OSEA President Sarah Wofford Looks Back at an Eventful Year in the Labor Movement and Ahead to a Strong 2023
Happy New Year to my amazing fellow members of OSEA, and welcome back! I hope you had a restful holiday season, survived the winter storms and had plenty of time with your loved ones. We all deserved a moment of peace to recuperate and catch our breath after the last year.
We are living in eventful times! I am so proud of all that OSEA and our members have done to strengthen our schools, support our students and stand with one another for fairness, equality and justice. In the last year alone, OSEA members have supported students’ learning during the first fully in-person school year since 2018-19. We have spoken up about workplace violence and the challenges facing our schools each day. We negotiated dozens of new, stronger-than-ever contracts. Across the state, we are making strides for better schools and working conditions.
We have spoken up about workplace violence and the challenges facing our schools each day. We negotiated dozens of new, stronger-than-ever contracts. Across the state, we are making strides for better schools and working conditions.
We are not alone. Our union is part of a broad, powerful movement that spans the country. Worker power is the strongest it has been in decades: approval of the labor movement is at a 50-year high, and unions are growing from Amazon warehouses to Starbucks stores. Our strength, and the strength of our movement, comes from workers like you, who stepped up by making the decision to be a union member. You are the force behind the labor movement and the heart and soul of OSEA.
Our work isn’t over. I, for one, am excited about all that is ahead of us in 2023. OSEA is making plans for our first in-person Legislative Education Day (LED) since 2019, as well as Leadership Summit V, Conference, Zone meetings and more ways to bring our union family back together.
We are having conversations with policymakers about changes needed to ensure no educator is hurt at the hands of a student. We know what our students need to succeed and we will continue to advocate for adequate funding and staffing to support their learning and growth.
In our chapters, leaders are laying the groundwork for even more contract negotiations, building our union power and ensuring workers have a voice at the table.
Our momentum is building. When we stand together, there is no stopping the power of Oregon’s education workers!
Thank you for being a part of our OSEA family. Your membership is our strength. I look forward to working with you in 2023 and beyond.