, 2021 | 6:00-7:00 PM | Sign up HERE.
Webinar #2: Stress: Beyond the Basics
Date: May 13, 2021 | 6:00-7:00 PM | Sign up HERE.
Proud to be a public employee? Let's spread the word!
OCSEA is full of proud public employees who make up an essential part of our everyday lives. OCSEA members have committed their lives to serving our communities and the greater good. This last year has proven the worth of Ohio's public employees tenfold. Public services are vital; public services are essential; public services are critical; public services are indispensable!
As we prepare next week for Public Employee Recognition Week, we're looking for ways to celebrate all the contributions of our nearly 30,000 OCSEA public employee union members. Are you a proud public employee? Are you proud of the work you do as a government employee? Tell us all about it! Take a picture of yourself at work and email us HERE. Make sure to explain a little (or lot) about the work you do. Then all next week we will share your stories. You can also download this "I Serve Because..." poster. Just fill in the blank, snap a photo and email.
In a recent Pew Research survey, more than 80 percent of those Americans surveyed said they felt that public services should play a major role in many aspects of their lives including support after natural disasters, food and medicine safety, infrastructure, protecting the environment, strengthening the economy, education access and so many other important government priorities. We agree!
Mark your calendars! Upcoming events
There are a lot of important events coming. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information and potential actions to come.
- International Workers Day - "May Day" - May 1
- Public Employee Recognition Week - May 2-May 7
- National Correctional Officers & Employees Week - May 2-May 8
- Stress and Resilience webinars - May 6 & May 13 Learn more and RSVP
- OCSEA New Member orientations - May 6 & May 11 Learn more and RSVP
- Save the Date! OCSEA VIRTUAL Steward Conference - June 12
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