Ohio House Democratic Caucus (OHDC) staff in Columbus, Ohio, recently made history by joining UFCW Local 75 and ratifying one of the first contracts by a statewide caucus in the country.
The new members of UFCW Local 75 joined our union family for the better wages and benefits that come with a union contract. After the seven workers signed authorization cards, the leadership at the OHDC chose to voluntarily recognize the unit and began negotiations. The new members unanimously ratified their first union contract, which has been in effect since July 1.
“Coming together as a staff, being recognized, and having a first of its kind contract shows that the elected leaders we work for truly believe in the power of unions, working families, and restoring the Ohio Promise.”– Hunter Patterson, UFCW Local 75
The new agreement includes union protections for full- and part-time employees, guaranteed paid sick leave, paid holidays, paid vacation and personal days, and a $15 per hour minimum wage. The agreement also includes protections for employer-paid health care benefits, and an expedited arbitration process for campaign workers to resolve grievances.
“Coming together as a staff, being recognized, and having a first of its kind contract shows that the elected leaders we work for truly believe in the power of unions, working families, and restoring the Ohio Promise,” said Hunter Patterson, an OHDC digital organizer.
“As Ohio House Democrats, we support the rights, safety, benefits and efforts by unions to build and strengthen our middle class. This includes the campaign staff who we rely upon to help deliver the message of our shared values during the campaign cycle,” Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes said. “We are committed to showing our support for unions and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 75) because labor is dedicated to all of our communities. UFCW workers have been on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic and we want to stand with them now, and in the future.”
“Most campaign workers sign up because they believe in the cause put forward by a particular candidate or organization,” said UFCW Local 75 President Kevin Garvey. “Unfortunately, because there is always more work that can be done in the short life of a campaign cycle, staffers are often worked to the bone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even political work must be subject to minimum standards. I congratulate our members at the Ohio House Democratic Caucus.”
“This was a model experience in every respect,” Garvey added. “First, Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes walked the talk on unions, agreeing to a truly democratic process — neutrality and card check — that every responsible employer should embrace. Then, Leader Sykes and the caucus engaged in good faith bargaining, recognizing that it’s in their own interest to have well-treated employees empowered to operate at the top of their games. I urge every other campaign and political organization to follow their lead.”