by Dominic Rizzi
Hello OGEA Members,
I am excited to announce that we have assembled an Organizing Committee to help keep us informed and...organized...as we head into bargaining season and beyond.Please welcome, Chelsey Myers (Hayes), Brenna Juull (Oakridge), Hanh Thompson (Anderson), Nancy Paul (Del Roble), Anne Sanfilippo (Frost), and Sara Overby (Christopher) to our Organizing Committee. We will be sending 5 members to a special training called Labor Notes where the committee will pick up tips and tricks to keeping our association informed, engaged, and empowered. This upcoming bargaining season is going to require all of us working together and staying in the know.
Thank you to those who completed the bargaining survey in February. Your input drives our executive board to direct the bargaining team during negotiations. As you know, districts throughout the state and nation are striking for better working conditions, salaries, class sizes, and student supports beyond the classroom. It is our goal to see that Oak Grove School District provides the best possible services it can for our students and our staff. Throughout the bargaining process, you can stay informed through our website, facebook, and twitter as well as personal email and information in your boxes. Be on the lookout for follow-up surveys as we dive into specifics at the bargaining table. While we are certainly directing the bargaining team to do everything they can; we must be realistic of the situation our district is in. I am eager for results to come out for the system-wide audit; though these results will likely be available after negotiations have begun. OGEA works closely with CTA to review and ensure the accuracy of the district budget so that our team can negotiate with real data.
There will be times that your site reps and organizing team ask us to rally on bargaining days by wearing certain attire, buttons, stickers, or engaging in conversations with staff and the community. Showing our solidarity as Oak Grove Educators is critical to the success of our bargaining team at the table. I know that Oak Grove Educators have passion in their profession and for our students. I wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else but here; because of the students we serve and the other educators I get to serve with.
I continue to meet members who share a common experience as I have growing up in Oak Grove schools and returning to teach and give back to our district and community. We have family in our union, in our district, and in our communities. It is these relationships and passions that keep us grounded in our work. Oak Grove School District needs our help now more than ever as the community changes around us. Teachers are moving further away due to the cost of living, our student’s families are as well. Passing a parcel tax will surely generate money for us that can help to keep up with increasing costs...but the state and nation also significantly influence our district budget.
Our profession has changed significantly in such a short amount of time. The effects are evident on our students and our staff. Thank you for your spirit and passion as we set a course and negotiate our contract for the next 3 years keeping these changes to our profession in mind. Stay informed, and be ready to give this next phase everything you’ve got. Our bargaining team and all of our members will do all they can to ensure our profession and practice is protected here in the Oak Grove community.