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Library worker shelving books.

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Federation of Teachers is opposed to HB 556 and HB 662 and plans to testify against these bills if they receive legislative hearings, the union announced today. HB 556 would change existing laws in order to subject teachers and librarians to a felony charge for the offense of pandering obscenity, without providing sufficient clarity on what constitutes obscenity. HB 662 would require public libraries to adopt a policy that prohibits its libraries from displaying matter that may be “harmful to juveniles.” Under HB 662, an Ohio resident can file a complaint against any library system in the state, and libraries that are found to have violated the law would be stripped of their state funding. 

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COLUMBUS — Sara Kilpatrick, Executive Director of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors (OCAAUP), and Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, released the following statement in response to baseless, politically-motivated accusations against Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum, an STRS Board member since 2021:

“On Wednesday, May 15, the Ohio Attorney General filed a frivolous lawsuit claiming that STRS Board Member Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum breached his fiduciary duties and therefore must be removed from his position on the Retirement Board. The lawsuit arrived on the heels of anonymous, spurious allegations made against Dr. Fichtenbaum, which he thoroughly rebutted in a public statement."

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UAPL UAPLUS group photo

UPPER ARLINGTON, OH — Today, a strong majority of staff at Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL) voted to form their union, Upper Arlington Public Library United Staff (UAPLUS), in a secret ballot election administered by Ohio’s State Employment Relations Board. The new union, which includes around 90 librarians and library workers, is the fourth group of Central Ohio library workers to successfully organize with the Ohio Federation of Teachers since 2021.

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Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), released the following statement congratulating Michelle Flanigan on her election to the STRS Ohio Board and responding to recent news reports about STRS Ohio: 

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Equitas Health Workers United Bargaining Team

COLUMBUS — Equitas Health Workers United (EHWU), a union representing more than 200 frontline client-facing employees at fifteen Equitas Health locations across Ohio, ratified their first collective bargaining agreement today with a 96.3% majority. The union contract includes a wage increase, a signing bonus, a binding grievance and arbitration process with direct participation from the Board of Trustees, a labor-management committee, and more. 

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Kaleidoscope Workers Union

"On behalf of all the workers at Kaleidoscope Youth Center, the organizing committee is expressing our deepest gratitude to the Board of Directors for voting in favor of voluntarily recognizing the Kaleidoscope Workers Union. This decision represents a significant milestone in our collective journey toward fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace. By recognizing the union, Kaleidoscope Youth Center leadership has demonstrated a commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of all workers and a dedication to serving the LGBTQIA+ youth in our community."

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UPPER ARLINGTON, OHIO — Today, an overwhelming majority (69.3%) of librarians and library workers at Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL) called on their Director and Board of Trustees to voluntarily recognize their union. Copies of signed union cards from an overwhelming majority of library employees were delivered to management, while the originals were filed with the State Employee Relations Board (SERB) to request voluntary recognition of the union. 

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For workers at Grandview Heights Public Library (GHPL), today is the first workday covered by a union contract. This is the first contract agreement for GHPL and Grandview Heights Public Library United (GHPLU) – the union of librarians and library workers. The contract makes meaningful improvements on paid leave and job security, ensures continued competitive wages, and provides a framework for ongoing collaboration. 

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“Every Ohio student, no matter what they look like or how they identify, deserves respect and an equal opportunity. HB 68, particularly the ban on allowing trans students to participate in sports teams with their gender, flies in the face of this goal by writing discrimination into the law and targeting some of Ohio’s most vulnerable students."

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COLUMBUS — Educators at KIPP Columbus filed an unfair labor practice charge this week with the National Labor Relations Board due to management’s decision to unilaterally end a coverage stipend that was in place to cover teachers’ lesson planning times. This action was the latest union-busting tactic in a pattern of intimidation and retaliation that began when educators initially filed for their union election on November 15, 2022. The NLRB has previously found merit in three other unfair labor practice charges filed by educators.

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