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1591 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311

uelocal170@ranknfile.ue.org

Fax: 304.932.0618

304.347.4396

Feb 15, 2017

Last year Local 170 was able, through determined action at the last minute in the middle of a snow storm, to avert the sale of four state-operated nursing homes. We knew then that it would be revived in the 2017 legislative session.

Oct 16, 2016

UE Local 170 rank-and-file delegates from across West Virginia met at Canaan Valley Resort in Davis, West Virginia on October 1 and 2 at their tenth annual state convention, the local's highest decision-making body. With this year's convention theme being "Let's Organize for a Better Tomorrow," the delegates focused on ways to build the union in the coming year, starting with an organizing blitz, scheduled for the week of October 17 - 21.

Oct 16, 2016

We knew that this year would not be a good year for achieving some of the things we needed like an across the board pay raise for all state workers, pay increases based on seniority and seniority rights or meaningful improvements to our grievance system, but we could not even get items that were revenue neutral like seniority protection for job transfers. The legislature is run by a majority that is not sympathetic to the needs of working people.

Oct 16, 2016

For nearly a decade, our Union has tirelessly fought to preserve and expand public workers’ rights — and the public interest of all West Virginia citizens — against the powerful political bureaucracy that rules our workplace. We’ve made a stand against favoritism, discrimination, inefficiency, and the other abuses of authority that are deeply entrenched in state and county government.

Aug 31, 2016

Dear Sister/Brother:

On behalf of your UE Local 170 statewide officers, I send you greetings. We have had a busy year, to say the least, since our 2015 state convention.

Aug 31, 2016

For nearly a decade, our Union has tirelessly fought to preserve and expand public workers' rights and the public interest of all West Virginia citizens C against the powerful political bureaucracy that rules our workplace. We've made a stand against favoritism, discrimination, inefficiency, and the other abuses of authority that are deeply entrenched in state and county government.

Nov 19, 2015

UE Local 170 is strongly encouraging West Virginia public employees and retirees to mobilize and speak out against PEIA's "draconian" benefit cuts. PEIA is proposing $120 million in benefit cuts next year.This is on top of the $40 million in benefit cuts this past year.

This is how the proposed cuts will impact you:

Oct 16, 2015

Between January 1, and August, 2015, the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board decided in favor of state workers fourteen times. Nine of those were grievances file by UE Local 170.

Oct 16, 2015

In an important victory for the direct care employees and the patients at the state's two psychiatric hospitals, the West Virginia Supreme Court has upheld the new pay plan for direct care employees at those two facilities, which was implemented on January 1. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) had appealed the new pay plan shortly after it presented its pay plan in August 2014.

Oct 16, 2015

Building on several important victories won during the past year, UE Local 170's internal organizing campaign has added more than 200 new members since June 1. New members have been recruited at DOH garages, state hospitals and nursing homes, DHHR offices, and other state workplaces.

Oct 16, 2015

With this year's convention theme being an invitation to "Come Make History with Us," rank-and-file delegates who gathered the last weekend in September for UE Local 170’s ninth annual statewide convention celebrated a number of important victories won during the past year, but also made plans for many challenges and opportunities ahead for the local’s members to continue making history for public workers in West Virginia.

Jun 03, 2015

UE Local 170 is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications for our annual John Hovis Scholarship in the amount of $1,000, which will be awarded at the state convention in September. The scholarship is named after retired UE National President John Hovis, who supported our organizing efforts in West Virginia, and who was a strong supporter of UE's rank-and-file educational work.

Jun 03, 2015

After extensive discussion, UE Local 170's executive committee, which is made up of the five statewide officers and chapter presidents, adopted a plan for an intensive organizing campaign to build our union in the coming months. The organizing campaign will focus on building our membership at the chapter level with the chapters developing organizing targets in their geographic area.

Apr 14, 2015

Under pressure from UE Local 170 members who work for the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), DHHR finally completed its long-overdue caseload standards report. UE Local 170 filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain a copy of the report, which you can read here. DHHR was suppose to deliver the report to the Legislative Oversight Commission for Health and Human Resources Accountability (LOCHHRA) during Legislature's November interim meetings.

Apr 14, 2015

The West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities was forced to raise the base wage rates of direct care employees at its two psychiatric hospitals - Mildred-Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington and William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston - by $3 million starting on January 1 as the result of a settlement agreement with Mountain State Justice (MSJ), the Charleston-based, public-interest law firm which represents the hospitals' patients in the so-called Hartley case. UE Local 170 has been working closely with MSJ over the past four years to address ongoing staffing problems at the two hospitals.

Apr 14, 2015

A two-year campaign by UE Local 170 Division Of Highways (DOH) members has won a new DOH pay plan with step wage increases for the Transportation Worker classifications. For the first time, nearly 3,000 DOH Transportation Workers will be able to move up the pay grades of their classifications with step wage increases. The new DOH step pay plan takes effect on January 1.

Apr 14, 2015

UE Local 170 members who work for the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) are continuing to press the agency to implement the caseload standard recommendations, which were given to DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling in July 2013. Large, unmanageable caseloads mean that client services are not being delivered in a timely manner, and that children and the elderly are being put at risk.

Apr 14, 2015

UE Local 170 sponsored a hotdog fundraiser at the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility in Clarksburg on September 3 to raise money for the facility's Veterans' Fund, which is used to pay for special activities for the veterans who reside at the facility. The fundraiser raised nearly $400.

Apr 14, 2015

With this year's state convention theme, "Arm and Arm - Strong Together," setting the tone for their annual convention, more than thirty UE Local 170 members and guests met on Saturday, September 20 at Canaan Valley Resort State Park to look back over the past year since their last convention and to map a course of action ahead of "fighting back, organizing, and building our union."

Nov 05, 2014

UE Local 170 is strongly encouraging West Virginia public employees and retirees to mobilize and speak out against PEIA's proposal for plan year 2016, which will cut benefits by $40 million, largely by raising co-pays and deductibles. The cuts will disproportionately impact lower wage WV public employees and retirees on fixed incomes. Increasing co-pays and deductibles will cause more WV public employees and retirees to forgo needed medical treatment and prescription drugs. The proposal will also unfairly penalize WV public employees and retirees who do not list a primary care physician when they fill out their paperwork by increasing their annual deductible by $500.

Oct 15, 2014

An important grievance victory overturning the termination of a UE Local 170 member who worked for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) will strengthen all West Virginia public workers' "right to representation."

Apr 14, 2015

While West Virginia state workers do not have collective bargaining rights, this hasn't stopped our members who work at the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility in Clarksburg from engaging in their own brand of "collective bargaining," which has resulted in greater union access at their facility and wage improvements for some direct care staff. And, our members say that they are determined to fight for more improvements.

Aug 28, 2014

In the face of hostile state agencies that are trying to squeeze out more work with fewer state workers, UE Local 170 members have been engaging in direct action to address workplace problems.
Our union's philosophy of handling workplace problems is to mobilize our members to engage in direct action at their workplace because our union's greatest strength is our members when they're organized and mobilized.
Here are three great examples of our members engaging in direct action at their workplaces over this past summer:

Aug 28, 2014

UE Local 170 rank-and-file members from across West Virginia will be gathering at Canaan Valley Resort State Park on September 19 and 20 at our local's highest decision-making body: the annual statewide convention. Over the past months, our local's chapters have nominated and elected rank-and-file delegates and alternates to represent their members at the convention.

May 29, 2014

UE Local 170 is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications for the annual John Hovis Scholarship in the amount of $1,000, which will awarded to one winner at the state convention in September.

Requirements for consideration are that the student be the child or grandchild of a UE Local 170 member and a senior in high school.

May 29, 2014

When the management at the VA Nursing Facility in Clarksburg decided to change the hours of work on their Alzheimer's/Dementia unit, which would hurt the continuity of care for the residents, the employees, many of whom are members of UE Local 170, decided they were going to take collective action to try and stop the schedule change.

Jun 11, 2014
Tired of waiting for the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to act on caseload standard recommendations developed nearly one year ago, UE Local 170 DHHR members launched a campaign in May with the slogan: "We can't meet you expectations, if you don't implement our standards."
May 29, 2014

Nearly 100 UE Local 170 members and supporters participated in informational picketing at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston on Monday, May 19 to bring attention to the poor working conditions there. Sharpe employees, who took turns picketing, either before or after their work shifts, were joined by other UE Local 170 members and community supporters. Passersby honked their horns to show their support during the two-hour picketing.

Apr 18, 2014

Public Employees may now be eligible for CHIP benefits for their children. For more information click on this link: 

http://www.peia.wv.gov/news/Pages/PEIA-Kids-Now-Eligible-for-CHIP.aspx

or download the full PDF Shoppers Guide for 2014 here: http://www.peia.wv.gov/news/Pages/Shopper's-Guide-for-2015-Now-Available.aspx

Mar 21, 2014

UE Local 170 members who work for the WV Division of Highways (DOH) met with John McBrayer, DOH District One administrator, on Wednesday, March 12 to receive an update on the new DOH pay plan.

Feb 13, 2014

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) caseload standard work groups completed their work last month and issued final reports with caseload standard recommendations for five program areas: Eligibility Workers, Social Workers, Case Aides, Child Support Specialists, and Child Support Techs

Feb 13, 2014

More than twenty UE Local 170 members and guests attended the local’s first annual political action conference in Charleston on November 17 and 18. The UE members sharpened their political action skills in two workshops on the first day of the conference and then put their skills to work at the Capitol the next day in meetings with West Virginia legislators.

Nov 06, 2013

Despite confronting a West Virginia public employees grievance system that is heavily stacked in favor of the agencies, UE Local 170 won a number of important grievance decisions during the last couple of months.

Feb 11, 2014

UE Local 170 members, who work for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), voiced their concerns over a number of issues in a meeting with the new DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling on October 7 in Charleston. The UE members attending the meeting work for three of the agency's largest bureaus: Bureau for Children and Families, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, and the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement.

Nov 06, 2013

UE Local 170 rank-and-file delegates nominated and elected the local's statewide officers and adopted the political action goals for the coming year at the local's seventh annual statewide convention on Saturday, September 14 at North Bend State Park in Cairo, WV. Coming at the end of a successful summer of organizing activities, which added more than 150 new members to the local's ranks, the convention delegates celebrated the past year's victories, and made plans for more activities in the coming year.

Nov 06, 2013

UE Local 170 will be having its first annual political action conference on Sunday, November 17 and Monday, November 18 in Charleston during the West Virginia Legislature's November interim meetings. The two day conference will help UE members sharpen their political action skills and advance the local's legislative agenda.

Aug 22, 2013
West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) employees, members of UE Local 170 delivered petitions with more than one thousand signatures of DOH employees asking for a “Fair Wage Structure” to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Paul A. Mattox, Jr. on Friday, August 9.
Aug 22, 2013

Nearly 150 new members were organized during the last three months in extensive organizing activities across West Virginia, culminating in a week-long organizing blitz in the Charleston area during the first week of August. New members were organized at Division of Highways (DOH) garages, Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) offices, state hospitals and nursing homes and other state agencies.<--break->

Aug 22, 2013
UE Local 170 rank-and-file delegates from chapters around the state will be attending the seventh annual statewide convention on Saturday, September 14 at North Bend State Park.The statewide convention is the highest decision-making body of UE Local 170. Any UE Local 170 member in good standing can attend the statewide convention, but only delegates, nominated and elected by members of their chapter, can cast votes as per the UE Local 170 constitution.
 
Jul 19, 2013

UE Local 170 and its members at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston celebrated passing the 200 members mark at the hospital on Saturday, June 8. During the day-long celebration party in the hospital's front lobby, another half-dozen employees joined the union.

Jul 19, 2013

As part of UE Local 170's chapter reorganization, union members have organized two new chapters across the central part of West Virginia during the past month. The chapter reorganization plan, which unites all the local's members who live in the same geographical area regardless of which agency they work for, was designed to make it easier for members to participate in their chapter.

May 23, 2013

UE Local 170 members from eight different counties and two bureaus of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources met for the first UE Local 170 DHHR Conference in Charleston on Saturday, April 13.

Jul 18, 2013

UE Local 170 members rallied and marched in solidarity with thousands of members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)- in their fight for justice at Patriot Coal in Charleston on April 1. Patriot Coal is trying to use the bankruptcy courts to shed its contract, pension and healthcare obligations covering thousands of active and retired coal miners throughout Appalachia.

Jul 18, 2013

Governor Tomblin orders an investigation 

In response to a call by UE Local 170, Governor Tomblin has ordered an investigation of the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility. UE Local called for the investigation after media coverage of ongoing staff shortages and retaliation against a veteran at the facility who had spoken with state nursing home surveyors about inadequate care due staff shortages.
 
May 23, 2013

In response to a call by UE Local 170, Governor Tomblin has ordered an investigation of the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility. UE Local 170 called for the investigation after media coverage of ongoing staff shortages and retaliation against a veteran at the facility who had spoken with state nursing home surveyors about inadequate care due staff shortages.

Mar 18, 2013

UE Local 170 members and supporters gathered at the State Capitol in Charleston for our seventh annual Presidents Day Rally. Members rallied in support of UE Local 170's 2013 legislative agenda, which includes a pay raise for state workers, reform of the WV public employees' grievance statute, seniority rights for state workers, and more funding for WV OSHA.

Mar 18, 2013

UE Local 170 Chief Steward Jamie Beaton attended a tri-national organizers institute in Mexico City from February 16 - 24. The Organizers Institute brought together union activists from the UE, the Authentic Workers Front (FAT) of Mexico and the National Confederation of Unions (CSN) of Quebec, Canada.

May 23, 2013

UE Local 170 members and supporters gathered at the State Capitol in Charleston for our seventh annual Presidents Day Rally. Members rallied in support of UE Local 170's 2013 legislative agenda, which includes a pay raise for state workers, reform of the WV public employees' grievance statute, seniority rights for state workers, and more funding for WV OSHA.

Feb 04, 2013

Nearly twenty UE Local 170 members attended the first meeting of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources caseload standards workgroups in Flatwoods on October 16. UE Local 170 was instrumental in getting DHHR to comply with the caseload standards statute earlier this year.

Nov 08, 2012

In a huge victory for direct care employees at the state’s two psychiatric hospitals – Mildred-Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington and William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston – UE Local 170 worked with Mountain State Justice, a non-profit public interest law firm, to get Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom to force the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to comply with a 2009 court order giving direct care employees at the two hospitals over $500,000 in pay raises.

Sep 26, 2012

Delegates attending the sixth annual UE Local 170 state convention, held in Charleston, WV on August 4, elected the local's officers and trustees and made plans for organizing and political action in the coming year. The Local 170 statewide officers nominated and elected for the coming year were Donna Morgan, President; Chris Wolford, Vice-President; Melanie McCartney, Secretary-Treasurer; Cathy Miller, Recording Secretary; and Jamie Beaton, Chief Steward. David Marple, Nola Lilly and Nelson McCloy were nominated and elected as the local's three trustees.

Sep 26, 2012

In a presentation before the West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Committee on Government and Finance, UE Local 170 made the case that it’s time for the West Virginia Division of Highways to develop a fair wage structure for DOH employees. The Joint Committee on Government and Finance meeting was on August 15. The presentation received news coverage around the state.

Aug 03, 2012
 
West Virginia state hospital employees, members of UE Local 170, West Virginia Public Workers Union, brought their ongoing complaints to the headquarters of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) in Charleston on July 17. The state hospital employees work for the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities (BBHHF), part of the DHHR. UE Local 170 has nearly four hundred members at six of the bureau's state hospitals and nursing homes, located around the state.
Jun 04, 2012

On May 15, 2012, the Capitol Chapter of the West Virginia Public Workers Union voted to announce that our union members are collecting research on problems with the public employee grievance system.  One goal the union has is to develop testimonials from people who have experienced problems with the grievance process and make a report to the legislative committee studying the grievance process. [1]

Aug 06, 2012

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, in a strongly worded decision by Justice McHugh, upheld the Union's win in a grievance affirming the right of public employees to withdraw a resignation tendered prior to its acceptance or final effective date. This decision confirms earlier rulings that a tenured public employee enjoys property rights in the matter of their employment, and can not be lightly deprived of that valuable service. Read the WV Supreme Court of Appeals' decision here.

Aug 03, 2012

Beginning May 2, 2012, a group of environmental inspectors of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began filing grievances on word that the agency would be hiring new inspectors for oil and gas at a $35,000 starting salary. Other inspectors, some with many years of tenure, were being paid in the $31,000 range. Shortly after the number of grievants reached two dozen, DEP announced that base pay for environmental inspectors was being raised to $35,000.

Aug 06, 2012

 

In an important breakthrough for DHHR employees who have caseloads, UE Local 170 has reached an agreement with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources over how the agency will finally comply with West Virginia Code §9-2-6a, regarding development of reasonable and achievable caseload standards.