IUOE LOCAL 20 REACHES AGREEMENT WITH HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS — Strike Averted

Picture1.pngContact: Richard Gerrein,

Business Manager

IUOE Local 20

1150 W. Eighth Street

Suite 205

Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

(513) 751-1671

iuoe20@iuoe20.org

For Immediate Release:  August 20, 2021

IUOE LOCAL 20 REACHES AGREEMENT WITH HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS — Strike Averted

Local 20 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement upon a new labor agreement with the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.  As a result, the strike, which was to commence this Sunday, August 21, 2021 has been averted.

IUOE Local 20 had served notice upon the County Commissioners of its intent to strike following the parties’ inability to reach agreement upon the key issue of wages after more than 1 ½ years.  Following notice of its intent to strike, the County Commissioners increased their wage offer which was accepted by IUOE Local 20.

IUOE Local 20 Business Manager Rick Gerrein stated: “We are pleased that the strike was averted, and that our members received a wage increase taking them one step closer to full parity with employees of other comparable Cincinnati employers.  More importantly, we are pleased that the public will continue to receive, without interruption, professional maintenance of County Buildings, including the HVAC systems so critical to ensuring safe air quality during the ongoing pandemic.”

IUOE Local 20 represents 23 separate bargaining units in the Greater Cincinnati area with a total membership of approximately 500.  Employers include the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, the Cities of Fairfield and Hamilton, and the Southwest Regional Water District. Visit us on the web at iuoe20.org.

Shuler Elected AFL-CIO President and Redmond Tapped as Secretary-Treasurer, Forming Historic Leadership Team

(Washington, D.C., Aug. 20, 2021)—The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

The election of Shuler and Redmond comes after the unexpected and untimely passing of Richard Trumka, who served as AFL-CIO president from 2009 until his death on Aug. 5, capping a more than 50-year career of dedication to America’s unions and working people.

“I am humbled, honored and ready to guide this federation forward,” Shuler said after her election. “I believe in my bones the labor movement is the single greatest organized force for progress. This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and in our economy, and to be the center of gravity for incubating new ideas that will unleash unprecedented union growth.”

“I could not be more excited to get to work with President Shuler so we can build on the labor movement’s legacy of change, writing a new chapter that brings the promise of union membership to workers across this country,” Redmond said. “This is the right team at the right time to help bring about the economic and social justice America is hungry for.”

“Our country is at a crossroads. Now more than ever, the labor movement is the best vehicle to fight inequality, systemic racism, and attacks on our basic rights and freedoms,” said Gebre. “I am honored to work with our historic team led by President Shuler and look forward to fighting every day for working families.”

Shuler grew up in a union household—her father, Lance, was a power lineman and longtime member of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 at Portland General Electric and her late mother, Joyce, worked as an estimator in the company’s service and design department. In 1993, Shuler was hired as an organizer at Local 125. When energy giant Enron Corp. tried to muscle electricity deregulation through the Oregon Legislature, Shuler worked with a broad-based coalition of labor, community and environmental activists to challenge and ultimately overcome Enron’s powerhouse lobbying campaign, a victory that sparked her passion for mobilizing workers to make change even when faced with overwhelming odds.

In 1998, Ed Hill, then-secretary-treasurer of the IBEW, assigned Shuler to California where she mobilized IBEW members to help defeat Prop. 226, the so-called paycheck protection initiative that threatened to silence union members in the political process. That victory prompted John J. Barry, then president of the IBEW at that time, to hire her as an international representative in the union’s Political/Legislative Affairs Department in Washington, D.C. In that role, Shuler ran grassroots political mobilization efforts and lobbied Congress on a range of issues important to working families. In 2004, she was promoted to assistant to the international president, where she served President Hill, who had succeeded to that position, in driving the agenda of the nearly 1-million member union.

In 2009, she joined forces with Trumka, becoming the first woman elected to the position of secretary-treasurer at an AFL-CIO convention and the youngest woman ever on the federation’s Executive Council. As secretary-treasurer, she also served as the chief financial officer, turning deficits into surpluses and steering the federation through multiple fiscal crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to her stewardship of the federation’s finances, Shuler led the AFL-CIO’s initiatives on the future of work, retirement security, the clean energy economy, public safety reform, workforce development, and empowering women and young workers. She is committed to busting myths about labor, leveraging the labor movement’s diversity for innovative approaches to social justice and making the benefits of a union voice on the job available to working people everywhere.

Redmond has been a USW member since 1973, when he went to work at Reynolds Metals Co. in Chicago. He became active in his local union almost immediately, serving as shop steward and eventually vice president. He served three terms as local president.

For decades, Redmond served the USW in various staff and leadership roles, assisting local unions, developing and conducting training programs, and bargaining contracts.

As international vice president for human affairs, Redmond oversaw the Civil and Human Rights Department, as well as the union’s shipbuilding, health care and public sector bargaining, and worked with USW allies across the country in responding to attacks on voting rights and in combating economic inequality. Redmond has a long history of leadership on various boards, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. In 2021, Redmond was elected president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, a prestigious international post.

The terms of the three executive officers run through June 2022, when delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia will elect leaders for new four-year terms.

###

For the latest, follow @LizShuler and @AFLCIO on Twitter and check out our blog.

Press Release online here: https://aflcio.org/press/releases/shuler-elected-afl-cio-president

AFL-CIO
Office of the President
815 Black Lives Matter Plaza, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Parents and Community to Rally and Demand Mayor Cranley, City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners Compel SORTA Appointees to Restore CPS School Routes

Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Parents and Community to Rally and Demand Mayor Cranley, City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners Compel SORTA Appointees to Restore CPS School Routes

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Dillingham, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers

Email: mdillingham@cft-aft.org

Phone: (513) 602-4260

Cincinnati – Cincinnati Public Schools will be open for the new school year on Thursday.  But last month’s decision by the Southwest Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to eliminate the XTRA bus routes relied on by thousands of 7-12 students has spun CPS parents and high schools into a tailspin. The dedicated “XTRA” bus routes have been used by students in grades 7-12 to safely get to and from CPS high schools for decades.  Students will now be expected to wait and get off at regular SORTA bus stops, mingle with non-student bus passengers and endure extra travel time, confusing bus transfers and potential safety hazards. We fear these inconveniences and hazards will increase drop outs and absences in a year when its critical for students to make up for lost instruction time.

In Cincinnati, there is already an unacceptable level of pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Too many students have been hit by cars in recent years. The city does not have adequate crossing guards to protect students at intersections. This reduction in services to CPS families and students is a betrayal to those of us who supported a recent transit tax increase for SORTA based on the promise higher taxes would actually improve and expand service! Moreover, the travel time for some of these students will be up to two hours just to get to school, making the new “Healthy Start” times at some CPS high schools meaningless.

SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Five trustees are appointed by the Mayor of Cincinnati and eleven are appointed by Hamilton County Commissioners.

The Ohio Revised Code states that the “appointing authority” may remove its SORTA appointees “for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance”.  If the SORTA Board fails to move promptly to restore the XTRA routes that thousands of CPS families have relied on for decades, Mayor Cranley and the Hamilton County Commissioners should remove their appointees for failing to take into account the health and safety of these students – a clear example of misfeasance and nonfeasance.

The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, concerned parents, teachers and community members will protest these cuts in front of City Hall at 4pm on Tuesday, August 17, and demand Mayor Cranley, City Council and the Hamilton County Commissioners call on their appointed board members restore the XTRA student routes, and replace them if they do not. This failure of leadership threatens the health and safety of students, and only widen the equity in education gap.

###

The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals who champions the social and economic well-being of our members, Cincinnati’s children, families, working people and communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism and especially through our members’ work.

IUOE LOCAL 20 NOTIFIES HAMILTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF INTENT TO STRIKE BEGINNING AUGUST 22, 2021 — Wages are at issue

Local 20 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO, has served notice upon the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners of its intent to go on strike Sunday, August 22, 2021 beginning at 12:01 a.m.  Picketing will occur both at the Hamilton County Courthouse located at 1000 Main Street, and the Todd B. Portune Center for County Government located at 138 East Court Street.

The bargaining unit is composed of 18 members working as Facilities Maintenance Workers and HVAC Technicians at several County facilities, including the Courthouse, the County Administration Building, the Justice Center, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, the Juvenile Detention Center, and the Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services Building.  Their work is critical to the operation and maintenance of those facilities, including maintaining air quality which is particularly important during the ongoing pandemic.

The parties have failed to reach agreement upon the key issues of wages.  IUOE Local 20 Business Manager Rick Gerrein explains:  “Although delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, negotiations for this labor agreement began as long ago as December of 2019, but we have yet to reach an agreement.  Local 20 is simply attempting to bring our wages into parity with comparable Cincinnati employers including the University of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Public Schools.  We regret that the County Commissioners’ unreasonable position has forced us to prepare to take this action, but we feel we have no other alternative.  Regardless, IUOE Local 20 stands ready, willing, and able to continue good faith negotiations with the County Commissioners with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable labor agreement providing fair wages for our members.

IUOE Local 20 represents 23 separate bargaining units in the Greater Cincinnati area and a total membership of approximately 500.  Employers include the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, the Cities of Fairfield and Hamilton, and the Southwest Regional Water District. Visit us on the web at iuoe20.org.

Brother Jon Skirvin Needs A Kidney!

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends:

As some of you are aware, one of our Brothers here in Cincinnati, Jon Skirvin (Plumbers, Pipefitters and MES, Local 392) suffers from Polycystic kidney disease (PKD). PKD is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Jon’s kidneys were at 7% functionality at the time of the taping of the video we’re presenting to you here today.

As you will learn from the story, Jon has a girl friend, a family and much to live for. So, now we are asking that you use the bully pulpit of the AFL-CIO to spread this important information to the 12.5 million Sisters and Brothers in the movement. One of them may just be the solution to Jon’s challenge, but certainly many of them can and will learn what it means to be a kidney or other organ and tissue donor and how that very important, life-giving act works.

Below are two links that take you to a short, intro or teaser video that sets the stage for the longer interview that provides the story as well as a wealth of information on the who, what, when, where and why of organ and tissue donation. It is a massive issue that faces tens of thousands of American each and every day. What’s more, the answer to every single case is readily available and could be solved in any single day.

Please take the time to watch this video and more importantly, use your vast network to share this video with all our Sisters and Brothers. Without meaning to be melodramatic, a man’s life depends on it, as do the lives of tens of thousands more that are in the very same life-threatening situation in which our Brother Jon Skirvin now finds himself. So, take a moment — or maybe a little longer — and listen to our story and how you can help…

The intro (teaser) video: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZVxVxB8CFo

The entire interview/discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcJAJCz0qgc

Thank you in advance for helping with this very, very important work. If we Sisters and Brothers in Labor are not perfectly suited to rise to this challenge, no one is. If there is a truer illustration of “Unity and Solidarity,” I have not seen it. So please, spread the word. And please, share!

Unity and Solidarity forever!

Brian