OEA Representative Assembly at Greater Columbus Convention Center: May 8, 2015
BEA Representatives: Mindy Hall, Erin Clary, David Schottner
1. We voted on four ways that OEA will change the way it does business.
a. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to remove the requirement that the OEA Representative Assembly meets twice per year. This would give OEA the flexibility to meet only once per year instead of twice, if the Board of Directors deemed that most appropriate. This could help save financial resources and allow them to be re-allocated to serve other needs within OEA. RAs in recent years have cost anywhere from $50,000 to $110,000. For years, it was held at Veterans Memorial. Having to move to the Convention Center or Schottenstein Center has resulted in huge cost increases. This proposal FAILED.
b. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to give college student members of OEA a voting seat on the OEA Board of Directors. This proposal PASSED.
c. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to pro-rate union dues. Currently, if members join the union in the middle of the year, they are required to pay dues for the entire year. This change would allow local unions to have membership drives that encourage members to join at any time and not be financially penalized. This proposal PASSED.
d. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to change the beginning and ending dates of terms for the offices of OEA President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer. They would begin on July 15 instead of September 1 to allow them to transition and acclimate to their new roles prior to the beginning of a new school year. This proposal PASSED.
2. The East Liverpool Education Association shared that they are in crisis, similar to what happened in Reynoldsburg last year. Their school board has imposed a last, best, and final offer and refuses to continue negotiations with a federal mediator. The teachers of East Liverpool have authorized their bargaining team to serve a 10-day notice to strike to the school board.
3. The dues to be an OEA member are going down a few dollars for next school year. Dues are calculated based on the average teacher salary in Ohio. The average salary has decreased due to retirements as well as decreased funding of public education from the state.
4. The OEA Officers have been meeting with the State Superintendent and testifying in front of the State Legislature to advocate for reduced testing requirements and to not eliminate the 5 of 8 rule. Unfortunately, the 5 of 8 rule was eliminated by the State Board of Education. The OEA Officers continue to urge us all to be on alert regarding a potential Right to Work ballot issue coming to Ohio.