By President Sarah Wofford
Hello, amazing education workers of OSEA, and welcome back! I hope you had a restful holiday, survived the ice storm and had plenty of time with family and friends. 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 to 2019. We have spoken up about workplace violence. We negotiated dozens of new, stronger-than-ever contracts. Across the state, we are making strides for better schools and working conditions.
Our momentum is building. When we stand together, there is no stopping the power of Oregon’s education workers!
We are not alone. OSEA is part of a broad, powerful labor movement that spans the country. Worker power is the strongest it has been in decades, and that shows — Visit the AFL-CIO website to read a recap of the labor movement’s accomplishments in 2022. Our strength is due to 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 a leadership summit, Conference, Zone meetings and more ways to bring our union family together. We are having conversations with policy makers about changes needed to ensure no educator is hurt at the hands of a student. We know what our students need, and so we will continue to advocate for adequate funding and safe staffing levels 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 part of our OSEA family. Your membership is our strength. If you are not already an OSEA member, complete an application today to join your colleagues in fighting for better schools, education programs and workplaces. Our future is brighter with you.
OSEA President Sarah Wofford