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Season 5, Episode 77

Overwhelming approval for first contract with Ohio’s Equitas Health



Guest Name:

Melissa Cropper

Guest Website:


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Supportive Documents:

Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the recent first contract ratification at Equitas Health in Ohio. Cropper also spoke about an ongoing organizing campaign that is beginning its union election process, and a research group focusing on improving Teacher’s workplace stress.

Equitas Health, its 12 Ohio locations, and the OFT have worked for a year and a half to negotiate their first contract. Finally, there has been a ratification, which Cropper said received more votes than the original vote to unionize with 96 percent approval. The contract comes just before a new CEO Equitas on May 1. She also talked about how this date reaffirmed the need to get a contract figured out before the new leader took over. Cropper outlined several of the contract stipulations that were crucial to the workers.

At the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024, there have been three library systems in Central Ohio organized under the OFT. The Upper Arlington Public Library campaign is currently in the mail-in voting process for the union election and hopes this will become the fourth library system to join the OFT in recent months. Cropper talked about the difficulties with the library’s administration and their union-busting tactics. She spoke of the workers' solidarity and how the anti-union efforts from the administration only reinforced the workers' desires to join the union.

Finally, Cropper discussed research study focused on the personal development of teachers and leaders in school systems nationwide. The study found that burnout is a significant issue for educators. The group that performed the analysis, Educators Thriving, works with school districts around the country to improve teacher wellness. The American Federation of Teachers has worked with this group to identify reasons behind retention and other staffing issues. Cropper discussed the work the OFT has been doing with the organization and how to improve the way teachers deal with workplace stress.

For more information on the organizing successes of the OFT through 2024, listen to the show above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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