Bus Drivers – T-8 physicals issue

Word has come to us that bus drivers who went through T-8 physicals at Grove City location of Work Health may have been “failed” due to faulty blood pressure equipment!

If you have had this awful experience, you are welcome to contact Robyn Elkins at the Westerville location (614-533-3405) to get a recheck. Walk ins are welcome on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (NOT on busy Tuesday or Friday!).
If you have already incurred expenses to get rechecked at your personal physician’s office, we are investigating how you can be reimbursed for that expense.

OEA Member-Only Benefits

As I attended a seminar on planning ahead* for retirement issues today, I was reminded again about OEA Member-Only Benefits. Check it out! There are all kinds of good things there, from discounts on goods and services, to legal services and liability coverage, …

(These are even available to retired folks, through the OEA-R Retired program, where one pays about a years worth of dues to be covered for the rest of one’s life. One can elect to pay this over 16 months. AND it has other NEA-R benefits, such as affordable long-term care insurance.)

At DSA we are connected to a whole lot of other people, for the good of us all!

* Friends, don’t worry, I said planning ahead!

DSA Committees

We can use your ideas and talent for various DSA committees.  Please contact Cheryl Williams at (614) 738-8564, one of the other leaders, or attend a DSA membership meeting if you would like more information or are interested in participating.

 Audit – Checks accuracy of accounting procedures.

Budget – Prepares a budget giving estimates of income and expenditures (including a separate estimate for each committee) for the future fiscal year.

Communications – Membership newsletter, press releases, public relations, website, and social media.

Elections – Charged with the responsibility to protect the integrity of an election or vote and ensure that an election is conducted in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the OEA Election Manual and with local, state, and national guidelines.

Grievance – Maintenance of and membership advocacy in grievance procedure.

Human Relations – Promotion and understanding, unity, and communication among all groups in the school and school district communities.

Legislative – Candidate endorsement/campaigning, EPAC (FCPE) fund collections, levy/bond campaigning, seek membership involvement in relevant local, state, and national political affairs.

Negotiations – Assess membership concerns prior to bargaining, develop initial proposals of the Association, and provide additional advice and input, upon the request of the bargaining team, during active negotiations.

Organizing – Develop and implement a plan to listen to and engage members to build a unity of purpose.

Professional Development – Pre-service, continuing, and in-service educational opportunities.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The recent email from OEA Pres. Scott DiMauro has some important info (below).

See especially:  the NEA and AFT recently partnered with Dr. Fauci to host a fireside chat specifically on the topic of vaccinations for school staff and the outlook for school reopening.

Know also that your local leaders are fighting to ensure you have adequate chance to obtain vaccination.

School Staff Health and Wellness Study

I received this survey request from OEA. You might want to provide input concerning the challenges we have dealt with this year. I think it would be good to get more input from ESPs!

Scott Prigan

Dear OEA member:

As the COVID pandemic continues to impact our schools, students and members, OEA wants to know about your experiences with school restart and its effect on your health and wellness during COVID-19. In collaboration with the University of Kentucky, a survey has been designed to provide you with an important opportunity to let us know how you are being impacted. All school staff are invited to take this 15-minute survey. For more information about the research or to participate, click here: https://bit.ly/WellSchool.

Those who complete the survey by November 25 will be included in a drawing for one of twenty-five $100 gift cards!

In Solidarity,

Scott DiMauro

Make sure our legislators know how much we care, how much we matter!

We all know that we don’t do what we do just for the paycheck, but the paycheck is necessary for us to keep on keeping on. We are recently confronted with an opportunistic power grab, rolled into a bill with some good things – and some very bad things. The worst is a provision to school districts and ESC boards to furlough teachers and ESPs at will through June 30, 2021. There would be no mandate (only an option) to continue paying insurance. There would be no promise to return to the same job assignment. And there could be a requirement to return immediately when called or perhaps lose one’s job altogether.

Visit the ODE Action Network to take action:

Senate Bill 319 Would Provide Troubling Furlough Authority to School Districts

Excerpt from the non-partisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission

Furloughing school employees

  • Authorizes each school district board of education and each educational service center governing board to furlough any school employee beginning on the bill’s effective date through June 30, 2021, if the employee is not needed during that period or for financial reasons.
  • Prevents a furloughed employee from being paid during the furlough, but permits a board of education or governing board to allow an employee to (1) use available accrued but unused paid leave and (2) continue being eligible to receive insurance § benefits or services during the furlough.
  • Permits a board of education or governing board to request a furloughed employee to return from furlough at any time and provides that a returning employee resumes the employee’s contract status that existed at the time the furlough was authorized.
  • Prevents an employee returning from furlough from being guaranteed the same job assignment the employee held before the furlough except as provided in a collective bargaining agreement existing before the bill’s effective date.

§ – the actual bill language is : “A board of education or governing board may allow an employee for whom a furlough is authorized under this section to continue to be covered by any policy, contract, or plan of insurance benefits or services during the furlough to the extent permitted by the policy, contract, or plan.”

Actual Bill tracking and information

Support professionals press for protective gear as they continue working for students

Check out this article: Support professionals press for protective gear as they continue working for students.

We will be raising this issue as we communicate with administration in negotiations and other forums. It would be nice to have some more legal motive for supplying adequate protections. It is in everyone’s interest that we stay healthy and help our students and co-workers remain so.

Email Congress: ESPs and other frontline educators need PPE
The next COVID-19 legislative package should include at least $56 million for personal protective equipment (PPE) for education support professionals and educators in direct contact with students. They should be considered frontline workers whose jobs are essential, and that means having PPE to protect themselves, as well as their families and communities, from infection.

OEA Local for Dublin City Schools ESPs