Your union newsletter - April 19, 2023

Posted Apr. 19, 2023 by

Earth Day: Celebrating public stewards of natural resources

As Earth Day, April 22, approaches we celebrate the public employees that are tasked with managing, preserving and studying Ohio’s natural resources. These public service employees work in a variety of agencies including, but not limited to, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

ODNR Geologist Brittany Parrick, who recently appeared on the cover of the union magazine, the Public Employee Quarterly, also did a recent television spot on NBC4 about what she does as a Geologist with the Ohio Geologic Survey. The segment was filmed live in their Columbus studio with Brittany sharing information about Ohio’s interesting geologic features. She even brought her prized fossilized sea sponge to share.

She explained that hundreds of millions of years ago, Ohio was completely under water and inhabited by sea creatures. She also encouraged young people to follow their curiosity and passion in the sciences. Besides studying the geology of Ohio and providing data about it to the public, she also visits classrooms, rock and mineral shows and the state fair to teach young people what she knows. “I love geology and to get other people to love it is even better,” she said. You can see Brittany's tv appearance HERE.

Adam Komar, a union activist with Knox/Licking Chapter 4500 and Forester with ODNR, recently helped head up a union member outreach event at Canters Cave for OCSEA's union Foresters.  At least 15 Foresters attended the union cookout/outreach on the heels of an ODNR Forestry Health Conference. Adam said the group of state Foresters hadn’t been together since the pandemic, so it was nice to touch base with them about things like their classifications, potential pay supplements and upcoming contract negotiations. Other union organizers were on hand to help distribute union information about the union’s educational benefit as well as vision and dental benefits.

As a Service Forester, Adam provides private landowners with forest management advice. “The vast majority of forests in Ohio are owned by private landowners,” he said. “So we provide no cost assistance to them about good forest stewardship and how to improve their land,” he said. He said Ohio is also part of a multi-state collaborative called “Call Before You Cut” that helps landowners reach their forest management goals. Ohio’s forestry program has been around since at least the ‘40s.

Adam said the biggest upcoming challenge in Ohio forestry will be the largest intergenerational land transfer this state has ever seen. “The younger generation needs to be aware of our services for helping people manage their forests,” he said. He said Ohio forests have a huge economic impact and are worth an estimated $28 billion annually.

New benefit! OCSEA members can sign up for Working Advantage TODAY, get Cedar Point tickets

OCSEA members’ work-life balance and general well-being are as important to us as the work you contribute. That's why we’re excited to offer you the Working Advantage Discount Program, your one-stop shop for exclusive and convenient savings on the products, services, and experiences you know and love.

It’s easy to sign up. Just visit and use the company code [provided at] to begin receiving discounts on: Electronics, Appliances, Theme Parks, Hotels, Movie Tickets, Rental Cars, Gift Cards, Apparel, Cars, Flowers, Fitness Memberships, Groceries, Special Events and more!

This year, for the first time, Cedar Point discount tickets will only be offered through Working Advantage. You will also be able to get discounted Ohio sporting events tickets like the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Guardians and many other perks.

While OCSEA also provides discounts exclusively with vendors, such as Ohio’s zoos and water parks, Working Advantage also provides discounts that are competitive. So be sure to comparison shop!

National Work Zone Awareness Week: It takes us all to keep our road workers safe

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. This year's NWZAW goes through April 21. Learn more at ​

Did you know, in 2021, 956 people died in work zones, including 108 highway worker occupational fatalities in road construction sites. There's a lot that the general public can do to help avoid accidents, including slowing down and moving over with caution, putting down your phone, and always watching out for highway workers in work zones, flashing lights and stalled automobiles.

Work Zone Safety Training Day emphasized the importance of laying the groundwork for safety through training of personnel. See some of those resources HERE, including a webinar: Preventing Stuck-by Incidents: Tips and Strategies.

Are you a highway worker or just love a highway worker? On Thursday, post a picture of your favorite highways worker on social media with the hashtags: #NWZAW, #Orange4Safety, #MoveOverOH and #OCSEA. Additionally, there will be a moment of silence for those union brothers and sisters we've lost, and all victims of highways accidents, on Friday, April 21 at 9 a.m.

Download full agenda for this weekend's OCSEA Women's Action Conference

OCSEA's annual Women's Action Committee (WAC) Conference will take place this weekend, April 21-22. OCSEA members will attend the event at Salt Fork Park Lodge and Conference Center. Special guest speakers will include Jen Miller, the Executive Director of the Ohio League of Women Voters who will talk to members about the state legislative attacks against them and what they can do to fight for their voting rights. The event will also include guests Dr. Latrice Snodgrass, an author and life coach and Christine Smith, a member of the Canton City Council and business owner.

Download the full WAC agenda HERE.

Multi-chapter steward training event held at OCSEA

On April 4, union members from multiple OCSEA chapters and state agencies came together to get schooled in steward training. OCSEA's Basic Steward Training is an introductory course in the OCSEA contract and representation. It is the first step in the journey to becoming a union steward. But becoming a steward is not required to attend and is a great way to learn more about your union and your rights at work.

Those in attendance at the April 4 training included members from Bureau of Workers' Compensation Chapter 2535, Franklin Medical Center (Dept of Corrections and Rehabilitation) Chapter 2578, Ohio Public Safety and Mental Health and Addiction Services Alberta Street Chapter 2575 and Twin Valley Mental Health and Addiction Services Chapter 2502.

If you are interested in attending a steward training, contact your chapter president or your OCSEA Staff Representative. Need help? Contact the OCSEA Member resource Center (MRC) at 888-OCSEA11 or