As districts that will have collective bargaining negotiations this year are gathering information and preparing proposals, the State Employment Relations Board’s (SERB) site has a plethora of data to assist your work. SERB just released its Wage Settlement Report. This report aims to inform stakeholders of the latest trends on wages in negotiated labor contracts for public sector entities. SERB’s stated goal with the report is to provide statistics that may be useful to both the employer and the employee organization and to promote orderly and constructive labor relations between the parties.

The report breaks down the average negotiated wage increases by region, jurisdiction, unit type (including teaching, non-teaching and wall to wall unions) and long-term trends. The report also provides summaries and statistics on other aspects of negotiated agreements. For example, a total of 1026 contracts were negotiated in the state during 2021; in 198 of those contracts, there were one or more lump-sum payments that took effect during the contract. SERB keeps all collective bargaining agreements. Reviewing those agreements for similar size districts and employee groups can assist in understanding your local unit type’s likely requests and contract language.

At the beginning of August, SERB also releases its annual reports and insurance reports. The annual reports document provides the statistics of the statutory functions of SERB and provides the number of unfair labor practice charges; representation petitions and requests for recognition; determining appropriate bargaining units and conducting elections; impasse resolution services through mediation, fact-finding, and conciliation; and resolving disputes as to the legality of strikes. The lengthy insurance report is created by survey and had a 96.1% response rate for the 2021 report. This report provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, wellness programs, and other aspects of health insurance for public entities in Ohio.

Please visit SERB for these reports and other available information. As always, the OSBA division of legal services continues to monitor the legal landscape and will post information as it becomes available. If you have questions, please contact the division at 1-855-OSBA-LAW.

Posted by Ralph Lusher III on 3/4/2022