Your union enewsletter - June 19, 2024

Posted Jun. 19, 2024 by

UNION NEWS / June 19, 2024


Juneteenth: A celebration of freedom, dignity, and worker rights

Today we celebrate Juneteenth, a day on which we commemorate the freeing of the last enslaved African Americans in the United States. That freedom finally arrived June 19, 1865, two months after the Civil War had ended and a more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.


While Juneteenth has long been celebrated in the African American community, it only became a federal and state holiday in 2021. This is a day of profound meaning to African American workers, as it should be to all working people who cherish and defend the freedom to live our own lives, speak with our own voices and enjoy the fruits of our own labor.


The Juneteenth holiday sends the message that the inherent dignity and worth of all people is a right that should be protected and celebrated. And for organized labor, Juneteenth represents our continued fight against labor exploitation and our unwavering support for liberty and freedom for all Americans regardless of race. 


Costly Dental Bill Passes the Ohio House of Representatives

In a disappointing turn of events, the Dental Bill (SB 40), long opposed by OCSEA and other labor unions, has moved closer to becoming a reality. The Ohio House of Representatives voted last week 84-11 to pass SB 40 and send it back to the Senate for a final vote.


Dentists and their lobbyists have been relentless for more than a decade trying to push this costly legislation through the General Assembly. SB 40 would prevent dental providers, such as Delta Dental, from negotiating lower prices for non-covered services for their members, including members of OCSEA. It takes away the bargaining power that comes with having a benefit provider and allows dentists to charge any amount they want for non-covered services.


The Ohio Senate is expected to vote June 26 on changes the House made to the bill. And then, if SB 40 passes the Senate as anticipated, it will be sent to Governor DeWine for his signature to become law.


Fact Finder's Report to be released on Friday, June 21

Reminder: Members will receive the Fact Finder's Report and the Union's analysis of the Report via email this Friday, June 21.


Don't forget to brush up on the contents of the Tentative Agreement as well as the Fact Finder's Report before you vote on the contract. This TA and the Fact Finder's Report will be the documents that OCSEA active state bargaining unit members will be using to vote YES or NO on the State contract starting next week. It's important that every state contract member get familiar with them before voting on the contract.


The TA can be found online at Click below to go to the website and download the TA (login required).


OCSEA chapters will have until Friday, July 5 at noon to vote on the OCSEA Contract Tentative Agreement and Fact Finder’s Report. Voting will begin once the following has occurred: OCSEA releases Fact Finder's Report with union analysis over email to all active members on June 21; OCSEA holds the first of two virtual Road Shows over Zoom. 


Once the first OCSEA Roadshow has ended, chapter leaders will be permitted to start holding in-person contract voting events for their chapter members. Click below to download the Chapter Voting Schedule PDF, or go to to find your chapter's voting times and locations. 

Finally, here are the important dates to know on the ratification timeline:

  • JUNE 19: Fact Finder’s Report deadline.
  • JUNE 21: Fact Finder’s Report sent to all members.
  • JUNE 24: Zoom webinar road shows start at noon. Voting starts this day.
  • JUNE 24Chapter contract voting can commence this day following the end of the first road show.
  • JULY 5: Voting deadline (all votes due from chapters to OCSEA by noon)             
  • JULY 11: Current contract extended to this date.

Reminder! RSVP now for VIRTUAL Contract Road Shows

Before casting your vote on the contract, members are highly encouraged to attend a Zoom Contract Road Show to learn about the Tentative Agreement and Fact Finder's Report! Leaders must attend before holding their contract voting events. There will be two Road Shows on Monday, June 24 at Noon and 7 p.m.


RSVP today for one of the two virtual informational meetings so you get a reminder on the day of the event. You will also get an option to add the event to your calendar.


Monday, June 24
12 p.m. - RSVP via Zoom
7 p.m. - RSVP via Zoom


OCSEA Chapter 2528 Recognized for Its Generosity to Needy Families

The Mid-Ohio Food Collective recently invited members of Ohio EPA Chapter 2528 to tour the organization’s warehouse in Grove City. But this was more than just a tour, it was a thank you to the chapter’s members for their ongoing generosity to the food bank.


Chapter 2528 President Matt Hittle says that when staff worked from home during the Covid pandemic, members voted to donate the money they normally spent on pizza to the food bank. And those donations have continued every year since 2020 for a total of nearly $11,000.


The Mid-Ohio Food Collective helps needy families in 20 counties across Central and Eastern Ohio. Last year, the food bank distributed more than 84 million pounds of food and groceries to half a million people.


Want to learn more about donating or volunteering at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective? Click below to visit their website.

Click above to see a brief video of the chapter's Mid-Ohio Food Collective tour.


Hazel Chapman: A Force of Nature

The Spring 2024 union magazine is available at This edition spotlights public union members who have a real passion for the public work they do and in their personal lives as well. 


Earlier this year, social media was on fire after Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs sang her award-winning song, Fast Car, together as a duet at the Grammy’s on live TV. Seeing a black female folk singer and a white country music star harmonize such a beautiful and heart-felt song, seemed just what the country needed in a time of such division and conflict.


Fast Car is at its core a working-class anthem, and that may be because singer-songwriter Chapman has deep roots right in our very own union. Tracy Chapman’s mom, Hazel Chapman, was not only a single mom raising two daughters in Cleveland, Ohio in the 70s and 80s, but she was also an early OCSEA activist. Hazel knows, first-hand, the force and power of a union and even helped negotiate the first OCSEA contract with the State of Ohio.


Like many OCSEA activists in those early days, Hazel saw disparate and unequal treatment of state employees, especially women, and vowed to make change in the workplace. “The bosses were always telling, especially woman, if you can’t do this, you should look for another job,” said Hazel about those early days in state government. “I was a young, divorced, single mom with two kids,” she said. “You couldn’t keep me down,” she said.


Newport Aquarium

OCSEA members receive a discount on tickets to the Newport Aquarium just south of Cincinnati. See thousands of aquatic creatures, touch amazing sea life and explore the wonders of an underwater world. 


The last chance to see mermaids at the Newport Aquarium is this weekend! Then, Shark Summer kicks off on Monday, June 24th. Discover dozens of sharks and rays and conquer your fears when you touch sharks and learn all about these amazing and misunderstood animals. 


CLICK HERE to purchase your Newport Aquarium tickets using the discount code OCSEA.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium

OCSEA members get 15% off tickets purchased online to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium! The Greater Cleveland Aquarium, located in the heart of Cleveland, features more than 50 exhibits of all sizes, home to thousands of living aquatic creatures.


CLICK HERE to purchase your Greater Cleveland Aquarium tickets. Click on 'BUY TICKETS', then choose Daily Tickets. Select the date and entry time and quantity of tickets, and then add to cart. At checkout, enter the discount code Ocsea15.


June Union Bulletin Board flyers available for download