Lowell, Corvallis make serious membership gains

Lowell Chapter 118 President Shannon Fassbender and Secretary Colette Ullrich were able to cut the number of nonmembers in their bargaining unit by half on Feb. 13, raising their membership by more than 20 percentage points.

From left, Zone IV Director Sheila Waggoner and Lowell Chapter 118 Executive Board members Shannon Fassbender and Colette Ullrich visit Lundy Elementary School on Feb. 13.

The two chapter officers, along with Zone IV Director Sheila Waggoner and OSEA Organizer Elissa Edge, were able to sign up seven new members at a “Classified Appreciation” event at Lundy Elementary School.

“It was a fun day,” Edge said. “Nonmembers were coming in asking, ‘Can I sign up NOW?’ Folks were putting on their new OSEA shirts and getting excited to ‘unionize it up!’ around the district.”

Roughly 65 miles up the road on Valentine’s Day, Corvallis Chapter 2 kicked off its two-day membership drive with teams at two different sites. At Linus Pauling Middle School, Sean Gettings, a veteran of past drives, single-handedly signed up 13 of 14 identified nonmembers with this simple message:

“This is our union and we stand together. That means we all need to be members. No excuses. Here’s where you sign.”

And what about the one nonmember who didn’t sign that day? Gettings wasn’t fazed; he just told him, “I will check back in with you soon to pick up your application.”

The next day, teams at three worksites were able to collect another 14 membership applications for a total of 27 new members signed up over the two days.

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