OEA’s advocacy is focused on these areas:
Oregon has large class sizes and inadequate school funding. Reducing class size and caseload are critical puzzle pieces to improving our schools and ensuring students can be successful and this is intertwined with how much money our schools can spend. OEA works at the state legislature to advocate for lower class sizes and increased public school funding at all levels. Educators can’t continue to do more with less, and our students deserve better.
Our schools are in crisis because we don’t have the resources to meet students’ needs. More and more students are coming to school hungry; many students have experienced trauma or homelessness or are without adequate supports. This results in discipline and safety challenges for students and educators. OEA works with districts, legislators, and on the statewide level to pass policies that will support safe and supportive learning environments and working conditions.
Restoring Programs and Positions
As educators, we know that our students need programs like art, music, and physical education to be engaged in school and have a well-rounded education. We also work to restore critical positions that support our students, such as custodians, bus drivers, teachers, and educational assistants. OEA fights to improve public education for all students.
Protecting Our Jobs
In states where more public employees remain members of the union, salaries are higher for all employees because the union has the power to negotiate from a position of strength. More members means a stronger union, which can more effectively bargain for good wages and advocate for good benefits. Hard-earned retirement and healthcare benefits make staying in the profession possible for so many educators. OEA works constantly to beat back attacks on educator benefits, protect jobs, and make progress.