Your union enewsletter - July 3, 2024

Posted Jul. 3, 2024 by

UNION NEWS / JuLY 3, 2024


Reminder! Union Education Trust Increase Kicked in this Week!

Don't forget! The Union Education Trust (UET) increase to your annual union-negotiated education benefit went into effect this week on July 1. All three UET educational assistance programs have increased! The entire benefit will see an overall $1,750 INCREASE annually for eligible State of Ohio bargaining unit employees. 


• Career Improvement Program NOW! $5,000 (increasing by $1,000)

• Professional Enhancement NOW! $2,000 (increasing by $500)

• Computer Application Training NOW! $1,000 (increasing by $250)
What does the increase mean for OCSEA union members? Eligible members have a grand total of $8,000 to use for educational financial assistance EVERY year. Now it will be even easier to achieve employment security and reach your career goals. Going back to college, pursuing vocational or trade school, taking computer training courses and other training opportunities are even more affordable thanks to the power of being union! Get started at


Celebrating Union Democracy this Fourth of July πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ ✊

This Fourth of July, we're celebrating American Democracy––including one of our greatest freedoms: the right to join together in strong unions and have a voice on the job.


As we approach the Fourth of July holiday tomorrow, we're happy to report that workers are joining unions at record rates, and it's only going to keep going! American workers are voting to join unions at the highest rate in 15 years, finds an analysis out this week from the progressive Center for American Progress. The Ohio AFL-CIO reports this is "a reflection of increased grassroots momentum behind organizing—helped along by a strongly pro-worker National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)."


Workers voted in favor of a union 74% of the time this year (through April)—a 5 point jump from 2019. In 2023, there were 1,777 union elections—the highest number since 2010. An astonishing 88% of Americans under age 30 also view unions favorably—a record-breaking level of support from young workers and a sign that union democracy is hard at work. 


But we can't forget that there are constant attacks to destroy union democracy! 


Thirteen years ago this week, on June 28, 2011, Ohio labor activists from every corner of the state launched the Million Signature March and delivered an historic 1.3 million signatures to veto Senate Bill 5, the unfair, unsafe attack on collective bargaining rights that hurt us all. This was Democracy 101 in action as public and private unions joined together to say NO to Ohio legislators' anti-union attacks on collective bargaining! 


In the past few weeks, union members have responded once again to a threat to Ohio collective bargaining rights being pushed by extreme anti-worker lawmakers. Ohio Senate Bill 83, the single largest attack on collective bargaining rights since Senate Bill 5, was stopped in its tracks thanks to your activism––FOR NOW! SB 83 severely limits collective bargaining rights for unions at our public colleges and universities. The SB 83 legislative attack targeted 13 campus unions and roughly 10,000 union members and would set a precedent for the legislature to do the same to other public unions. It's possible that the anti-union bill could re-emerge during the lame duck session following the November election this fall. The bill's sponsor, Senator Jerry C. Cirino, calls a "more favorable environment" to bust unions. Stay tuned here for action alerts!


Make your Celebrations Union-Made in the USA


Contract Voting Continues Through this Friday July 5

Contract voting continues this week on the chapter level. Click HERE to see if your your chapter has any remaining voting dates. Voting continues through this Friday, July 5. Reminder, if you have not been able to vote on the contract yet, you can vote at another chapter's voting event using a challenged ballot. Learn more in this FAQ posted on the OCSEA website last week.


Brush up on the contents of the Tentative Agreement as well as the Fact Finder's Recommendations Summary before you vote on the contract. These are the two documents that OCSEA active state bargaining unit members will be using to vote YES or NO on the State contract through July 5. 


July Union Bulletin Board Flyers Available for Download

The July 2024 Union Bulletin Board Network (UBBN) flyers are here and available for download at The flyers include information on the Union Education Trust increase, summer celebration tips and discounts and ways to build solidarity. There is also an agency-specific flyer for ODOT members only! Check back each month for new flyers to share. Have an AMAZING union bulletin board you want to share? Email photos to

Don't have an onsite bulletin board? The virtual bulletin board network at gives OCSEA members access to union flyers with a click of a button. This includes quick access to OCSEA bargaining news, events, discounts and more. Chapters who don't have boards are urged to email the flyers or UBBN link to their members and distribute at meetings. Any chapter that needs assistance with printing fliers should contact the OCSEA mailroom at 614-865-4733.

This month's virtual fliers include:

  • BIG NEWS! Your UET Benefits Have Increased
  • ODOT Only: Highway Technician Modernization Roll Out Events
  • Union-Made Celebrations!
  • Building Solidarity Makes Us Strong
  • Summer Fun Savings and Discounts
  • Purchasing Power: Paying Over Time Shouldn't Set You Back
  • Working Advantage - July Summer Discounts

Unions Lead the Way in Ohio Gerrymandering Fight

Monday was good day for freedom and democracy in Ohio as over 731,000 signatures were submitted by the Citizens Not Politicians campaign to put a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to ban gerrymandering in Ohio. People from every background and every walk of life and every political persuasion dedicated time and energy to ensuring enough signatures were collected to fight back against dangerous gerrymandering in the state. AFL-CIO members from every county in Ohio, including AFSCME members, turned out and volunteered to make this happen. Check out some photos from the event!


Ohioans have voted overwhelming TWICE to stop gerrymandering. But the politicians at the Statehouse did not get the message. Instead of drawing fair maps for Congress and the state legislature, the politicians defied the will of the people and kept doing business as usual. The result? More gerrymandered maps to keep themselves in power. Citizens Not Politicians and their coalitions, including labor voices, will continue to fight for fair maps once and for all.


Legislative Update: Cost of Dental Care Likely to Rise with Passage of Long-Debated Bill

After nearly a decade of trying to raise the cost of dental care, dentists and their lobbyists finally got their wish. Last week the Ohio Senate joined the House of Representatives in voting to pass Senate Bill 40. The final vote was 22-9 with a bipartisan group of Senators voting against the bill. SB 40 includes controversial legislation to prevent dental providers, such as Delta Dental, from negotiating lower prices for non-covered services for their members, including members of OCSEA.


The bill takes away the bargaining power that comes with having a benefit provider and allows dentists to charge whatever they want for non-covered services. Non-covered services include nitrous oxide, veneers, and certain bone grafts and orthodontic procedures. The legislation will go into effect 90 days after it’s signed by Governor Mike DeWine. Thereafter, dental patients should ask their dentist about the cost of a procedure, before it happens, so they know what’s covered and what’s not.