Ohio AFL-CIO President
On September 17, 2014 delegates of the Ohio AFL-CIO Convention unanimously elected Tim Burga to the office of President, a seat he has held since January 2011. The Ohio AFL-CIO represents over 500,000 union workers from 40 affiliated international unions in the public, private and federal sectors of employment.
Tim also serves as President of Ohio AFL-CIO Communications, Inc., which was established as the state federation’s outreach arm to administer its predictive dialer call center. Additionally, Tim serves as the Vice Chairman of “We Are Ohio,” the non-profit organization designed to promote issues of social, civic, and economic justice.
Tim began his work with the Ohio AFL-CIO as Legislative Director in 2002. During his tenure with the state federation, Tim led a coalition in a successful effort to place on the ballot and pass State Issue 2 as a Constitutional Amendment to raise Ohio’s minimum wage. This initiative is hailed as one of the most progressive wage laws in the country as the minimum wage is linked to the consumer price index. Tim also managed a successful legislative campaign to develop and pass legislation which created Ohio’s Best Rx – a prescription drug discount program that is saving uninsured and under insured Ohioans an average of 38% on their prescription drugs.
As President, Tim oversaw the state federation’s statewide campaign to place a referendum on the ballot to overturn Senate Bill 5, and the election to defeat Issue 2 to preserve collective bargaining rights for Ohio’s public employees. Tim also led the federation’s political work in 2012, which produced the highest percentage of voter contacts in the country for the cause of re-electing President Obama and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Most recently, Tim directed the federation’s operations in successful local elections across the state in 2013 which highlights include defeating a tea-party ballot initiative in Cincinnati to strip public workers of the their defined benefit pension and removing the incumbent mayor of Toledo and replacing him with a pro-labor mayor.
Tim represents organized labor on the State of Ohio Global Markets Advisory Team, Industrial Commission Nominating Council, Industrial Commission Rules Committee, Bureau of Workers Compensation Nominating Council, AFL-CIO State Federation Advisory Council, and the AFL-CIO Appalachian Council.
Prior to his work at the federation, Tim worked for the City of Marion, Ohio where he assisted in a successful effort to organize city workers to be represented by the United Steelworkers. Tim went on to become Vice President and President of Steelworkers local union 7856. After working for the City of Marion, Tim spent nine years on Capital Hill lobbying on workforce training issues.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University where he graduated Cum Laude from the Arneson Institute of Applied Politics and was the recipient of the James J. Hearn Award for Public Service.
Tim currently resides in Westerville with his wife Myrna and son Roberto.
Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer
Melissa Cropper is Secretary-Treasurer of the Ohio AFL-CIO and the president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, which represents 20,000 members in 55 locals across the state, including public school educators and support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, and public employees.
Cropper was a library media specialist in Georgetown, Ohio and president of the Georgetown Federation of Teachers, a member of the OFT executive committee and chair of the federation’s retirement committee before being elected state federation president in 2012.
At the state level, Cropper served on the Ohio AFL-CIO’s executive board before being elected as secretary-treasurer in April of 2019. She is also secretary-treasurer of We Are Ohio, a state coalition of community and labor groups formed to preserve workers’ rights, and she serves on the board of UHCAN, Progress Ohio, and Policy Matters. At the national level, she is an AFT Vice President and co-chair of AFT’s State Federation Presidents Advisory Committee and serves on the Human Rights Committee and Defense Committee.
As OFT president, she has developed collaborative relationships with leaders and organizations across the state to help fulfill the union’s mission of advocating for issues that affect not only OFT members but also the children, families, and communities that our members serve.