Your union newsletter - February 15, 2023

Posted Feb. 15, 2023 by



The OCSEA Member Resource Center (MRC) has updated it's hours of operation. The MRC hours are as follows: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. AND Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The MRC is closed weekends.

OCSEA's contract experts and customer service guides are available to serve members at 888-OCSEA-11 or

Show the love: Celebrating the gifts of being union

There's a lot to love about being a union member and having a union contract. When it comes to OCSEA-negotiated contracts, the benefits to love include everything from vacation cash outs and longevity pay to health care and leave to care for our families. And, it's OCSEA members who have fought to maintain these protections and it's OCSEA members who have built strong union contracts for over 40 years.

This Valentine's week, see why there's A LOT to love about being union at And make sure to share the love with co-workers, family and friends.

Want more? Check out AFSCME's "10 Reasons to Love Your Union" on Instagram. 😍

RSVP for February 27 Basic Steward training

OCSEA will hold a hybrid Basic Steward Training course on February 27 at 5 p.m. The training is open to all OCSEA members and will take place IN PERSON and ONLINE. The in-person training will take place at the United Steelworkers Union Hall in Mansfield. To attend, members must RSVP for either the in-person or online event through the Zoom registration link below.

While the training is called a "steward training," the online event is open to ALL State OCSEA members, whether you plan to become a union steward or not. Learning the ins-and-outs of the union contract is always the first, and most important step in union involvement. It allows OCSEA members to become familiar with the articles and benefits in the union contract, learn your rights on the job and take part in enforcing contract language that impacts you and your union coworkers. The training is being presented by OCSEA Staff Representative James Beverly.

WHAT: Basic Steward Training - HYBRID (in person and Zoom)
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 27 5:00 p.m.- 7 p.m.
WHERE: United Steelworkers - 376 W. Longview Ave, Mansfield, Ohio 44903


CMCA Chair Sherry Little invites you to March 18 Community and Minority Conference

Dear sisters and brothers:

I'm excited to invite you all to the 2023 OCSEA Community and Minority Affairs (CMCA) Conference. It's taking place March 18 in Cincinnati. If you haven't had a minute (which I know those minutes are precious), please check out the registration website at and start making plans to attend. All members are invited to this event. The deadline to register is March 10.

This is the first CMCA we've held in person since the pandemic. I couldn't be more thrilled to see everyone again! We will hold early registration and events the evening before on March 17 at the hotel. Make sure you get all the hotel information on the conference website.


As we celebrate Black History Month, I'm so often reminded of the impact that unions have had on minority working families, and the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into opening up opportunities to all workers. The CMCA Conference is about union members coming together to celebrate those achievements and to learn from our history so that we can build a better future.

I'm excited for you to meet guest speaker Davida Russell, a City of Cleveland Heights City Council member and a champion of labor. As a member just like us, Davida served as president of our sister union OAPSE/ AFSCME Local 744 for 20 years. She is also president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and an Ohio AFL-CIO Vice President, just to name a few.

See you in March!

In Solidarity, Sherry Little, CMCA chair

**Sherry Little is chair of the OCSEA Community and Minority Affairs Committee (CMCA). She is a member of the OCSEA Board of Directors, OCSEA District 7 Vice President and a steward for Chapter 1810. She is employed by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation in Cleveland.**

AFSCME announces I AM STORY podcast

Yesterday, to mark the 55th anniversary of the beginning of the Memphis Sanitation Strike, AFSCME announced a new podcast series recounting the stories of the courageous sanitation workers who made history.The first episode will air in April which coincides with the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was assassinated while in Memphis to support the strikers.

Follow along at and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts including on Pandora, Spotify, Apple and Amazon.

State HR gives update on OptumRx phone calls to employees

The Ohio Dept. of Administrative Services (DAS) benefits division recently emailed state employees about phone calls they are receiving at their work numbers about prescription management. The article was included in the HR Newsletter last week.

"The calls from OptumRx are legitimate and are part of a new prescription drug program. To clarify, OptumRx will be making outbound calls to State of Ohio members if they meet certain criteria, for the purposes of care coordination and prescription management," said DAS. The calls from OptumRx come from the number 833-229-2520, and the caller ID may show “YOUR HLTH PLAN.” Voicemails instruct employees to call back with a code, which DAS says is safe to do.

The use of multiple drugs to treat diseases and other health conditions is known as polypharmacy. This is a growing concern for older adults and those with multiple chronic conditions. Polypharmacy has been a topic of conversation for the labor/management health care team, the Joint Health Care Committee (JHCC). Both the state and OCSEA say the calls from OptumRx are intended to assist with drug safety and to ensure prescription drug users only take those medicines they need and do not take those that may conflict with one another.

If you have any questions about the new OptumRx program, please email or call Greg Pawlack at (614-466-6205) or Nick Zimmer at (614-728-8698).