Your union enewsletter - June 12, 2024

Posted Jun. 12, 2024 by

UNION NEWS / June 12, 2024


Great news! Your education benefits are increasing to $8,000 each year!

The Union Education Trust (UET) is excited to announce a generous increase in your annual union-negotiated education benefit. Each educational assistance program is seeing an increase! The entire benefit will see an overall $1,750 INCREASE annually for eligible State of Ohio bargaining unit employees. This UET increase is effective July 1, 2024 with the new UET Fiscal Year. 


What does the increase mean for OCSEA union members? Now you have a grand total of $8,000 to use for educational financial assistance EVERY year. This means an increase throughout all three of the UET's union educational programs to help you reach new heights in your state career.


Going back to college, pursuing vocational or trade school, taking computer training courses and other training opportunities are fantastic ways to achieve employment security and reach your career goals. Now, your UET benefits can go even further to help get you across the finish line.


OCSEA Vice President Rocky Jolly announced the increase at this weekend's OCSEA Steward Conference and urged leaders to take the good news back to their chapters. VP Jolly said the UET trustees are so proud of this program and this increase and will continue fighting for members' education opportunities. "Education is the way forward," he said. "And your union education funds are here to help members grow their potential in every way possible."


Visit the UET website HERE to learn more about your union-negotiated UET education offerings and to apply for your benefit. If you have questions about how you can take advantage of this increase, contact the UET Customer Service Center at 866-436-7900 or email:


Each educational assistance program is seeing an increase!


As a state bargaining unit employee represented by OCSEA,
you are eligible to use union-negotiated educational financial assistance
EVERY year starting on July 1, 2024 for the following:


• Career Improvement Program (CIP) NOW! $5,000 (increasing by $1,000)

• Professional Enhancement (PE) NOW! $2,000 (increasing by $500)

• Computer Application Training (CAT) NOW! $1,000 (increasing by $250)


Your UET benefits have increased by $1,750 each year for a grand total of $8,000! The process for applying is easy. Simply go to to get started.


Prepare for contract voting! Get familiar with the TA, find your chapter's voting info, and know the ratification timeline

Have you seen the OCSEA Tentative Agreement yet? On Monday, an email was sent to your personal email on file with the union that gives you access to read and download the TA. This TA and the Fact Finder's Report (to come) will be the documents that OCSEA active state bargaining unit members will be using to vote YES or NO on the State contract later this month. It's important that every state contract member get familiar with this TA before voting on the contract.

PLEASE NOTE: The Fact Finder's Report HAS NOT been released yet and is due to the Union and the State of Ohio no later than June 19. Members will receive the Fact Finder's Report and the Union's analysis of the Report via email on Friday, June 21.


OCSEA chapters will have until Friday, July 5 at noon to vote on the OCSEA Contract Tentative Agreement and Fact Finder’s Report. Voting will begin once the following has occurred: OCSEA releases Fact Finder's Report with union analysis over email to all active members on June 21; OCSEA holds the first of two virtual Road Shows over Zoom. 


Once the first OCSEA Roadshow has ended, chapter leaders will be permitted to start holding in-person contract voting events for their chapter members. Click below to download the Chapter Voting Schedule PDF, or go to to find your chapter's voting times and locations. 

Finally, here are the important dates to know on the ratification timeline:

  • JUNE 19: Fact Finder’s Report deadline.
  • JUNE 21: Fact Finder’s Report sent to all members.
  • JUNE 24: Zoom webinar road shows start at noon. Voting starts this day.
  • JUNE 24Chapter contract voting can commence this day following the end of the first road show.
  • JULY 5: Voting deadline (all votes due from chapters to OCSEA by noon)             
  • JULY 11: Current contract extended to this date.


RSVP now for VIRTUAL Contract Road Shows

Before casting your vote on the contract, members are highly encouraged to attend a Zoom Contract Road Show to learn about the Tentative Agreement and Fact Finder's Report! Leaders must attend before holding their contract voting events. There will be two Road Shows on Monday, June 24 at Noon and 7 p.m.


RSVP today for one of the two virtual informational meetings so you get a reminder on the day of the event. You will also get an option to add the event to your calendar.


Monday, June 24
12 p.m. - RSVP via Zoom
7 p.m. - RSVP via Zoom


2024 Steward Conference sees record attendance, focuses on union building and education

This past weekend, the annual Steward Conference saw record attendance with over 450 members registered online and in-person. New and experienced union activists from across Ohio joined in person and online via Zoom to learn about contract enforcement and foster their union representation skills. Click here to see more photos from the event.


The main event kicked off with the DR&C Honor Guard celebration of our nation, a welcome from OCSEA Education Chair Leslie Lilton and OCSEA officers President Chris Mabe, Vice President Rocky Jolly and Secretary-Treasurer Kathy Gersper.


"This is a family that fights together," said Mabe, talking about what it's going to take to keep our union strong and thriving together.


VP Jolly made an important and exciting announcement about the upcoming increase in Union Education Trust (UET) benefits. VP Jolly says the UET trustees are proud of this program and will continue fighting for members' education opportunities.


Secretary-Treasurer Gersper reminded attendees about the union's fight for collective bargaining over 40 years ago and the role of stewards then and now. "You are never alone. That's what stewards are for. Our power comes from within. And it’s important each chapter works to build their stewards," she said.


Guest speaker Dr. John Nadalin talked about the value of being union and what unions need to do to keep up with the ever-changing world. "The key is authentic leadership," he said, meaning embracing our strengths and weaknesses, inspiring others, being transparent and standing for the values we hold true.


Dr. Nadalin has been a member of the UFCW, the Brotherhood of Firemen and Enginemen, the Brotherhood of Fireman and Oilers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the United Transportation Union, and upon retirement in 2010, and the SMART TD (Transportation Division). He now serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Ross College of Business at Franklin University in their Doctor of Business Administration program.


Next, guest speaker Carlos Wallace (@mrcarloswallace) talked about his life as a union activist and organizer. He inspired attendees to be proud of the work they do to help others. He credited unions for helping grow the working class and even the playing field for women and people of color.

As a union organizer, Carlos knows the power of union dues. “It’s the best insurance policy you’ll ever have,” he said. "Collectively, we can do anything. Taking care of our fellow men and women is essential. No one is coming to save us, so we have to save ourselves," said Carlos.


Carlos is an author, youth advocate, motivational speaker and labor relations expert. He is an author and filmmaker. He was joined by his partner in life, his wife Liz Faublas-Wallace, journalist, television anchor, and children’s book writer.

Pictured: Guest speaker John Nadalin, President Chris Mabe, guest speaker Carlos Wallace and his wife, Liz Faublas-Wallace.


Member Spotlight: Nurturing Careers and Exploring the World

The Spring 2024 union magazine is available at This edition spotlights public union members who have a real passion for the public work they do and in their personal lives as well. 


Stacia Rosebrook is not only a dedicated professional protecting vulnerable populations with the Department of Aging, she is also a union activist in her Chapter 2540 as well as an avid traveler. With a career spanning nearly ten years both for the county and the State of Ohio, Stacia is a fierce advocate, both inside her profession and beyond.


As an Administrative Professional 3 within the Department of Aging’s Board of Executives of Long-Term Services and Supports, an independent board within the agency, Stacia wears multiple hats. She’s involved in the complicated process of licensing new nursing home administrators, guiding them through internships and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. “It’s been nice to work with people who are passionate about what they do. That part has been really exciting,” she shared. 


But her job responsibilities don't stop there. She’s also the sole investigator for the State of Ohio who investigates complaints and rule violations of nursing home administrators. Her work ensures accountability and safeguards the well-being of nursing home residents in Ohio. “I feel incredibly honored to be able to help make sure nursing homes are safe places for our seniors to live,” she said. “We make sure that the administrators are acting in accordance with maintaining the health and safety of the residents in their care,” she explained. “That’s incredibly gratifying,” she said. 


Make the most of summer with your union discounts!

Summer is here! Use your union benefits to beat the heat with discounts to water parks, entertain the whole family with discounted theme park & zoo tickets, or plan a getaway with travel, lodging, and attraction discounts. Plus, so much more!


Your OCSEA Family Fun Discounts include the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo Zoos, as well as Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Zoombezi Bay discounts. Explore extensive discounts from Union Plus to save on even more entertainment & shopping options, vacation tours & theme parks, and everyday necessities such as insurance and home & auto expenses.


As an OCSEA member, you can save even more through AFSCME Advantage. Get pre-approved for the Union Plus Credit Card Program, get AT&T discounts, and much more.


Retiree Alert! Sherrod Brown brings his fight to repeal WEP/GPO to Columbus

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s fight to repeal WEP/GPO is inching closer to an important legislative milestone. His bipartisan legislation now has 59 co-sponsors in the United States Senate—just one vote short of the 60 needed to prevent a filibuster and remove a potential roadblock to passage. 


Sen. Brown brought his battle to restore Social Security benefits for public employees to Columbus last week when he held a field hearing for the Social Security Fairness Act at the Columbus Firefighters union hall on W. Broad Street in Columbus. OCSEA retirees helped pack the room with their brothers and sisters from AFSCME and other public employee unions.


Speaking to public employees in the audience, Sen Brown said, “You make your communities a better place. You didn’t go into this to get rich, you did it because you heard the call of public service. It’s absurd that for decades now two laws have punished you and punished your work by cutting Social Security benefits that you’ve earned.”


Retirees and other public employees gave emotional testimony about how the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) can reduce or wipe out their Social Security benefits. The so-called Social Security offsets, which affect approximately 250,000 Ohioans, reduce benefits for public employees who worked jobs in the private sector. The onerous provisions are especially harmful to widows/widowers and middle-income workers.


“I thank Sen. Brown for standing up for our members who get shortchanged when they retire,” said OCSEA President Chris Mabe. “Public service employees dedicate their lives to making our communities safer and stronger and they don’t deserve to have their Social Security benefits slashed. It’s simply unfair. Repealing WEP and GPO now would right a wrong that never should have happened in the first place.”


Michelle Hunter, a longtime OCSEA member who attended the hearing, worked for MRDD for 32 years and held a second job in home healthcare. She says she was heartbroken when she filed for Social Security and received only $147 a month. The benefit cut forced her to continue working.


“I’m so happy Sherrod Brown is pushing this and we need to continue to be behind him,” Hunter said.

OCSEA members pose with Sen. Brown.

Witnesses give testimony at the hearing.

OCSEA Member Michelle Hunter.

The crowd at Sen. Brown's field hearing featuring many OCSEA members.


June Union Bulletin Board flyers available for download