Report from the OEA Representative Assembly

The PAT delegation participated in the OEA Representative Assembly on April 15th and 16th. PAT was recognized for our hard work collecting signatures for the Better Oregon campaign, and our Legislative Committee was given an award for our work in last year's School Board races.

In addition, the RA addressed several of PAT's priority issues:

  • The RA formally endorsed the July 8th Save Our Schools Coalition March in Washington, DC, and is encouraging all Oregon educators to attend. The event is sponsored by a diverse group of organizations, ranging from the Bad Ass Teachers (BATs) Network to our parent union, the National Education Association. The march will take place at the conclusion of the NEA's Representative Assembly.

  • PAT members Tom Kane and Hyung Nam successfully passed two resolutions related to climate change at this year's RA. As a result, the OEA will request an audit of PERS, to see how much money our retirement fund has lost over the last three and five years owing to fossil fuel investments. OEA will also work with various environmental groups in the state to lobby the Oregon Investment Council and the State Treasurer to divest the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) from stocks and funds that are in fossil fuels.

  • The RA voted to create a toolkit for local associations and leaders who wish to educate parents about their rights to refuse high stakes standardized tests.

  • PAT member Adolfo Garza introduced three new business items that were adopted by the RA. First, to endorse and support high school student leadership support models such as M.E.C.H.A. (Morimiento Estudiantil Chicana de Aztlan), as well as promote the value of ethnic studies and other avenues for student support.

  • Secondly, to examine the impact of SB553, focusing on what happens when suspensions are prohibited, but schools are not providing adequate funding or alternative options and support services for students, and make recommendations for what educators can do in the face of unsafe behaviors.

  • Third, to extend solidarity to berry pickers in Washington State and San Quitin, Mexico, and endorse their call for a boycott of Driscolls and Sakuma Bros berries until the company negotiates a union contract for better working conditions and wages.

  • The RA voted to lobby the Oregon Investment Council and the State Treasurer to divest the PERS from stocks related to any and all private prison operations, working with groups such as ENLACE and the Private Prison Divestment Campaign.

  • Members committed to OEA playing a leading role in combating institutional racism and educational inequality, together with community partners and social justice organizations around the state.