Your union newsletter - June 15, 2023

Posted Jun. 15, 2023 by

Take Action on Remote Work schedules NOW!

Yesterday, the union learned state Senators added language to the Senate Omnibus budget bill (HB 33) that requires State of Ohio employees to work in the office at least four days a week. As expected, Senators passed that bill on the floor of the Senate today. We sent out the link to the live hearing this morning.

OCSEA has already begun reaching out to our partners in the state legislature and at the Department of Administrative Services with our concerns about this language. We believe this is a dangerous overreach that is anti-worker, anti-union and anti-good government. The efficiency and savings of hybrid or telework has been well-documented—both for the State and individual employees. Productivity in many Ohio agencies is up. And to stay competitive in this tight labor market, management is going to have to stay ahead of the curve by offering flexible work arrangements in some cases.

Obviously, not all jobs in state government lend themselves to remote or hybrid work. We get that. But our OCSEA leaders have worked out arrangements, and sometimes actual agreements, in their respective agencies that take into consideration the needs of the agency, the needs of employees and the needs of the taxpayer.

What will extreme legislators try to take next? Your pick-a-post? Your vacation? Your health care? We believe this is a direct violation of our terms and conditions of employment.

In the next two weeks, the state budget will be considered by a Conference Committee of representatives from the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. It is these legislators who we will be focused on in our upcoming actions. Today, we are urging you to reach out to OCSEA-endorsed leaders in the state legislature and ask them to stand with union state employees (see list below).

For all OCSEA members who are working a hybrid schedule, or ANYONE who believe that the state legislature should not be determining how the work gets done, please take the time to call the below listed OCSEA Representatives and Senators who OCSEA endorsed:

Contact Legislators: 

  • Jay Edwards (R) Representative - District 94 614-466-2158 (Statehouse),
  • Tom Patton (R) Representative - District 17 614-466-4895 (Statehouse),
  • Scott Oelslager (R) Speaker Pro Tempore - District 48 614-752-2438 (Statehouse)
  • Allison Russo (D) Minority Leader - District 7 614-466-8012 (Statehouse)
  • Dontavius Jarrells (D) Assistant Minority Leader - District 1 614-466-5343 (Statehouse),

Sample Script:

Hi my name is [NAME] and I work at [STATE AGENCY] as a [CLASSIFICATION]. I’m calling to let you know that I oppose any budget language that would take away state employees’ ability to save taxpayer dollars by working remotely or in a hybrid schedule. The efficiency and savings to both the State and to employees has been widely documented. Productivity, creativity, and worker morale is also up due to these hybrid or remote work arrangements.

The State is going to have to adapt to a more flexible workplace to attract top talent and to be competitive in terms of employee recruitment and retention in a tight labor market. Workers are simply asking for more than what the traditional workplace offers. Can I count on you to support state workers on this issue?

Please be sure to be polite and concise. However, you can also tell your own story about hybrid or remote work and why it has made you a more productive employee. If the legislator is not available, please leave your message with their aid or staff person. You can also leave a message on their voice mail. Be sure to ask for a response or follow up to your call. Also, let us know you made the calls and give any feedback you received, by emailing us here:

We will be putting information out to you as we receive it, but we need everyone in this fight! Stay tuned for more information and updates in our emails and other union communications.

Singers needed for OCSEA Convention in August

Do you love to sing? Maybe you're in a church choir, community chorale group or a soloist in a band. Either way, we're looking at you and would love to have you take part in the OCSEA Biennial Convention ceremonies in August!

The OCSEA Convention Committee is looking for OCSEA members to volunteer as singers at the OCSEA Convention in August. The performance days would be on either Thursday, August 24 or Friday August 25. Both performances would take place in the morning prior to the start of convention business. The Thursday performance would entail kicking off convention with the National Anthem.

If you are an OCSEA member and a singer who would like to be considered, contact Deirdre Wedig at 614-865-2604 or Demos of performances are also encouraged.

Here's why Ohio unions oppose Issue 1 on August 8

The One Person One Vote campaign hit the road this week, and union members across Ohio have been out in full force to say No On Issue 1 on August 8. Press events this week are helping gain momentum about the dangers of Issue 1. Issue 1, formerly HJR 1/SJR 2, the amendment to go before Ohio voters at the August 8 special election, is an attack on the principle of one person, one vote and majority rule. Not only would it allow 40 percent of citizens to veto something the majority wants, it would also nearly eliminate a union's ability to put a citizen-led initiative on the ballot.

Almost every union in Ohio opposes Issue 1 on August 8 and here's why:

  • For more than 110 years, Ohio voters have had the freedom to put Constitutional amendments directly on the ballot with a simple majority.Ohio unions support preserving this sacred principle of one person one vote.
  • Issue 1 is undemocratic, plain and simple! It gives the majority of Ohio voters—40 percent—the ability to block the majority. That’s unfair.
  • Issue 1 undermines the progress unions are working toward, like spurring bipartisan policy for job creation and economic development that helps working families. With so much opportunity in front of us, we believe Issue 1 is unnecessary and divisive. We must push for MORE collaboration and LESS conflict.
  • About a decade ago, extreme politicians in Columbus tried to take away our collective bargaining rights with Senate Bill 5. We defeated them at the ballot box and showed that Ohioans stood for union rights! This year marks 40 years of collective bargaining rights in Ohio. Union members know all about fighting for what’s right in this state, whether at the bargaining table or the ballot box!

Join every union in Ohio and vote NO on August 8 to defeat Issue 1! Learn more and get involved at

Click for flyer:

Voting in the August 8 Special Election: What you need to know.

We’re mobilizing now to spread the word about this special election for special interests — and we need your help educating your family members and neighbors to vote NO on Issue 1 on August 8. Here are some important dates you need to know:

  • Now: Request Absentee Ballot
  • June 23: Military & Overseas Absentee Voting Begins
  • July 10: Deadline to Register to Vote
  • July 11: Early In-Person Voting Begins
  • July 11: Absentee Voting By Mail
  • August 8: ELECTION DAY, polls open 6:30am – 7:30pm

Find Voting Location

What you need to know about Absentee Ballots.

You have two Options:

  1. Print your request and mail it to your county Board of Elections. Fill out an absentee ballot application online and download the PDF and print from your printer.
  2. Or call your County Board of Elections and have an application mailed to you.

Request Absentee Ballot

Juneteenth: A celebration of freedom, dignity and workers united

On June 19, we commemorate the official freeing of the last enslaved Black people in the United States. This is a day of profound meaning to Black workers, as it should be to all working people who cherish and defend the freedom to live our own lives, speak with our own voices and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Juneteenth reminds us that we are independent of those who hire us, who seek to control us and who view us as objects with costs instead of as human beings with inherent dignity and worth. Download this Juneteenth Work Free Flyer to display and to share with family and friends.

The Juneteenth holiday is also evidence of the great potential of our nation and that the inherent dignity and worth of all people is a right that should be celebrated by all Americans. Juneteenth represents our continued fight against labor exploitation and liberty and freedom for all Americans regardless of race.

We hope that Juneteenth will be not just a day off, but a "day on." Whether it's visiting a museum, attending a Juneteenth event, serving your community or championing a Black-owned business, we encourage all OCSEA members to advance your knowledge and deepen your awareness this Juneteenth weekend.

Find a museum or cultural center

Attend a Juneteenth Event

Champion a Black-owned business

Get member-only deals to Ohio zoos and aquariums

Looking for a summer adventure with the family? Don't forget about the Ohio zoo deals for OCSEA members only.

OCSEA member-only discounts are available at three Ohio zoos and aquariums, including the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, and the Toledo Zoo.

See all the member-only perks and discount deals at (MyOCSEA login required).

Union-Made Father's Day: Click here