President's Year in Review
by President Dominic RIzzi
OGEA Leadership met before the start of this school year to establish 5 goals that would be our focus with membership: Roll our out new mission statement, enhance our grievance and contract education, early endorse school board candidates, reestablish the OGEA newsletter, bargain over evaluation language for our TOSA and support staff, and improve our membership engagement activities in preparation for Janus.
The strength of our union grew this year as we met and exceeded our goals in these areas. Organizing made great strides in promoting STAR awards for honoring our members, providing meaningful information and feedback to the district on PBIS. Grievance team created timely “Know Your Contract” pieces and FAQs about teacher and student rights protected under our OGEA Contract. Our Political Action Committee recruited and interviewed 5 potential school board candidates and facilitated early endorsements of Tammi Moore ( TA 2 ) and Brian LoBue (TA 5 ). Communications Committee recreated ‘The Appleseed’ with 5 issues complete with comprehensive articles, celebrations, and resources. Bargaining met throughout the year to establish a Memo Of Understanding to secure transfer and moving support rights for our educators at consolidated school sites ensuring a fair process for placement along with time and compensation to pack and setup their rooms. Bargaining continues to meet and bargain over compensation and evaluation language this year to accommodate our Teachers on Special Assignment with their evolving job descriptions. Membership Engagement hosted eleven social, professional development and family events to bring our membership together outside the classroom.
I am so proud and honored to have worked with our team of Committee Chairs, Committee Members, and Site Representatives this year. We continue to hone our practices as an association to find the best ways to support you, our members, in the changing landscape of public education, and the Oak Grove School District.
We have been through quite a year and we’ve been able to stay informed, connected, and empowered through the support of all who are able to contribute to OGEA’s leadership. Through a tumultuous school consolidation process and many late night board meetings and public hearings; OGEA members were always there. OGEA stayed united and informed all throughout the consolidation process. We couldn’t have done this without the strength and unity of our chapter. The work was made lighter by having more voices at the table and new leaders within our ranks. Please continue to encourage members at your sites to join committees, attend conferences, and get involved in their union. With more of us at the helm, we can best pilot the direction of OGEA.
We mourn the loss of Glider Elementary and George Miner Elementary. I am inspired by the strength of our members at Glider and Miner who persevered through the consolidation process. With the closure of our schools, Oak Grove School District will never be the same. We now keep a growth mindset and prepare to embrace in the opportunity for new beginnings as many of our sites will be changed with new staff and new students. OGEA members will be there in the waves of change to help build new communities and cultures at all school sites that reflect our students’ needs. Oak Grove Educators Put Students First!
Oak Grove Educators are also here for each other. Thank you to all for helping one another through this challenging year. Our work is not done, we must stay vigilant and engaged as we prepare for next year’s transitions and challenges in the face of the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court Case. OGEA and OGSD will be faced with new obstacles and celebrations next year. I am eager to continue the strength and accomplishments OGEA in supporting all members as we navigate ahead. Stay tuned this summer for our summer board meetings, vote in the June primary elections, and prepare for our Fall election cycle which includes our OGSD School Board Race and Parcel Tax. It will be all hands on deck as we secure the future of OGEA and the Oak Grove School District. Together we can. In Solidarity!