Latest news! OCSEA member E-news Oct. 27, 2022

Posted Oct. 26, 2022 by

The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association
Union News / October 27, 2022

After assault, Union meets with Director on Indian River issues

After a harrowing last week at Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility, union leaders met with director and management to begin to talk about some solutions to deal with the increase in violence at the facility and around the Department of Youth Services agency.

Last week, Correction Officer David Upshaw was assaulted from behind and beat with his radio by a youth who got out of his housing unit. He was hospitalized with serious injuries, although is improving. Officer Sadie McIlvain was also assaulted that week as was Officer Dylan Crum, and Officer Malakai Wagler a week earlier.

Then Saturday, twelve Indian River youth escaped from their units and holed up at the facility’s school. Multiple law enforcement agencies were called in and were on the scene for many hours. Luckily, the weekend incident ended without serious injury and only property damage.

“Our prayers go out to David and Patricia Upshaw and all the officers who were injured last week,” said OCSEA President Chris Mabe.

Our officers need increased protection in DYS and they need the tools to be able to deal with youth who continue to offend and assault officers,” he said.

For years, Juvenile Correction Officers have said there aren’t enough consequences for those youth who are violent against staff and other youth, or who continually refuse to follow rules. And chronic understaffing has made the problem just that much worse.

Wilson Humphrey, the DYS Assembly President of the union said the agency needs to start by changing their policies around violent youth, and to stop blaming staff.

“The administration caters to these youth, and then they blame staff when staff are assaulted,” said Humphrey. The bottom line is the agency isn’t giving employees enough tools when youth are aggressive, which prevents them from protecting staff as well as youth who do follow the rules.

The union will be pushing for weekly labor/management meetings over the next weeks and months to try to hammer out these issues.

OCSEA retirees meet to reconnect, get active

Last week, about 50 OCSEA retirees gathered in fellowship at OCSEA Headquarters for one of the first big outings of retirees since the pandemic. The OCSEA Retiree Board, which hosted the event, is chaired by Ron Alexander, with Jean Fightmaster, Michelle Hunter, Donna Westrick, Joe Wing and Mary Anderson serving as committee members.

Representatives from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) spoke about the retirement fund, and Norman Wernet, President of the Ohio Alliance of Retired Americans, led a discussion about the Windfall Elimination Provision that reduces Social Security benefits of public sector employees.

AFSCME International President Lee Saunders made a surprise appearance at the luncheon, reminding retirees that they have no “Hatch” restrictions on political activity and encouraged them to get involved in helping get worker-friendly candidates elected. In fact, the retiree group rolled up their sleeves then and there to write 200 postcards urging their other union brothers and sisters to support union-endorsed candidates.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Deadline is Oct. 31

The deadline is fast approaching for OCSEA members with student debt to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Through next Monday, October 31, public service employees can apply to the program that forgives student debt when a participant makes 120 qualifying payments. New waivers expand the types of loans that qualify and may allow for payments that didn’t previously qualify under the program, to now qualify.

Go HERE to watch the four part series of recorded step-by-step tutorials, Navigating the Road to Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The tutorial is designed to show you how to navigate the federal student aid website and complete the necessary steps to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

While that waiver is not getting an extension, the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday announced a series of permanent fixes to the program that will go into effect in July 2023.Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the department is "taking bold steps that will automatically move more hardworking public service workers closer to forgiveness and making permanent changes to reduce the red tape that riddled the PSLF program." Learn more.

Commit to vote at, plus Get voting resources

Early voting is officially underway in Ohio for the November 8 election. Ohio registered voters can cast their ballots absentee through the mail or at an early vote location set up by your county board of elections. Visit now to make a commitment to vote on or before November 8. While there, check on union-endorsed candidates, get important early vote dates, create your voting plan, attend events and much more.

Join the Giving Tuesday Chapter Challenge on November 29

Giving Tuesday is November 29, and OCSEA chapters are being challenged to give back. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement in its tenth year. It’s a simple idea: whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts. And, everyone has something to contribute toward building the better world we all want to live in.

What will your chapter do to give back this Giving Tuesday? We challenge every chapter to join in and make a difference! Download the Giving Tuesday Toolkit and then make a plan to do something good with your chapter brothers and sisters. Make sure to tag @OCSEA on social media with hashtags #LaborGivesBack #Giving Tuesday.

Share the good news! Nominate for the labor gives back award

Do you know a union member or subordinate body (chapter, assembly or district) that goes above and beyond to give back in their community? Share the good news and nominate them for the Bob White Labor Gives Back Award! Union acts of goodwill include community service work, volunteerism and acts of heroism.

Nominate a member or chapter by email at OR mail to: OCSEA Communications Dept.- Bob White Labor Gives Back Award, 390 Worthington Rd. – Suite A, Westerville, OH 43082-8331 Learn more about the Bob White Labor Gives Back Award at The winner of the award will receive $500 to donate to the charity of their choice and will be announced at the 2023 OCSEA Biennial Convention in August.