Tim Burga – Biography
In fall of 2018, delegates at the State Federation’s Biennial Convention unanimously re-elected Tim Burga to the office of President, a seat he has held since January 2011. The Ohio AFL-CIO represents over 1 million union workers and retirees from 40 international unions in the public, private and federal sectors of employment.
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 is also President of the Central Region State Officers of the AFL-CIO.
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 and index it annually with the cost of living. 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 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 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, the AFL-CIO Appalachian Council, and the Federal Reserve Bank’s Business Advisory Group.
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.
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.