Red For Ed at the State Capitol

 

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Today, six of us (Barry Branaugh, Katie Ardt, Kriss Whipple, Jared Young, Jamie Gregory, and Kelly Mullins) went to Salem to encourage our legislature to push for adequate funding.  Jamie and Kelly were part of the entertainment playing on the steps, and 4,000 to 5,000 people marched in support of education.  As the six of us gave up nine hours of our day off to do this, we are asking that you give up fifteen minutes of yours.

We want every REA member to email both your state Representative and your state Senator to tell them how important adequate funding is to YOU!  Simply tell them a story of the impact the lack of funding has had for YOU.  Large class sizes? Classroom clears?  Lack of mental health services?  Lack of elementary P.E., art, music?  Limited CTE opportunities?  WHAT HAS IMPACTED YOU?

Simply click this link: Find your legislator and you will get emails for both your Representative and Senator.  Send them a message!  Remember, this is the BEGINNING of this process.  Only continued pressure will result in favorable outcomes.  Please complete this task by Monday.

A Crisis of Disrupted Learning

Originally Posted on OEA’s Website on January 25, 2019.

The Oregon Education Association has publicly released its report on disrupted learning in Oregon.  Please see the report, “A Crisis of Disrupted Learning.”

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Do you have experience with disrupted learning in your classroom?  Please share your story with OEA, and fill out the Featured Educator of the Day Google Document.  See our previous blog post Share Your Story for more information!

OEA & the Coalition for the Common Good

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Recently OEA joined a new coalition that is calling itself the Coalition for the Common Good (CCG).  This coalition is made up of business partners, unions and community organizations dedicated to increasing school funding through additional revenue.  The two largest corporations,  Nike and Russell Development, join OEA, AFSCME and SEIU.  While large corporations are not OEA’s usual partners in such conversations, we are willing to sit down with any corporation or organization who is willing to have a revenue conversation and adhere to the following principles:

  1. We are committed to raising significant revenue.  This means Billions, not millions.
  2. Any revenue conversations must center around a progressive structure which does not negatively impact working people.
  3. Additional revenue may not be tied to reducing pay or benefits (including PERS) of educators or other public employees.
  4. Funds raised through increased revenue must be directed towards public education and the programs we believe serve Oregon public school students.

OEA reserves the right to walk away from any conversation that does not meet these principles, and we haven’t signed on to any proposals.  We are, as always, dedicated to fully funding public education and believe that the Governor’s plan to raise an additional $2 billion in revenue is a good start towards this goal.  It is now incumbent upon the legislature to courageously propose a revenue plan that is right for Oregon.  We stand ready to be a part of the revenue conversation on any level, and we are definitely ready to stand up for Oregon students!

OEA President, John Larson

 

More information about the Coalition for the Common Good and OEA’s participation:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wVSCR2OW3ew0DRXvljHiUzZT6m9YUdtyS8GtuMuEBkI/edit?usp=sharing

More information about what’s happening in our legislature with education funding:

https://www.opb.org/news/article/nike-tax-package-unions-oregon-legislature-session-2019/

 

 

Ruling: JANUS v. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES

On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled on the Janus vs. AFSCME case.  This case ruling sets a precedent for all unions across the United States.  The ruling affects union membership and more specifically what is known as the “agency fee”, or what many refer to as Fair Share.  After the Janus ruling, the agency fee is can no longer be a requirement and cannot be legally enforced.

Union membership has never been a requirement or condition of employment.  Eligible members have the right to decline union membership; however, they are assessed an agency fee, a certain percentage of union dues, in order to cover the cost of bargaining, contract protection, and representation for conflict resolution or contract violations.  Union members on the executive council and building representatives put in time and effort outside district contracts to assist members and give all members a voice.  This representation, in turn, provides a united voice for our members that is taken to the bargaining table and to the district administration to help create positive working conditions for staff and better educational environments for our students.  Union membership and the resulting representation are intended to benefit our employees, our students, and our community.

For the last two years, organizations like the Freedom Foundation have been spreading false information about union membership in anticipation for this monumental ruling.  The intent is to weaken unions and consequently weaken the voices of union members.  What the Freedom Foundation doesn’t accept is how fiercely teachers are willing to protect students and the education of our youth.  These organizations working to weaken unions are counting on members to sell their voices at the cost of union dues.  Unions all across the nation are proving these union breakers wrong, and members know now, more than ever, that a voice for education and the future is worth it.

Please don’t hesitate to contact REA with questions or concerns regarding your membership.  We’re here to help YOU!

Read the Full Ruling Here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1466_2b3j.pdf