ACCESS, the Association of Cuyahoga County Employees for Special Students, is a professional organization representing employees at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD.) ACCESS is a local affiliate of the NEOEA, the OADDP, the OEA, and the NEA. Our members provide educational services and supports to young children, students, and adult clients served by the CCBDD in Cuyahoga County in northeastern Ohio.
Edgewater Yacht Club
All ACCESS members are invited to the Spring General Membership meeting. This is one of two meetings per year held for the entire membership. Mark your calendars and join us on Wednesday, May 8th, at 4:30, at the Edgewater Yacht Club.
In just two short hours, we’ll hold an abbreviated Executive Committee meeting, enjoy appetizers and beverages, conduct the Spring General Membership meeting, hold a 50/50 raffle, and then still have time for relaxing and catching up with friends.
Relax and take in the great views, whether rain or shine.
Bring your appetite: fruit plate, stuffed mushrooms, fried ravioli, wings, & more.
Free soda and cash bar for all to enjoy.
President’s Message: A New Year
There were many challenges, both personal and professional, that many of us were forced to face in 2012. Our hearts and thoughts go out to our friends and colleagues who have suffered losses and our support and commitment continues for all members. Now we look to a new year. Welcome, everyone, to 2013!
ACCESS has started out the new year with many members coming forward to participate in Association activities:
• The January Executive Committee meeting was so well attended (we needed extra chairs!) that I had to ask if everyone had made a New Year’s resolution to attend more Association meetings! Thanks, everyone, for being there.
• At-Large Rep Marjean Bush is now in charge of distributing copies of Executive Committee handouts to Reps who have to miss a meeting…all the better to keep everyone up-to-date.
• Beckie Tweedle, Constitution & Bylaws Chair, will soon begin work on revisions to the ACCESS Constitution & Bylaws. We need to make updates to reflect the new make-up of our bargaining unit. Contact Beckie if you’d like to learn more about how our Association operates and join in to review and prepare proposals for amendments to the C & B.
• The entire Executive Committee has volunteered to help review and give input on management’s revisions to our Position Descriptions. Contact me if you’d like to help, too.
• As President, I attend meetings of the West Cuyahoga Regional Service Council (WCRSC) several times per year. The WCRSC is made up of all the locals Shelia Saad, our Labor Relations Consultant, represents and the meetings can help to understand where ACCESS fits into the bigger OEA picture. This year, I’ve invited any interested member to join me at the meetings. So far, Terri Kress, Beckie Tweedle, and Mary Bohn have attended. Contact me if you’d like to attend a meeting with me.
• All ACCESS members are also members of the Ohio Association of Professionals for Developmental Disabilities (OADDP). I attend OADDP meetings several times a year and would love to have a member join me. The meetings are held on Saturday mornings, usually in Hudson.
• The 30-member Developmental Specialist group has ramped up their ACCESS involvement by passing concerns on to Reps and ACCESS Officers, attending meetings, and responding to requests for information. For the first time in many years, all departments and groups have ACCESS Reps.
NEOEA Megaconference Deadline Approaches
Every year NEOEA hosts a Megaconference at Corporate College East in Warrrensville Heights. This year’s conference will be held on Saturday, February 23rd, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The 2013 Megaconference features twelve simultaneous breakout sessions in three one-hour time slots. Topics fall in three themes: Leadership Development, Personal Development, and Professional Development. ACCESS has vouchers for 3 free registrations as part of the NEOEA Presidents Plus Two initiative. In addition, ACCESS will reimburse the $25 fee for any additional members who would like to attend. Act soon – the deadline for registration is Friday, February 8th. Contact President Gloria Stansberry if you are interested in attending. See your current NEOEA News & Views or the NEOEA website (www.neoea.org) for full details and an application.
Vacancy: ACCESS Grievance Chair
Have you ever wondered what to do if your supervisor denied your request for Professional Leave? Or, if rules in your department seem to be different than the rules everyone else has to follow? Have you ever looked up information in your contract to learn more about your benefits? Have you ever questioned whether management can require you to work late nights or weekends? If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, you might be the right member to be our new Grievance Chair. Contact Gloria Stansberry if you have questions or might be interested. Training is available through both NEOEA and OEA and ACCESS leadership will be there to help you learn the ropes of processing grievances. Most grievances are resolved through maintaining open lines of communication between the Association and management. When issues cannot be resolved, additional help is provided by OEA.
ACCESS needs a new Grievance Chair. After years of serving as the ACCESS Grievance Chair, Marian Graham has decided it’s time to step down. Thank you, Marian, for your years of service.
Ohio Association of Developmental Disabilities Professionals Conference March 8-9
The OADDP Annual Conference is set for March 8-9 this year. All members should have received the registration form in the mail this past week. Each year, ACCESS members attend this conference at the Mohican State Park and Resort, and this year’s conference promises to be a good one. Featured speakers will include Kathy McKinley, OEA Plan Attorney, Melissa Clark, from OEA Governmental Services, and our own SLP Kate Harrison, who will present on, “Using Mobile Technology with Consumers.” Be sure not to miss out on the Stay-to-the-End Raffle on Saturday for a chance to win a Kindle Fire.
NEOEA offers five free scholarships to the conference. The application can be found at www.neoea.org/OADDP_Scholarship.rtf. ACCESS members may also register on their own through the OADDP website, www.oaddp.org, and submit receipts to Treasurer Joyce Yates for reimbursement. Contact Gloria Stansberry if you plan to attend the conference.
As a result of our recent negotiations, there are many very important changes in our contract which you must be aware of. These changes will be detailed in articles on the web site on a regular basis. It is your responsibility to read, know and ask questions about this information.
Article 63, Driving Regulations, applies to all ACCESS staff except administrative assistants. Your on-the-job driving privileges will be suspended if you become uninsurable with the CCBDD insurance. You become uninsurable and excluded from coverage if your Motor Vehicle Report contains the following:
1. DUI/DWI conviction
2. Reckless operation conviction
3. Three convictions for any violations in a rolling three year period
4. Accumulation of 6 points in a rolling 3 year period
5. Loss of physical control conviction
You can be considered uninsurable if your Motor Vehicle Report contains the following:
1. A combination of 2 or more convictions and 1 at fault accident in a rolling 3 year period
2. Two or more at fault accidents in a rolling 3 year period
If driving privileges are suspended for less than 30 work days, CCBDD will try to accommodate you by permitting flexible arrangements in getting the work done. If driving privileges are suspended for more than 30 days, you may be permitted to obtain business use insurance. This insurance is obtained at your expense. If you are convicted of a major violation or have two at-fault accidents in a three year period you may be terminated or placed on unpaid leave of absence.
You are required to report in writing driving convictions for minor violations (2 points or less) within 5 business days. Major violations must be reported on your next work day. The reporting form is on Infonet.
On Tuesday, September 25th, ACCESS members voted to ratify the 2012-2013 Tentative Agreement reached by the ACCESS and CCBDD Negotiations teams. More than 75 members attended the Ratification Meeting to hear from the Negotiations Team and to ask questions about the Tentative Agreement. The vote was 70-6, in favor of ratification.
The Tentative Agreement then went before the CCBDD Board on September 27th. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Agreement. The Agreement will now go before the Cuyahoga County Council. The new Agreement will not fully go into effect until the Council gives their approval.
In the meantime, the August 20, 2012, Memo of Understanding concerning the startup of the new year remains in effect.
The ACCESS Negotiations Committee began work to prepare for this year’s bargaining back in November, 2011. We surveyed the membership and gathered input. The Negotiations Team was appointed in March to begin the work of developing strategies and proposals. Negotiations began on June 19th and continued through August 9th, when the teams mutually declared impasse because agreement could not be found on issues concerning days and hours, salary and benefits.
CCBDD came to the negotiations table with the objective of transforming our work schedules to a year-round format based on a calendar year, with paid vacation and paid holidays. They made good on their promise from 3 years ago to contain costs by replacing the salary schedules with a compensation structure consisting of salary ranges for each position. Finally, they brought proposals to change over our timekeeping and leave request procedures to an electronic system.
Our goal, as a negotiations team, was to minimize and delay the changes in days and hours as much as possible, while maintaining flexible schedules, and maximizing compensation and benefits.
With the help of a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the teams pounded out a Tentative Agreement on all unresolved issues during 15 consecutive hours of bargaining on September 10, 2012.
We were successful in keeping healthcare costs to a minimum. We worked with the mediator until the last minute to minimize increases in days and hours. We insisted on a more generous vacation schedule and more paid vacation days. We fought for raises and additional hours compensation.
The ACCESS Negotiations Team completed negotiations confident that we had bargained the best contract possible and unanimously recommended ratification of the Tentative Agreement. The 2012 ACCESS Team members were: Gloria Stansberry, Chief Negotiator, Sheila Saad, OEA Labor Relations Consultant, Marian Graham, Lynnette Harris, Christie Kimbler, Dave Klosz, Terri Kress, Dina McCrone, Maureen Schroeck, Beckie Tweedle, and Joyce Yates.
Please note that NEOEA Day will be a regular work day this year. If you would like to attend an NEOEA-sponsored event and it is professionally related to your position, you may request a Professional Leave day. If it is not related to your job, you may request a Personal Day, use a comp day or flex the time off, if you have it.
Have you heard of the EMILY principle? The letters stand for “Early Money Is Like Yeast.” If you favor a candidate for an Ohio public office, you can support that candidate’s campaign, and it won’t cost you a cent.
If you make your donation now instead of waiting for the fall, your donation can have a much greater impact.
Ohio Revised Code 5747.29 permits a taxpayer to claim a credit for contributions made to campaign committees for state office or for a seat on the Ohio General Assembly. Individuals can claim a credit of up to $50; couples filing a joint return can claim a credit of $100. The Ohio tax return contains a place to claim the credit; which is available whether or not you itemize deductions.
We’d still encourage members to donate to the OEA Fund for Children and Public Education, but making this extra donation is a no-brainer since Ohio reimburses you for your donation.
This credit doesn’t apply to donations to candidates for federal offices like President and House of Representatives, and it doesn’t apply to local and countywide elections. But it does apply to many Ohio elective office in which OEA has made endorsements, like State Representative, State Senator, Treasurer, Supreme Court, and Ohio Board of Education.
So the deal is simple: you can support the candidate of your choice and the state will give you your money back when you file your 2012 Ohio income taxes. It’s like having your own personal PAC!
By Bill Lavezzi, NEOEA Executive Director
Visit our OEA Recomended Candidates page for links to candidate campaigns.
The incredible amount of money pouring into the federal elections (President, Senate, and Congress) this year has all but drowned out the important issues in Ohio’s elections. ACCESS members must gather their family and friends and remind them of the issues affecting public education in this year’s election. The anti-education forces that brought you SB-5 have redistricted the state to strengthen their chances of re-election. If they succeed in gaining seats in the Ohio House, we will see more anti-education and anti-worker legislation and it will be difficult if not impossible to repeal it as we did with SB-5.
Local committees of OEA members have interviewed the candidates and have recommended pro-education candidates in nearly every statehouse race. This year we are lucky to have TEN OEA members running for the statehouse to help protect children and public education. The fight is not over; the stakes are much higher now. It’s time to step up again. Support the pro-education candidates and oppose those that gave us SB-5. https://www.ohea.org/sb5vote
If ONE more anti-education legislator is elected to the Ohio House, they will be able to directly place any anti-education/anti-worker issue on the Ohio ballot without the need to collect any signatures. It is anticipated that a “Right to Work for less” amendment that would strip union rights could be put on in 2013. http://www.weareohio.com/
If SEVEN more anti-education legislators are elected to the Ohio House, they will be able to pass anti-education legislation as an “Emergency” measure, going into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature with no opportunity to collect signatures for ballot repeal as happened with SB-5. https://www.ohea.org/budgetcuts
The State Board of Education can stop bad things from happening. Governor Kasich will control all eight of the appointed seats on the State Board of Education in 2013. Seven of the eleven elected seats are on the ballot this year. We must support the Pro-Education candidates screened and recommended by our fellow OEA members. https://www.ohea.org/endorsed-candidates
President Barack Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown have consistently supported Public Education and deserve our support. Their opponents have not and promise more anti-education attacks. Josh Mandel supported SB-5 while Romney and Ryan have promised deep cuts. https://www.ohea.org/presidential-candidates-on-education
For complete OEA information on the Candidates visit the OEA Campaign 2012 page. Register and login to the “Members Only” area.
The Voters First Ohio coalition needs you, your family, your friends and neighbors to Vote Yes on Issue 2 – the redistricting plan on the ballot this year. Strong opposition is expected from those that gerrymandered the state districts last year. By a 3-2 partisan vote the Ohio Ballot Board has severely trimmed the ballot language, certifying it and assigning the amendment to “Issue 2″ requiring a “YES” vote to pass (last year Issue 2 to repeal SB-5 required a “no” vote – look for confusion). Visit the OEA Voters First webpage for more information.
The Voters First campaign comes after a highly controversial redistricting process where Ohio’s district maps – drawn by politicians – received widespread criticism from citizens and editorial boards of major newspapers across Ohio for destroying competition, dividing communities, and giving one political party an unfair advantage over the other party.
Voters First’s proposal will create an Independent Citizens Commission. Federal and State politicians, lobbyists and political insiders are prohibited from serving on the commission. The Commission’s work will be open and it will be accountable to the public. The Commission will empower voters to choose their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters.
Voters First Ohio is led by a coalition of nonpartisan groups, including OEA, the League of Women Voters, and others from acrossOhio. The coalition was created to take the power over drawing our congressional and legislative districts out of the hands of the politicians and put it in the hands of the people.