President Rives on Withdrawal of Anti-worker Initiatives in Oregon

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Chief petitioners for Initiative Petitions 1 and 9—the anti-worker initiatives—as well as the chief petitioners for several revenue-raising initiatives, have withdrawn their proposed initiatives for the 2014 ballot.

Governor Kitzhaber worked with business and labor leaders to have the initiatives removed in order to move forward with revenue reform efforts to fund public services. We have the third largest class sizes in the nation and essential support services in our schools are cut to the bone. Oregon ranks the fifth lowest in higher education funding, with that burden being shifted to students in the form of skyrocketing tuition.

AFT-Oregon will be working to ensure that our voices are heard in the discussions around revenue and funding for public education.

For the last few months, members have spent countless hours preparing to fight the anti-worker measures and our hard work has been paying off.  Members have worked to strengthen our Locals and to spread the word about the essential role unions play in protecting workers rights. And while this recent news is a sigh of relief, we must continue to build on these efforts, for we will surely see similar attacks in the future.

Yesterday’s events give us more time to make sure that we are ready when the fight comes back to Oregon. I encourage each of you to keep up the good work and to know that the next attack is just around the corner in 2015, 2016 or beyond.

In Solidarity,
David Rives
AFT-Oregon President