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A small but mighty local takes a dark past and turns it on its heels — winning arbitrations, school board elections, and a better future for its students and educators.
Educator Empowerment Grants are giving educators an opportunity to make significant impacts in their classrooms and communities.
The following positions are open for nomination for the 2020 elections:
Elected at OEA RA:
Region I Vice President: 1 position for a 2- year term
Region II Vice President: 1 position for a 2-year term
Region III Vice President: 1 position for 2-year term
NEA Director: 1 position for a 3-yr term (term begins September 1, 2020)
Elected by Mail Ballot:
State Delegates to the NEA RA: 13 positions:
Region I: 9 positions for a 3-year term;
Region II: 6 positions for a 3-year term;
Region III: 4 positions for a 3-year term.
(The number of delegates per region may be adjusted as the number of members within the region dictates as indicated by the January-February NEA membership report.)
OEA Board of Directors:
13 positions for 3-year terms in Board Districts:
01b (D’Haem, eligible), 02 (Vermeire, eligible), 03a (Glasgow, eligible), 09 (Minson, termed out, not eligible), 10c (Peterson, eligible), 11 (Gorman, eligible), 13 (Marden, termed out, not eligible), 15b (Lowe, eligible), 16 (Shearer, eligible), 24 (Reed, eligible), 26b (Sanchez, eligible), 27 (Wiskow, termed out, not eligible), 30b (Wallace, termed out, not eligible)
2 positions for a 1-year term in Board Districts:
07 (Barclay, eligible), 10a (Watson, eligible)
It’s a great time to be a union member in Oregon. On the heels of our successful statewide walkout to put more money in schools, union members across the state are standing together to win better contracts and working conditions. And they’re winning.
SEIU 503-represented workers at Oregon’s higher education institutions just won their best contract in over a decade after nearly going on strike at the end of September. Classified workers stood together in the face of disrespectful management offers for months. More than 4,500 members held rallies, marches, and solidarity actions as negotiations proceeded — they stood together in union and won a historic contract.
“This is a win for the 4,500 workers who dedicate their lives to Oregon universities,” said Melissa Unger, Executive Director of SEIU Local 503. “Workers stuck together to demand a contract that respects the critical role they play in supporting our students and keeping our campuses running. Together, we fought back take-aways proposed by management on wages, health care, steps, and personal days, and won higher wages for all workers. This hard-fought victory is a testament to the strength and solidarity of Oregon’s front-line university workers.”
Workers at Fred Meyer negotiated for more than 15 months to get a fair contract, narrowly avoiding strike with a settlement the same weekend that higher educator workers were successful. UFCW 555-represented workers discovered that Fred Meyer systematically placed women on the lower of their two salary schedules.
This resulted in an intense pay disparity among men and women — female workers make on average $3.50/hour less than male employees. Grocery workers worked hard to build solidarity and strength among membership for their union bargaining team and it paid off.
At Fred Meyer, employees dealt with coercive actions against the union throughout negotiations, including forced one-on-one meetings and posting job listings to hire scabs. The union took a stand and called for a boycott. Just a week later they had a contract.
Oregonians need our unions now more than ever, and the victories in September make it clear: when we stand together, we win.
Americans across the country are consistently reporting rising rates of white nationalism and other bigoted extremism. Because schools are hubs of our communities, they have become battlegrounds for extremist organizing and recruitment sites for white nationalist groups targeting young people. In a new toolkit, the Western States Center shares strategies to counter white nationalist organizing through sample scenarios that schools frequently encounter. The toolkit offers advice for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and the wider community. Request your copy of the toolkit: www.westernstatescenter.org/schools.
Senate Bill 1049, signed by Governor Brown into law in June, was a massive blow to Oregon’s public employees. The law creates a reduction in retirement benefits, to the tune of 2-15 percent, for current public employees who are part of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), in order to pay down the $27 billion unfunded liability created by the 2008 recession. Educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other public servants were outraged that their retirements are, once again, in jeopardy.
Nine public employees have filed a lawsuit with the Oregon State Supreme Court, including one OEA member, arguing that Senate Bill 1049 is unconstitutional and unfairly targets current employees in order to cover employer pension obligations to retired employees. Furthermore, they claim that the bill creates a breach of contract for thousands of unionized public employees across the state.
The plaintiffs are represented by Bennett Hartman, Attorneys at Law LLP, the same firm that challenged similar retirement cuts for public employees in 2005 and 2015. “The plaintiffs and all PERS members accepted a job in good faith for a salary and benefits package, did the work they promised to do, and planned their futures based on the package they agreed to accept,” says Aruna Masih, lead attorney for the case.
The lawsuit will be heard by the Supreme Court of Oregon, which has twice ruled in against public employee contract violations. OEA will provide updates to the legal proceedings as they become available.