Your union newsletter - August 9, 2023

Posted Aug. 9, 2023 by

Convention delegates! Upload a new photo for your convention ID badge

As a convention delegate or alternate, you will use your photo ID badge to get on the floor of the convention hall (or into the alternate section) as well as to attend the many special events. Now, you can add or change your MyOCSEA profile picture for your ID badge before you even get to the convention!

To change or add your profile picture simply go HERE to MyOCSEA and follow the prompts. Once you do that, we’ll prepare your photo convention ID badge so you can pick it up with your other materials at convention registration when you arrive.

If you don’t update your photo, OCSEA will use the photo currently on file. If you do not have a photo currently on file with OCSEA or have never attended an OCSEA event requiring a photo ID badge, we encourage you to go online before convention to add your photo. Again, you can go HERE to take a photo with your phone, computer or tablet and upload it into our website. A MyOCSEA account is required to add a photo to your MyOCSEA profile, but that’s easy to set up HERE.

Ohioans overwhelmingly vote to protect citizen initiatives and the people’s voice!

Last night, Ohio voters let their voices be heard through the democratic process by soundly defeating Issue 1 at the polls. Issue 1 would have required more signatures to get a citizen-led constitutional amendment on the ballot and would have set a threshold of 60% of the vote, rather than a simple majority, for the amendment to pass. That’s a very high bar, and something that would have made citizen-led initiatives on almost any issue virtually impossible to pass.

Ohio unions, including those who led the No on Senate Bill 5 campaign to protect collective bargaining, know firsthand the power of the people's voice and the value of citizen-led initiatives, especially when it comes to overruling out-of-control legislative power.

"Government by the people is not to be fooled with," said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga after last night's vote results were announced. "Citizens initiatives are protected! The people have spoken!"

The Ohio AFL-CIO, of which OCSEA is a part, made the following statement on the defeat of Issue 1. Burga thanked union members for taking part in the democratic process to defeat of Issue 1. The non-partisan coalition to defeat Issue 1 and protect citizen-led initiatives included unions and members of both parties and was one of the largest coalitions of its kind in Ohio history.

Burga is also urging Ohio legislators to get back on track to end divisiveness in our state and to focus on issues important to working families, like job-building, infrastructure and the economy:

"The results of [the] August Special Election showed the impact of a united labor movement that rallied to defend the Ohio constitution and protect simple majority vote by educating, informing, and mobilizing voters across the state to vote NO on Issue 1. We are grateful for the union members and activists who over the last nine months exposed the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the proponents and their fraudulent issue, and turned-out working people in massive numbers to protect the principle of one-person, one-vote.

"The resounding defeat of Issue 1 puts the legislative backers and Secretary of State LaRose on notice that the citizens of this state and working people will never relinquish their constitutional right to direct democracy and simple majority rule.

"For the entirety of this year, politicians supporting Issue 1 ignored the will of the people in the legislative process, flip-flopped on their ruling not to hold August special elections, costing tax-payers millions of dollars, and spread misinformation and lies from start to finish. In the end, voters would not be fooled by this unprecedented, corrupt attempt to silence our voice and we said emphatically, "NO."

"As we put this election behind us, we now call on lawmakers to listen to the voters, stop advancing issues that only serve to divide us and get to the business of advancing policies that help all Ohioans fulfill their potential and improve their quality of life.

Thank you to all of the volunteers like you who spent the better part of the summer defending democracy in our great state."

Back to School!

✏️Support American workers! Buy union-made supplies

Can you believe it? It's already time to head back to school! While you're doing your back-to-school shopping, make sure to keep in mind where your school supplies come from and who makes them. Look for these union-made products from the United Steel Workers (USW) and the printing, publishing, and media workers of the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Products include ACCO Brand products, like Five Star, Mead; Roaring Spring Paper products, including notebooks, sketch pads and index cards; Boise Paper products found at locations like Office Depot and W.B. Mason supplies; and Pacon Brand products, including construction paper, yarn, glitter and more.

And don't forget, as we head back to class, to thank your unionized school staff, teachers, administrators and bus drivers for all they do.

Union-Made Supply List

✏️Support OCSEA's School Supply Drive!

OCSEA is collecting school supplies through August 31, 2023. This has been a very successful drive in years past, and we're excited, with YOUR assistance, to help supply school children and classrooms. Chapters and subordinate bodies are urged to participate in this drive that will help working families most of all!

Please email Angela Harrington to arrange a drop off or if you or your chapter have further questions about the drive. Additionally, monetary donations are accepted.

Click to download the flyer to share with your chapter and to see the list of suggested school supplies.

Donations are being accepted at OCSEA Headquarters located at 390 Worthington Rd, Suite A & B, Westerville, Oh 43082.

Additionally, there will also be drop off boxes at this year's OCSEA Biennial Convention at the Convention Center, August 24-26. Donation boxes will be located at the Labor Education and Union Benefits Trust (UBT) booths open during registration throughout convention.

✏️School for the Blind marching band kicks off season

Last month, we wrote about the Ohio State School for the Blind marching band that participated in the Lions Club International Parade of Nations in Boston. We spotlighted the amazing OCSEA members who serve as marching assistants for the Marching Panthers band. This month we were excited to meet up with the Marching Panthers in person and watch them perform at their band camp. And their marching assistants, including union members from School for the Blind Chapter 2529 and other volunteers, were marching right alongside them after a long and busy week of camp. It was a great afternoon of food, fun, family, music and congratulations!! What a treat!

See photos from their band camp on Facebook and Instagram. You can also catch a video of part of their performance HERE.

✏️CEA substitutes unionize, approve first agreement

Here's some great back-to-school news! In July, nearly 300 Columbus City Schools building substitute teachers and the Columbus Board of Education ratified their FIRST ever Columbus Education Association (CEA) collective bargaining agreement.

The CEA and the Board released a joint statement:

"The Columbus Board of Education and nearly 300 building substitutes employed by Columbus City Schools (CCS) have taken a significant step by approving a first-ever collective bargaining agreement for building substitutes. The two-year agreement, which adds building substitutes to the Columbus Education Association (CEA) bargaining unit, was ratified unanimously by building substitutes during a membership meeting held on July 17 and by the Board of Education during its August 1 business meeting.

“Our building substitutes are pivotal to ensuring our students receive enriching educational experiences and are critical members of our school communities. The Board fully recognizes and supports the addition of building substitutes to the membership of CEA,” said Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair.

“By voluntarily recognizing the new union and bargaining a first agreement in good faith with no delay, the Board of Education has set an example for employers throughout our city and state,” said CEA President John Coneglio. “This agreement sets a new standard by professionalizing this critical role in our schools.”

Save the Date! Lorain Labor Day Family Festival is Sept. 3

Labor Day will be here before we know it! OCSEA members can celebrate the efforts of working Americans and their unions by participating in a Labor Day event near you.

Check out the Lorain Labor Day Family Celebration sponsored by the Lorain County Central Labor Council. Each year, labor council sponsors this Labor Day event for families and community members to celebrate the contributions of unions in our lives--and OCSEA members always participate. The event on Sept. 3 will include live music, free giveaways, rides, food, a car show and much more. Admission is FREE! All union families are invited to attend.

OCSEA Chapters and members interested in volunteering (event setup, day-of-event volunteering, event tear-down), donating to this event, buying an ad in the program booklet, or setting up a union information booth should contact John Gallo at 440-396-7529.

Lorain Labor Day Family Celebration

Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane in Lorain, Ohio
Sunday, September 3rd from 12:00 to 6:00 PM.
Admission is *FREE*