Your union newsletter - December 6, 2023

Posted Dec. 6, 2023 by

"Thank you state workers" billboards launch, solidarity headquarters open

Your union is working hard to bring awareness to the upcoming state contract bargaining fight and the good work of state employees. Last week, OCSEA launched a multi-month #FightingToWin billboard campaign in downtown Columbus that will be updated throughout the bargaining process with the State of Ohio.

This week's billboard campaign focuses on saying "Thank You" to Ohio's state employees and reminding the public that Ohio's public union workers make our communities safer, stronger, healthier and just plain BETTER!

There are currently two #FightingToWin billboards, one located at the corner of Broad and High streets and one at the corner of State and High streets. Both are located across from the Ohio Statehouse, a very intentional strategy aimed at reminding State Legislators about the essential work of Ohio's public workers and putting them on notice that State workers more than deserve a strong union contract!

There will be additional #FightingTinWin billboards at these location with various messages around promoting State workers and raising awareness about state contract bargaining. Look for Holiday billboard messages coming soon!

There are two #FightingToWin billboards at the corners of Broad and High streets and State and High streets in downtown Columbus.

Solidarity Headquarters upcoming events

Another way OCSEA is raising visibility about bargaining is through our OCSEA Solidarity Headquarters located in downtown Columbus. The Solidarity Headquarters is located at 65 East State Street, Columbus 43215 (located on the first floor office, at the front of the breezeway, in the building east of the Ohio Theater). OCSEA members are highly encouraged to stop by Monday through Friday to talk, get information and take part in events that build solidarity for bargaining!

We kicked things off today with a Member Appreciation Solidarity Breakfast. Before their work day, members were able to eat a donut or bagel and drink a cup of coffee, chat about upcoming bargaining, grab some union swag and get entered into this week's solidarity raffle. We were so excited to see so many members and kick bargaining off right.

We hope to see even more members next Wednesday as we hold a Solidarity Lunch and Mini-Rally starting at 11 a.m. See the event below:



The OCSEA and State bargaining teams will present their bargaining proposals on Wed. Dec. 13. To show support, OCSEA members are urged to stop by the OCSEA Solidarity Headquarters starting on Dec. 13 from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. There will be lunch and a small rally outside. RSVP here.

A hand-made sign making event will be held starting at 10 a.m. at Solidarity Headquarters.

OCSEA launches new discount college benefit for 2024

OCSEA is today launching a new union discount college benefit option that offers up to 50% discounted college tuition rates for all OCSEA members and their extended family. While we know many were disappointed at the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to shut down the union’s Free College program, OCSEA is committed to helping members and their family with the high price of higher education. Spring start dates are in January and March, so there's plenty of time to apply!

One way the union is helping with those costs is by partnering with the EBS Network of Colleges and Universities, which is comprised of regionally accredited institutions that are committed to providing deeply discounted tuition rates to our union members and their families, ensuring accessibility and affordability for higher education. Whether you are interested in pursuing an Associate, Bachelor's, or Master's degree, or seeking to enhance your professional skills with undergraduate or graduate certificates, the network has a comprehensive range of over 50 + online degree programs and certificate offerings.

The process for OCSEA’s Discount College program is a little different from Free College. To explore the available programs, take for example, the Associate, Bachelor, or Master degrees in Criminal Justice, or learn more about all the discounts offered, OCSEA members and their family members are encouraged to visit OCSEA’s College Benefit website at:

Download the flyer here about OCSEA’s new Discount College Benefit.


If one of the programs is of interest, then simply complete the Request Your Match form. Once potential students complete that form, an admissions counselor—who is employed by the college or university from where the person has been matched—will contact them. The admissions counselor will guide them through the admissions process, discuss career goals and program options, and answer any questions.

We are all saddened by the department of education’s decision to end the free college benefit, but we believe that education is a lifelong journey, and we aim to make that journey both accessible and rewarding. We are committed to providing opportunities that empower our union members and their families to reach their full potential.

Keep in mind the discounted college rate is in addition to any internal or federal grants or scholarships awards that may be applicable to reduce out-of-pocket costs even further.

State Office Tower Chapter 2545 gives to nursing home where retiree resides

Cheryl Bass, President of the State Office Tower Chapter 2545, and her union leadership started a Giving Tuesday challenge for all members in her downtown office chapters to help get into the Christmas spirit. In 2022, State agencies were still adhering to COVID restrictions, so the group got together and bought lunch for all the security guards in the many office buildings downtown, including Rhodes, Riffe, the Ohio Auditor’s Office and the Ohio Financing Agencies.

This year they wanted to do something different, says Cheryl. So, their Chapter Events Committee decided to recognize and give back to one of their own, SOT Chapter 2545 retiree Bill Lewis, who recently had a leg amputation and currently resides in a nursing home on the east side of Columbus.

The Chapter 2545 Event Committee met with the Activity Director of the Eastland Health and Rehabilitation Center where Bill and 99 other residents live. They decided to do something involving cooking since Bill loves to cook, as do many of the other residents at the center. The chapter donated an air fryer and a toaster oven for the nursing home residents. Additionally, the chapter donated fleece blankets as well as cookies and cookie dough.

Retirees of the union Event Committee, including Creola Hamilton, Cleo Satler, Frieda Smith and Sheryl Ray, presented the gifts to union brother Bill and others at the retirement center last Tuesday.

“It’s on our docket for every year now,” said Cheryl about the Giving Tuesday event. “We’re going to come up with something well in advance,” she said, talking about the importance of planning Labor Gives Back events each year. The chapter also donates to other charitable organizations like St. Jude, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Toys for Tots, to name a few.

Want to tell your chapter or personal Labor Gives Back story. Email us at

Congratulations to our Week 2 Pledge Card raffle winners

OCSEA's Bargaining Pledge Card Solidarity Drive kicked off in November, and we're excited to announce our next pledge card raffle winners! All winners signed a pledge card showing their support for the OCSEA Bargaining Team and State contract negotiations.

Congrats to our winners:

  • Margaret Springer - Ohio Veterans Home Chapter 2200 - Meta Quest 2 VR headset
  • Charles Humphreys - Jackson County Chapter 4020 - $100 gift card
  • Carrie Taylor - BMV Chapter 2503 - $50 gift card
  • Twinsburg Chapter 7760 - $500 Chapter Rebate

Download Union Bulletin Board flyers for December

The December 2023 Union Bulletin Board Network (UBBN) flyers are here and available for download at The virtual bulletin board 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 are urged to place these flyers on their workplace bulletin boards, where applicable, email 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:

Thank you OCSEA members for your service!

  • Introducing OCSEA's New Discount College benefit 
  • OCSEA 2024 Bargaining Toolkit 
  • Give yourself the gift of the Union Education Trust 
  • EXTRAS discount: Kings Island Winterfest 
  • EXTRAS discount: Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas 
  • EXTRAS discount: Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights 
  • EXTRAS discount: Columbus Zoo Wildlights

See 12 Days of Christmas at