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2020 OEA/NEA Positions Open for Nomination & Election

The following positions are open for nomination for the 2020 elections:Elected at OEA RA: Region I…

2020 OEA/NEA Positions Open for Nomination & Election

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)

Confronting White Nationalism in Schools

Americans across the country are consistently reporting rising rates of white nationalism and other…

Confronting White Nationalism in Schools

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.

A Groundswell of Union Power

It’s a great time to be a union member in Oregon. On the heels of our successful statewide walkout…

A Groundswell of Union Power

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.

Educators and other public servants sue to protect PERS benefits

Senate Bill 1049, signed by Governor Brown into law in June, was a massive blow to Oregon’s public…

Educators and other public servants sue to protect PERS benefits

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.

New legislation sets out to feed millions of hungry college students

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report in early 2019 that painted a grim…

New legislation sets out to feed millions of hungry college students

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report in early 2019 that painted a grim picture of campus life for many low-income students. According to the report, over one-third of low-income students are food insecure, meaning they do not have reliable access to nutrition on a daily basis, and 31 percent of students experiencing food insecurity are first-generation college attendees.

Without one of their most basic needs met, these students are at a much higher risk of dropping out before graduating.

Many students do not meet the strict qualifications of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but legislation introduced this week by Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA) and co-sponsored by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer (among over 40 others), would expand SNAP benefits to students by amending the requirements to include “attending an institution of higher education.”

The Enhanced Access to SNAP Act (EATS Act) would give much-needed relief to millions of students who experience food insecurity every day, allowing them to focus on their studies.

“Across the United States, many college students are skipping meals while others are going whole days without eating because they lack the means to support themselves,” said Congressman Gomez.

“These students — many of whom are from low-income families and have worked tirelessly for their higher education — deserve access to basic necessities like healthy meals without having to choose between going hungry and compromising their academic standings. Through the passage of the EATS Act, we can help lighten the financial burden college students have to bear, help them prioritize their academic success, and make the ‘starving college student’ stereotype a thing of the past.”

NEA Foundation Grants Suppot Educator-Led Innovations in the Classroom and Beyond

Did you know that your OEA membership grants you access to The NEA Foundation grant programs? You…

NEA Foundation Grants Suppot Educator-Led Innovations in the Classroom and Beyond

Did you know that your OEA membership grants you access to The NEA Foundation grant programs? You can apply for funding to cover classroom materials through the Student Success Grant program, funding for professional development and mentorship through the Learning and Leadership Grant program, and even funding for education-abroad experiences through the Global Learning Fellowship program. These funds are available to any OEA member, and NEA’s professional grant writing team is available to help you through the process. Check it out: www.neafoundation.org/foreducators.

Improvements on Chronic Absenteeism

For the first time in many years, according to ODE, the number of chronically absent students…

Improvements on Chronic Absenteeism

For the first time in many years, according to ODE, the number of chronically absent students (those who miss 10 percent of the school year or more) did not increase during the 2018-19 school year. Oregon high schools showed a modest decrease in the overall rate of half a percent. ODE officials say that more districts are breaking down barriers to regular attendance for their students, such as transportation and access to hygiene services. Some districts received grant funding through the state for these types of services, and as more funding from the Student Success Act is made available, there's hope that the number of students who show up regularly for class will increase.

Streamlining Processes for Mandatory Reporters

The Oregon Child Abuse Hotline’s mission is to receive reports of child abuse and provide excellent…

Streamlining Processes for Mandatory Reporters

The Oregon Child Abuse Hotline’s mission is to receive reports of child abuse and provide excellent customer service with equitable and consistent decision making to ensure safety for Oregon’s children. Hotline screeners are accessible to educators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). Need to learn more about your role as a mandatory reporter? You’ll find Mandatory Reporter guides in both English and Spanish formats: https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ABU...

“We Want a Future” Oregon Students Join Global Climate Strike

The lunch bell hadn’t yet rung on Friday, Sept. 20 — yet the halls at Lincoln High School in…

“We Want a Future” Oregon Students Join Global Climate Strike

The lunch bell hadn’t yet rung on Friday, Sept. 20 — yet the halls at Lincoln High School in Portland were nearly empty. It wasn’t just another Friday.

On this day, from Terry Shrunk Plaza in Downtown Portland to Ashland Plaza in Southern Oregon, student activists across the state powerfully took to the streets for the national Climate Strike, demanding action on climate change.

It’s estimated that 20,000 students and community supporters flooded the streets in Downtown Portland — while other rallies, in Salem, Eugene, Medford and beyond — drew impressive crowds.

In Ashland, about 1,000 people gathered at Ashland Plaza to welcome students who had walked out of their middle and high school classes that Friday morning.

Student activists across the state have their eyes on a prize: they want lawmakers in Salem and in local governments to adopt a Green New Deal, phasing out fossil fuel infrastructure and investing in renewable energy.

In their walkout, Oregon students joined a global movement propelled by Greta Thunberg, a teen from Sweden, who led tens of thousands of student protestors in New York City that same day.

In the days leading up to the Climate Strike, Portland Public Schools issued letters to parents, saying that students could get an “excused absence” for participating in the protest, so long as families communicated with schools about what their students were doing.

For more on the Global Climate Strike, check out resources here: globalclimatestrike.net.

Oregon Community Colleges may soon offer 4-year degrees

Senate Bill 3, which would allow community colleges in Oregon to incorporate applied baccalaureate…

Oregon Community Colleges may soon offer 4-year degrees

Senate Bill 3, which would allow community colleges in Oregon to incorporate applied baccalaureate programs into their existing degree offerings, passed through the House Committee on Education at the beginning of May. The bill has already been approved by the Senate and awaits a vote from the House.

Proponents of the bill say that it offers a degree pathway to students in rural communities and students who are economically disadvantaged.

It has received bipartisan support, and community college leaders applaud the flexibility it allows for their students. If the bill passes, degree programs would still need to be approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.