Your union newsletter - March 27, 2024

Posted Mar. 27, 2024 by

OCSEA Women and Minority Conference deadlines approaching

This is an announcement from OCSEA Women and Minority Affairs committees reminding members that the OCSEA Women's Action Committee (WAC) and the Minority and Community Affairs Committee (CMCA) Conference is coming up the weekend of May 3-5 in Sandusky. There's still over a month until the event, but there are a few IMPORTANT deadlines that are quickly approaching. 

The deadline to book lodging at the OCSEA rate is next Wednesday, April 3. Room reservations must be made directly through the Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, mentioning the "OCSEA 2024 Conference" to receive the discounted rate of $229*. Contact the resort at 800-525-2427 or book online  HERE. The rate will not be available after the April 3 deadline.

The deadline to submit conference registration forms and payment to OCSEA Headquarters is Friday, April 19. Download the registration form at the conference website:

WHAT: WAC/CMCA Conference 

WHEN: May 3-5, 2024

WHERE: Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky

Special guest André Washington

We're excited to welcome André Washington as one of the WAC/CMCA weekend's special guest speakers. He is always an invigorating speaker who exudes the passion of the union fight. Brother Washington is the State President of the Ohio Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI). The APRI is a constituency group of the AFL-CIO for Black trade unionists that advocates labor, economic and social change. Additionally, André is an advocate for public employee union members as a Field Representative and Special Projects Coordinator with our sister union, OAPSE/AFSCME Local 4.

* The total charge for the room for two nights is $589.20 ($229 at time of reservation & $360.20 at check in). There will be a $100 authorization charge at check-in for incidentals and any unused money from that will be released at check out. 


What to know about the Fact-Finding process and contract voting

Last week, a Fact-Finding hearing was held over multiple days bringing the union and state team’s together in front of Fact Finder Tom Nowell. For public employees in Ohio, the Ohio Revised Code dictates that when the parties are at an impasse during contract negotiations, a third-party Fact Finder is brought in to decide outstanding issues.


During the hearing, management and the union presented their case regarding the contract articles still open (see last week’s Bargaining Update). But even though the hearing is over, the Fact-Finding process does not conclude until the Fact Finder issues his/her report.


Currently, the parties are preparing written briefs laying out their arguments, including any exhibits, data, documents and witness statements. Union and management have until April 26 to complete their written briefs and submit them to the Fact Finder.


After that, the Fact Finder will consider all the evidence and write a written “Report and Recommendation.” There is no date yet regarding when the Fact Finder will issue his report.


Once the Fact Finder’s Report is issued, OCSEA union members will have 21 days to ratify the Tentative Agreement and the Fact Finder’s Report.


While it is likely to be many weeks before contract voting occurs, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Once the Fact Finder’s Report is issued, OCSEA and the union Bargaining Team will hold Online Roadshow Sessions via Zoom (in the interest of time) to talk about the Tentative Agreement, the Fact Finder’s Report and contract voting.
  • The Tentative Agreement and the Fact Finder’s Report will be sent to members’ personal emails and will be made available on the OCSEA website.
  • Voting will be done in-person and will take place at the chapter level only.
  • Only dues-paying OCSEA members can vote on the contract.
  • It is up to each chapter to set up their voting schedules once the contract voting “window” is established.
  • Ballots are not sent to members’ homes but are only available through the chapter.

Solidarity in Action: The OCSEA Bargaining Blitz 

OCSEA activists across Ohio braved the cold, wind and snow to tell our communities AND the State of Ohio that it is way past due for a fair union contract and wage package.

From Grafton and Lorain Correctional near the brisk Lake Erie to a Cincinnati ODOT garage, and everywhere in between, activists lined streets and town squares to spread the word.

See the photo gallery of events HERE. 


Get the OCSEA Scholarship Checklist; Apply by April 30

The OCSEA Les Best Scholarship deadline is a little over a month away on April 30. Don't miss out on this amazing union benefit that could help you and your family members who are planning to attend college in the fall. The union scholarship program offers up to $12,000 in scholarships for OCSEA members, spouses and dependents. Learn more at


All applications and materials must be submitted by the April 30 deadline. Here's a checklist to keep you on track: 


Download the full checklist with more information HERE


Chapters SPRING into Labor Gives Back season

OCSEA chapters have been taking time this Spring, not just rallying for respect and a fair contract, but also giving back to their communities. While OCSEA members are generous all-year long, the Easter holiday and warming weather season offers opportunities for chapters to focus on Labor Gives Back activities.

This includes Ohio Veterans Home Chapter 2200 whose activists recently held a food drive for the Nehemiah Partners Center in Sandusky. The Center is a safe, bully-free place for children and young teens, says the chapter. The Kids Cafe, in partnership with The Second Harvest Food Bank, provides a balanced meal every day and healthy snacks after school. Snack bags handed out on Thursdays help reduce food insecurity through the weekend. The chapter purchased and gathered donated snacks and meal prep items for the center.

Leaders from Chapters 4500 (Knox-Licking) and 6000 (Muskingum-Coshocton) joined together to hold an Easter Egg Hunt last weekend as a way to say "thank you" to chapter members and to provide a little post-Winter fun for chapter families. Members from the two chapters work in various State agencies located in OCSEA District 5, which is comprised of areas that are east and southeast of Columbus. Kids up to age 12 got to hunt eggs and meet with the Easter Bunny. The gathering of solidarity was held at Dillon State Park, where many members of Chapter 6000 work.


Looking for Spring Break ideas? Use your union discounts!

It's that time of year. With the long-awaited emergence of warmer weather comes Spring Break and many parents wondering what they can do to keep their kiddos busy. While some travel, a lot of families find it more affordable to spend the week right here in Ohio. Looking for ways to entertain the kids while they're off on break? Check out your OCSEA Extras discounts for some ideas.

COSI Science Center

OCSEA members can save up to $5 off per ticket to COSI Columbus, Central Ohio's dynamic hands-on science center. Click HERE to access COSI's ticket purchasing site and to pick the best day for you. NO PROMO CODE IS REQUIRED with this member-only link. The price off is per ticket and there is no limit. 


Newport Aquarium

OCSEA members receive a $3 discount per ticket to the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati. See thousands of aquatic creatures and exhibits, including the ALL-NEW Ring of Fire: World of the Octopus opening March 22 in time for Spring break. Get discount HERE using the promo code: OCSEA  


Working Advantage

Find Ohio deals through our discounts and perks partner Working Advantage through Union Plus. Working Advantage has close-to-home deals on fun events from Youngstown to Cincinnati and locations in between. This includes discounts to Cirque du Soleil, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Dinosaur Quest and more. Get Ohio deals.