Your union newsletter - January 31, 2024

Posted Jan. 31, 2024 by

Four Steward training events coming in March

We're excited to announce four union webinars will be held over two days in March 2024. The webinar trainings will be held via Zoom on March 4 & March 7. OCSEA Staff Representative Ryan Ochmanek will conduct the webinars. Use the RSVP links below to sign up. Hurry, as each webinar is limited to 50 participants. Members must take their own time to attend these virtual trainings. 

The first webinar is a Basic Steward training and is open to ALL members. It will take place Monday, March 4 in the morning. Even if you do not plan to be a steward, this is the perfect introduction to union trainings, and any member can attend. This webinar counts toward steward certification. 

An Advanced Steward webinar will take place later that day during the evening of March 4. The advanced training is open to members who have completed Basic Steward training within the past year.

Two Evidence, Investigatory Interview and Pre-Discipline webinars will be held on March 7. This is the exact same webinar, with one being held in the morning and one in the evening. Sign up for one ONLY.


Basic Steward Training
Monday, March 4 - 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Advanced Steward Training
Monday, March 4 - 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Evidence, Investigatory Interview and Pre-D’s Training
Thursday, March 7 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Evidence, Investigatory Interview and Pre-D’s Training
Thursday, March 7 - 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

February Union Bulletin Board flyers available for download

The February 2024 Union Bulletin Board Network (UBBN) flyers are here and available for download The February flyers include Valentine's Day and Black History Month messages, Solidarity Wednesdays, upcoming Conferences and so much more. Check back each month for new flyers to share. Have a bulletin board you want to share? Email photos to

Don't have an onsite bulletin board? The virtual bulletin board network 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 who don't have boards are urged to email the flyers orUBBNlink 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:

  • There's a lot to love about being union
  • Did you know? Les Best Scholarship
  • Solidarity Wednesdays
  • OCSEA Conferences
  • UET Tools for Success
  • Black History Month: Our vast union history
  • I AM Story podcast
  • Toledo Zoo and Aquarium Orchid Show
  • Working Advantage February highlights

What's Mediation?

Most of you have heard by now that the OCSEA and Management State Bargaining Teams are headed to “mediation” when they come back to the bargaining table on February 12.Currently, mediation is scheduled for seven days and is always the next step in the bargaining process.

Mediation involves bringing in a neutral “mediator”––a respected expert in labor relations––who tries to help settle disputes by resolving misunderstandings, setting goals, helping reach agreements and compromises, and lending independent perspective to the two sides. In this round of bargaining, the sides agreed to select Jack Buettner, an experienced arbitrator and someone knowledgeable about the current State contract.

Sometimes, a mediator can only go so far, either because the sides refuse to bargain and compromise any further, or because time runs out. That’s when a fact finder would come into play.

The general rules that guide public employee negotiations are established by Ohio law. The law allows the union and management to submit disputed issues to a fact finder after negotiations and mediation have failed and an “impasse” is formally declared.

Solidarity Wednesdays

Only through a united front can we show management that their proposed takeaways WILL NOT be tolerated!

Even though preparations are underway for mediation, Solidarity Wednesdays are VERY IMPORTANT! Support your OCSEA Bargaining Team every Wednesday by wearing OCSEA attire or the color green, at work or at home...every Wednesday through bargaining until we have a fair contract!!

Chapters are urged to hold Solidarity events at the workplace or during chapter meetings. Learn more HERE.

Honor our history! Vote for AFSCME podcast for NAACP Image Award

As we head into Black History Month, we are so proud to announce that the AFSCME “I AM Story” podcast has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the “Outstanding Podcast – Limited Series/Short Form” category. I AM Story recounts the struggle of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike and the unwavering support of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. for those AFSCME members that ultimately led up to his death.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders calls this five-part podcast about our vast union history "a tremendous honor to lift up the original strikers––our AFSCME brothers" and tell the story from the perspective of the strikers. "I am beyond grateful that the NAACP is celebrating their courage and sacrifice with this nomination," said Saunders.

Did you know that Outstanding Podcast categories are open to the public for voting? That's right! You can VOTE! Help bring the story of the Memphis Sanitation Strike to a larger audience and vote for the “I AM Story” podcast. Cast your vote and then ask your union co-workers, family members, friends and everyone you know to do the sameno later than February 24.

Here’s how it works. To vote:

  • Click onTHIS LINK.
  • Click on the “Outstanding Podcast – Limited Series/Short Form” category under the “Recording” header.
  • Click the “Vote” button located underneath the “I AM Story” podcast – please note that this does NOT officially count your vote!You must click “Back to Categories,” which will return you to the original page.
  • Finally, scroll to the bottom of the categories page and click the “Submit your votes” button.
  • Enter your email into the pop-up window, and once it says, “Vote received,” your vote has officially been counted.

Get discount ticket to Toledo Zoo Orchid Show

p>Are you a budding horticulturist or just love beautiful flowers? Don't miss out on an incredible event at the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium. OCSEA Members save $5 per ticket at Become immersed in beautiful blooms throughout the ProMedica Museum of Natural History during theOrchid Show at the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium! Discover the vibrant colors, delightful scents, and interesting backstories of rare and exotic orchid species from around the world.

The Orchid Show at the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting Feb. 9 and is included with zoo admission. Get tickets at