Central successfully completes membership drive

OSEA’s No. 1 priority this year — and for the foreseeable future — is to build membership strength in every chapter as we brace ourselves for a devastating Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME.

OSEA Field Representative Gabe Ortega, left, and Central Chapter 124 President Denise Chase show how many All In cards they were able to collect in one day at Talmadge Middle School. By signing an All In card, OSEA members demonstrate their commitment to their union.

More than 70 chapters have already committed to holding an All In Membership Drive in the coming months. Last week, Central Chapter 124, joined the growing number of chapters to have successfully completed a drive.

Over the course of three days, the Central membership drive team was able to reach a majority of members by visiting each worksite. The team — consisting of Chapter President Denise Chase, Vice President Carol Stewart, Secretary Jodene Presler, Treasurer Kristy Vandercreek, member Tracy Barnes, OSEA Field Representative Gabe Ortega and OSEA Organizer Lesly Muñoz — collected 50 commitment cards and 13 new membership cards.

“I’ve had so much fun these past three days,” Chase said. “It’s been great to visit multiple buildings, make connections and even change people’s minds a bit about what it means to join a union.”

Chase pointed out that this was a perfect time to launch a membership drive because her chapter will soon be entering contract negotiations. Visiting different worksites and talking with members and nonmembers has helped Chase understand what issues should be brought to the bargaining table.

An added benefit to last week’s membership drive was the addition of two new worksite organizers at Ash Creek Elementary School. Worksite organizers take the lead in introducing new employees to their union and explaining the value of union membership and workplace solidarity; however, Ash Creek has been without worksite organizers for some time.

When members of the Central membership drive team visited Ash Creek, they were able to enroll Secretary Elvia Rosales and Special Education Instructional Assistant Amri Blankenship as worksite organizers and significantly boost the chapter’s ability to sign up new members at the school.

Overall, the membership drive edged the chapter within 2 percentage points of its goal of 90 percent membership. The chapter now has 174 members out of a possible 198.

“If you consider we got some kind of commitment from 62 people in the form of either an All In card or a membership card — this is huge,” Muñoz said. “That’s almost one-third of the chapter committed in three days.”

Muñoz also noted that several membership cards were left with people to sign and turn in later. Muñoz is confident that within a couple of weeks, the chapter will be able to reach its 90 percent goal.

If your chapter would like to join our All In Membership Drive Campaign, please contact your OSEA field representative or the State Office at 800-252-6732.

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