OEA Union School

OEA’s Union School Powerful Locals program

These are challenging times for education professionals and our local associations.  There are fewer resources, more expectations and more problematic regulations facing our public schools and community colleges.  The result:  overworked teachers, faculty and support professionals facing   overcrowded classrooms, unmanageable caseloads and the stress associated with trying to meet student needs. Local Associations in both K-12 and Community Colleges are faced with continual bargaining with underfunded school districts and colleges. Local union leaders find fewer members actively involved in local union activities.

The Powerful Locals program, an initiative of OEA’s Strategic Action Program, is now beginning and new program year.  In 2012-13, the Powerful Locals program worked with 16 locals to create new statements of purpose for locals, develop strategic goals and   to assess resources and educational needs to execute those goals. 

OEA’s Powerful Locals program provides training, support and collaboration to help locals develop   effective strategies to overcome these challenges.  The program is designed to assist each local leadership team in finding the best mix of education, training, and strategy that will help transform the locals into what they believe a more strategic, powerful, member-driven union should be.

The work continues with the 13 locals engaged in the Pilot Locals program. The Union School continues to working directly with those locals on follow-up including meetings about next steps, the development of assessment tools and creating a strategic calendar for tracking the completion of goals. Go here for more on last year's pilot locals program. We are developing a cadre of leaders to extend the pilots out to all locals over the next 2 ½ years.


In October 2012, 16 local associations from all corners of the state (representing K-12 teachers, education support professionals and community college faculty) were selected to participate in the Pilot Locals program. The program, under the direction of OEA's Union School, is providing education, training and support to local leadership teams, and working with locals to identify, recruit, train and engage members in core union areas.

All 16 locals in the program continue to have individual meetings and support from the Union School to assess where they are, what their strengths are and to identify opportunities to engage, organize and empower members. Recently, teams from all of the Pilot Locals gathered in Eugene for their first two-day Convocation. The gathering allowed members, leaders and staff to look at the political, economic and historical context of the labor movement, and have deep conversations on specific topics such as member organizing and community outreach. The goal of the premier Convocation was to start creating a foundation for each local's strategic planning process and to build relationships across these locals for sharing of ideas and mutual support.

Here are a collection of photos from the Convocation:


OEA Union Education and Training Catalog

Visit the Education and Training Catalog page to learn about the various training materials offered through the OEA Union School.


About the OEA Union School

Through the passage of the Strategic Action Plan in 2012, the OEA Union School was launched to provide a comprehensive continuum of member education and training. The Union School supports and grows strong union lead¬ers and member-activists at every level of the organization. The School have the primary responsibility to build off of existing effective OEA trainings and develop new curriculum and train¬ing tools based on best-practice and emerging technologies. The Union School coordinate all trainings currently done by the Center for Advocacy and Affiliate Services, the Center for Public Affairs, OEA Governance and OEA staff.

Contact the OEA Union School by email.