Your union newsletter - October 26, 2023

Posted Oct. 26, 2023 by

Announcing your 2024 OCSEA Bargaining Team

This past weekend, nearly 350 OCSEA activists attended the OCSEA Bargaining Council to elect the 2024 OCSEA Bargaining Team. The Team includes 24 OCSEA leaders representing every OCSEA bargaining unit as well at OCSEA's three executive officers. See the Team list below.

Now that the Team has been elected, our next steps will be to start building a winning strategy around our theme: Fighting to Win! For the elected team members, that means working hard before the start of bargaining to take a deeper dive into the bargaining survey results. Over the next several weeks the team will be homing in on the priorities of the membership in an effort to create bargaining proposals and come up with strategies and tactics that match those priorities.

But the Bargaining Team can’t do this alone. They can’t demand our priorities and make gains at the table without the full participation of the OCSEA membership. While the Bargaining Team is busy these next few weeks, we hope all our membership will get busy too. We need EVERY member to take an active role in this year’s negotiations. Without a massive showing of solidarity and just plain union strength, management will never feel the pressure to agree to the Teams’ demands.

"This is going to be a bargaining session like no other," OCSEA President and Chief Negotiator Chris Mabe told leaders at Saturday's Bargaining Council. "We are in a position like we’ve never been in before. The State has money and their coffers are loaded. State employees were overlooked and cast aside during the COVID pandemic and now the credit card bill is due!" he declared.

Elected Team member from Bargaining Unit 3, Wilson Humphrey, couldn't agree more. "This is our chance to get back the respect we deserve," said Humphrey, a Juvenile Corrections Officer at Circleville Youth Center. "We've gotta fight like hell for the safety and health of our union members in our most dangerous facilities," he said.

"We've got a lot of work to do to dive deep into the top priorities of our members," said Melissa Yank, Bargaining Unit 14 Team member, a Software Development Specialist from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. "We've got to prepare a winning strategy so we can fight at the bargaining table to win at the kitchen table, on the issues that mean so much to members. I'm ready to fight that fight!" said Yank.

2024 Bargaining Team

  • Bargaining Unit 3: Wilson Humphrey, Bill Homer, Doug Korba, Brian Miller, Bill Rager & Carl Vanbibber
  • Bargaining Unit 4: Marcus Harris & Deborah Weaver
  • Bargaining Unit 5: Jeff Condo
  • Bargaining Unit 6: Michael Sheeter
  • Bargaining Unit 7: Scott Buckridge, Lisa Schroeder & Toni Tuck-Newsome
  • Bargaining Unit 9: Shirley Hubbert, Willis McClure & Damon Neal
  • Bargaining Unit 13: Treva Knasel Bargaining Unit 14: Cathy Deck, Roschelle Holcomb, Leslie Tilton & Melissa Yank

Keep connected! Double check your contact information right now!

Member transparency is a TOP priority to the 2024 Bargaining Team, so making sure we have the correct contact information on file will ensure you get all the bargaining information you need. As we head into bargaining, there are a few things you can do to make sure you stay connected during the bargaining process. The first is making sure your contact information is up to date with the union so you get all the bargaining updates throughout the process. This includes double checking your personal email, home and work address and cell phone number.

PERSONAL EMAIL IS KEY! Bargaining news is for members' eyes only!! Make sure you have a good personal email on file with the union. Update your contact information in your member-only MyOCSEA profile by logging on at or send it to OCSEA's webmaster HERE. You can also call the OCSEA Member Resource Center (MRC) at 1-888-OCSEA11 (627-3211) to make sure you have a good personal email on file.

Download Veterans Conference Agenda

The 2023 OCSEA Veterans Committee Conference will be held Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4 at Mohican State Park Lodge. OCSEA activists will gather to honor our veterans and celebrate our member veterans, past and present. The OCSEA Veterans Committee will announce the recipients of the OCSEA veterans awards.

Visit to see the event agenda. A PDF agenda is also available for downloading and printing, if you prefer. Special guests for the event will include Jared Smith, veteran, past President of the Ohio State Association of Veterans Service Commissioners and our 2019 OCSEA Veteran of the Year Award Winner; Sean McCarthy, the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Veteran Services; and Shelly King, retired OCSEA activist and veteran. We're excited to see you there!

OCSEA Veterans Conference

Nov. 3-4 | Mohican State Park Lodge
4700 Goon Rd, Perrysville, Ohio 44864

Please note, lodging at the Mohican Lodge is FULL!
The Overflow hotel is the Quality Inn located at 1000 Comfort Plaza Drive, Bellville, OH 44813. Make reservations over the phone: 419-886-7000

OPERS trustees push for first maximum employer contribution rate increase in 50 years

In good news this week, the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) announced that it took action at its October 2023 meeting "to authorize OPERS staff to seek the system's first statutory maximum employer contribution rate increase in nearly 50 years." OPERS says the legislation would increase the maximum employer contribution limit for state and local members to 18 percent (from 14 percent). The state and local government employee contribution rate would remain the same. The proposed legislation would also set the law enforcement and public safety statutory employer contribution rate to the same rate as that of the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund.

This proposed legislation and potential for greater employer contributions would put the fund on the right track to maintain the solvency impacted by previous recessions, rising health care costs, and an aging workforce.The increase in the statutory maximum would not happen right away as statutory maximums are typically met over a long period of time; however, this first increase in 50 years raises the ceiling at which employers can contribute. Additionally, it would push employers to invest in their state and local government employees who have dedicated their careers to serving Ohio. It would also establish a plan and schedule for contribution rate increases and pursue legislation once every 10 years aimed at increasing the statutory employer maximum.

Changes to the Ohio public employee retirement systems such as this must be pursued by legislation. While the Ohio public employee pensions systems are a prohibited subject of bargaining under the Ohio Revised Code 4117.10, OCSEA and other public employee unions have a keen interest in the viability of the state's retirement funds to ensure our union members retire with dignity.

Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights member discount

There is less than a week left for OCSEA members to get an extra discount on tickets to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights. If purchased before October 31, tickets are only $13 each! If purchased between November 1 and December 31, tickets are $15 each. Both prices are up to 50% off the gate ticket price.

Click HERE to get your discount tickets. Download a flyer to share with members. Save and Share this Halloween!!!