Educators are stronger together
When it comes to contract negotiations, salaries and benefits, workplace protections, and improving learning and working conditions, a stronger union means we’re working from a position of strength. As individuals, we have a limited impact on decisions that are made in our districts. Coming together as members of a strong union is the best way to have a seat at the table to fight for students and good working conditions. We join together to amplify our voices to advocate for our students and our professions.
OEA’s advocacy is focused on these areas:
- OVERLOAD: 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 do more with less, and our students deserve better.
- DISRUPTED LEARNING: 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. Our hard-earned retirement and healthcare benefits make staying in the profession possible for so many educators. OEA works constantly to beat back attacks on our benefits.
- FULL FUNDING: Community Colleges provide critical points of access for Oregonians across the state and serve a wide variety of Oregonians at different points in their lives and careers. Community colleges are a central point of learning, community, and opportunity. It is past time to invest in community colleges to avoid significant increases to student tuition, layoffs or reductions to faculty and staff, and the scaling back of vital programs. Educators can’t do more with less, and our students deserve better.
- 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 higher wages and advocate for better benefits. Our hard-earned retirement and healthcare benefits make staying in the profession possible for so many educators. OEA works constantly to beat back attacks on our benefits.
- HEALTHCARE: It is wrong that part-time faculty teaching at community colleges across Oregon do not receive healthcare like their peers. Many educators piece together full time work by working at multiple institutions yet they do not receive healthcare benefits. Educators working hard to ensure students receive a quality higher education must be respected as professionals.
- DUAL CREDIT: OEA advocates for dual credit programs that facilitate true collaboration and partnership between K-12 and Community College educators. We work to ensure that all dual credit programs in the state are of the highest quality and that educators have the resources they need to make them successful. Educators must be involved in developing these programs and policies to ensure our students receive the best instruction possible.