Zones I, V have new representation

Members in the northwestern and southwestern portions of the state have new representation on the OSEA Board of Directors.

Delegates to the OSEA Conference 2017 from Zone I elected Dianna Hess (Beaverton Chapter 48) while Zone V members elected Marina McCambridge (Phoenix-Talent Chapter 96) to the Board. Former Zone I Director Kathy Forbes and Zone V Director Aaron Powell did not seek reelection.

While their backgrounds are unique, both got involved in our union because a fellow OSEA member encouraged them to get involved. Their dedication speaks volumes to the value of “the ask.”


Dianna Hess, the special education management secretary in Beaverton’s Special Education Office, has worked all over the district as an instructional assistant, accounting assistant, department secretary and more. Beaverton members are likely familiar with Hess, as her chapter involvement spans from secretary and treasurer to chairing the chapter’s Worksite Representative, Scholarship, Classified Employees Week and Community Service committees, overseeing Beaverton Chapter 48’s Habitat for Humanity and Beaverton School District Clothes Closet drives. She is also her building’s Worksite Representative.

 

Hess’s involvement began with a request from a coworker. 

 

“I wanted to know what it was about, and was encouraged by a coworker to make a difference,” Hess said.

 

At the state and national levels, Hess has been a chapter delegate to Conference for 10 years and has been elected twice as a delegate to the nationwide American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and AFL-CIO conventions. Running for a seat on the Board of Directors was a natural progression of her advocacy for working people.

 

“I wanted to assist members throughout my area, not just my chapter, and to be part of the greater good,” Hess said, adding that increasing member involvement was a top priority.

 

Although she doesn’t carry the accent, Hess was born in New Zealand and moved to the United States in 1973, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2014. Her mother was born on a Chippewa reservation in Wisconsin, and her father was from New Zealand and has strong Maori influences. This diverse background — and also moving frequently as a child — meant Hess frequently had to relearn how to fit in. School was a sanctuary, and she tries to establish that environment for kids who may be feeling alienated.

 

“I loved working with the students that everyone thought were a lost cause, trouble or just too far gone as an aide in a behavior class or attendance secretary,” Hess said. After taking a job in an administrative office, she took over operation of a summer program for special education students “to get my ‘kid’ fix.”

 

Hess is married to Hansen Hess, has five children and seven grandchildren.

Although relatively new to OSEA, Marina McCambridge’s labor background stretches back decades, from her home in Medford all the way north to Portland.

After working in retail, McCambridge got a job maintaining records at the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). It was there she became a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 189. 

“Somebody said to me, ‘People seem to listen to you. Why don’t you do this?’” McCambridge recalled. “There were a lot of issues in the records department, and they only had one steward for 68 people.”

McCambridge became an AFSCME steward and mostly volunteered behind the scenes — setting up trainings, networking with different PPB offices, and coordinating with unions representing other city employees. Eventually she went to work for AFSCME as a receptionist. She moved to Medford when husband Rodney, an AFSCME field representative, was transferred to southern Oregon.

McCambridge secured a job at the Phoenix-Talent School District, substituting as an aide or secretary as the need arose. She was hired as permanent part-time, and eventually full-time as attendance clerk at Talent Middle School.

And just when she thought she was out…

“Chapter President Mary Nitcher said she’d heard I was pretty involved in union activity previously, so she approached me,” McCambridge recalled, adding she was hesitant at first: “I’d just spent 20 years doing union stuff.”

It didn’t take McCambridge long to jump in and help out, however. She sat in with the bargaining team in 2015 – her first time representing members at the table.

“That was kind of intense because I realized these people are relying on me and put their whole trust in me, so I have this big sense of responsibility to be there for them,” McCambridge said. After that she quickly rose from vice president to chapter president, stepping into the secretarial role when she was elected to the Board of Directors.

A top priority is ensuring Southern Oregon knows OSEA is there for them.

“I want to make sure they know they have a voice, and that they can call on me,” McCambridge said.

An admitted “political junkie,” in her spare time McCambridge also enjoys crocheting and volunteering in community activities.

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