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“This last year has been a wake-up call for many in Oregon’s labor movement,” said David Rives, AFT-Oregon President in his State of the Union address to convention delegates. Rives was referring to AFT-Oregon members’ response to a recent threat of an anti-worker ballot initiative which was ultimately withdrawn.

“AFT-Oregon worked tirelessly with locals to mobilize our members. Staff developed and conducted trainings for worksite leaders, and locals mobilized their members with an urgency we hadn’t seen before,” said Rives. It was inspiring to see a level of activity, and we don’t want to lose


Jaime Rodriguez, longtime activist and member of Local 2277 (PCCFFAP) was appointed to fill the AFT-Oregon Vice-President for Political Action seat. Sarah Grider, Local 3922 (PCCFCE) stepped down last month from the position after resigning from her position at PCC to finish a bachelors degree through Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego. Rodriguez was the 2013 recipient of the AFT-Oregon John Connor Award for his tireless work on numerous election campaigns.


Ramon Ramirez, President of the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (PCUN) and CAUSA brought a message of the importance of community engagement and solidarity among unions. AFT-Oregon delegates will consider a resolution this weekend in support of PCUN’s campaign to ensure safety on Oregon’s roads by expanding access to driver’s licenses to all Oregonians, 16 and older.

Ramirez shared a collaborative event where members of PCUN and Local 2278 (WOUFT), who represent faculty at Western Oregon University sold strawberries tended by PCUN members on the WOU campus last summer. The goal


AFT-Oregon welcomed Debra Mayo-Kelley as the new field representative in February. Mayo-Kelley brings a wealth of experience from her previous union leadership role and staff positions as field representative and organizing director.


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1 and 9—the anti-worker initiatives—as well as the chief petitioners for several revenue-raising initiatives, have withdrawn their proposed initiatives for the 2014 ballot.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


Members from Local 111 (PFSP), AFT-Oregon Retirees and AFT Local 5017 (OFNHP) helped to make Presents from Partners’ Holiday Toy Drive a smashing success. Over 240 kids participated this year. Many are homeless, or their families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, with little opportunities.

“I feel so fortunate that we are able to take part in this event each year. It truly represents the spirit of the season when you see the joy on the faces of these children, who have so little, as they meet Santa, stuff stockings and choose gifts for themselves and their parents,” shared Belinda


Local 6069 (CGE), with help from Local 3544 (GTFF) members raised a record $5555.55 for the Linn-Benton food share this fall at the annual Civil War Brew-Off. CGE organizes and hosts the annual event as a fun way to network with other graduate employees and show-off their beer brewing talents, while benefiting needy families in the area.

“As federal cuts to SNAP funding and the oncoming winter put extra pressure on charities like the Food Share, being able to help them serve our community is a tremendous thing. Major hats off to the Brew-Off committee; they must have used magical elves to pull


Local 6020 (AFTOCUE): Classified employees at Oregon Coast Community College won their first contract since joining Local 6020 (AFTOCUE) last summer. The new two-year agreement includes two additional salary steps and cost-of-living increases for both years.

Classified employees also achieved better vacation accrual, an additional paid holiday, and procedures for grievances, layoff/recall, and discipline or dismissal with just cause.
Kimberly Jones, bargaining team member said she’s pleased that the college approved the contract, but more excited by recent new members to the union.

“Nearly three


“Joining the union was the only solution,” said Tim Burgard, one of the newest members to the Local 4912 (LCCSSA) bargaining unit of his reason for pursuing union representation for nine the LCC Campus Safety officers, and four dispatchers who work in his department. Despite his longtime union membership in previous careers, this is the first time he has been an active member. After seeing the need to be included in the union, he jumped in with both feet, leading the effort to join Local 4912.

“We had no protections that other employees enjoyed—we were strictly at-will, where the other


Local 3571 (PSUFA): After months of difficult negotiations, PSU Adjunct Faculty ratified a new contract with significant increases in benefits.

“Despite claims from management that budget cuts are imminent, we secured a significant raise, as well as increases to our professional development fund, and some important protections for Adjuncts,” said Kelly Cowan, Local 3571 (PSUFA) President.

Highlights include up to 3% increases in salary each year of the contract, based on minimum per credit and hourly rates.  A win for the union was an increase in the university’s contribution of $40,000 per year