Your union enewsletter - June 26, 2024

Posted Jun. 26, 2024 by

UNION NEWS / June 26, 2024


Contract voting is underway, get your chapter's voting information online

With the release of the Fact Finder's Report last week, the OCSEA Bargaining Team wrapped up the OCSEA Bargaining Road Shows on Zoom on Monday, and voting on the OCSEA Contract is now officially underway. Find your chapter's voting date, time and location HERE.


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. It's important that every state contract member get familiar with them before voting on the contract.

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

  • JUNE 24Chapter contract voting began 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.

Union Bargaining Team encourages YES vote on union contract, wage package 

During the OCSEA Road Shows on Monday, the OCSEA Bargaining Team explained why they support the wage package recommended by the Fact Finder based on current SERB data and support a YES vote on the OCSEA Contract.


Wage proposals were submitted by both the union and management during the first day of negotiations in December 2023. The Union did not change its stance on wages throughout the process, advocating for members, arguing that Ohio’s public employee union members deserved a substantial increase. OCSEA proposed a 10-10-10 percent wage package. The State proposed a 4-3-2 percent package, which the Union adamantly denounced from the start. Read the Fact Finder's Recommendations Summary HERE.


In the end, while the Fact Finder reported that both sides provided excellent evidence to support their positions, SERB data won out in the end. Despite indicating that the Union made a well-prepared case regarding the Employer’s ability to fund and afford the 30 percent wage package proposed by the union over the life of the contract, the Fact Finder landed on a wage package of 12.5 percent over the life of the contract (5%, 4.5%, 3%). Recent SERB data indicates that wage increases have generally been in the 3 percent range and in line with the State’s wage proposal, wrote Fact Finder Nowel.


“One cannot argue with numbers,” Nowel wrote in his recommendations. The report also referenced midterm wage increases and one-time payments granted to a significant number of bargaining unit employees during the previous contract. The total pay raise of 12.5% over the length of the contract is the largest negotiated by OCSEA in nearly 40 years.


ODOT Assembly encourages yes vote on HT series; HT rollout events to be held in July

A significant aspect of this ODOT agency-specific agreement involves a revision to the Highway Technician (HT) Series, aimed at expediting employees’ progression through the series and streamlining the process. The union sees this agreement as an investment in union employees who aspire to build long-term careers within ODOT. Proposed ODOT agency-specific language (Appendix Q) can be found in the Tentative Agreement starting on page 68. An analysis of the agreement can be found on pages 12-13 of the TA. Download the TA HERE.


Upward of 700 HTs could see automatic progression to a new pay range once this union-negotiated agreement goes into effect, according to Sabrina Bell, OCSEA/ODOT Assembly President and the union bargaining team lead. The OCSEA/ODOT Bargaining Team and OCSEA/ODOT Assembly encourages a YES vote on the OCSEA Contract to ensure this agreement can begin rolling out so that impacted HTs begin progressing within the system and get their upgrades as soon as possible. Impacted HTs could see as much as a 4 percent increase.

HTs on the construction path should contact their Chapter Presidents or Staff Representatives who can explain the progression steps and requirements. Those specifics are outlined in a HT progression flow chart and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed to by both parties. Chapter presidents and staff reps have that information as well as the allocation list of impacted members.


HT Modernization Rollout events (see below) will also be held at each ODOT District in July. There will be two sessions (9-11:30am & 12-2:30pm) held per district. All HT2s and HT3s in construction must attend their assigned district event. Impacted employees will be contacted by their LRO about which session to attend. Management has indicated that anyone scheduled off on their assigned date will have to attend the make-up session scheduled on July 22 at ODOT Central Office. 

HT Modernization Rollout Events by ODOT District

District 3-July 10th    

District 3 Headquarters (Facilities Garage); 906 Clark Ave. Ashland, OH 44805


District 8- July 10th    
Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center; 4020 Clarksville Rd, Waynesville, OH 45068


District 6-July 11th
Central Office Auditorium, 1980 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43223

District 11-July 11th    

Harrison Hills City School District; 100 Huskies Way, Cadiz, OH 43907

District 2-July 12th    
Penta County Vocational School; 9301 Buck Rd. Perrysburg, OH

District 5-July 12th    
Muskingum County Conference Center; 205 N. 5th St. Zanesville, OH 43701

District 4-July 15th    
Portage County Garage; 3946 Rootstown Industrial Parkway Ravenna, OH 44266


District 9-July 15th    
Ohio University Chillicothe Campus Auditorium; 101 University Dr. Chillicothe, OH 45601

District 7-July 16th    
Piqua High School Auditorium; 1 Indian Trail Piqua, OH 45356

District 12-July 16th   
Solon Community Center; 35000 Portz Pkwy, Solon, OH 44139

District 1-July 17th    
Ohio Means Jobs of Allen County; 951 Commerce Pkwy, Lima, OH 45804

District 10-July 17th    
Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building; 639 SR 821, Marietta, OH 45750

MAKE UP DATE-July 22nd    

Central Office Auditorium, 1980 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43223


Action Alert! Rally at Statehouse to Put Citizens in Charge of Redistricting

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. 


Now there’s a chance to end gerrymandering once and for all. A citizens group has been collecting signatures to put a new anti-gerrymandering amendment on the state ballot in November. This time an independent bipartisan commission made up of citizens from across Ohio would draw the maps. No politicians allowed! 


On Monday, July 1, the group called Citizens not Politicians will hold a rally in the atrium of the Statehouse in Columbus before they deliver the signatures they’ve gathered to the Ohio Secretary of State. The call has gone out for union members to pack the atrium and show support for giving power back to the people. The rally starts at noon and everyone is encouraged to wear union shirts, hats or buttons and to show up early to make sure you find a place to park around Capitol Square. 


First on the Scene: EPA union member coordinates response to East Palestine train derailment

In the most recent edition of the OCSEA magazine we spotlighted an Ohio EPA member and his efforts in over essential response following the horrific East Palestine train derailment. Kurt Kollar, an Environmental Specialist 3 with the Ohio EPA and a member of OCSEA Chapter 7760, has extensive experience in coordinating emergency responses for other train derailments, was the first person from the Ohio EPA to arrive at the scene. He immediately began working with the East Palestine Fire Department and other agencies to initiate the disaster response. Kollar’s immediate priority was coordinating the containment of the chemical spill and monitoring the air quality around the train.