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Ryan’s campaign reaches deal on union contract

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s Senate campaign reached a union contract agreement with five staff members that includes a minimum hourly salary of $25 for full-time workers, unlimited personal time off and 100 percent employer-covered medical, vision and dental insurance.

Ryan is the first U.S. Senate candidate in Ohio history to have his staff unionized.

The five staff members are in the digital, fundraising and political departments and the union’s numbers will grow as more employees are hired, said Izzi Levy, Ryan’s campaign spokeswoman.

Ryan, D-Howland, employs about 12 people on his Senate campaign and those not in the union are in management positions, Levy said.

The staff members agreed in September to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1466. That union is based in Columbus and primarily represents American Electric Power workers throughout the state. The contract with Ryan’s campaign was ratified last week.

“We voted unanimously to ratify this collective bargaining agreement to make sure that staff on our team have the support they need to carry us to a win in November,” Oliver Young, union steward, said. He added: “Campaigns are challenging enough already. Working for a candidate you believe in shouldn’t mean having to accept unmanageably long hours or impossibly low pay.”

Ryan’s campaign declined to provide a copy of the union contract based on the advice of its lawyers, Levy said.

But the campaign said the contract includes 100 percent employer-covered medical, vision and dental insurance; unlimited personal time off; $75 in additional pay for working holidays; a $25 hourly starting salary for full-time workers; and limiting the daily hours of driving Ryan to eight. If Ryan needs to be driven more than eight hours, a second person would take over. That’s also being done as a safety measure, Levy said.

Ryan, a 10-term House member, will face Morgan Harper, an attorney and community organizer, in the Democratic primary in May.

Several Republican candidates are seeking the position.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced in January 2021 that he is not seeking re-election this year to the position.

dskolnick@vindy.com

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