AFT-Oregon Holds 2018 Convention
Over 150 assembled delegates, members and guests held the AFT-Oregon Convention on May 4-6, 2018, in downtown Portland. Delegates debated policy on education, legislative and social justice issues, all of which helps set the direction for AFT-Oregon in the coming years.
President David Rives, AFT-Oregon
During his address, President David Rives spoke of how we are building a stronger union through a recommitment to direct action and organizing. Right now, AFT-Oregon is executing large scale outreach efforts. We’re running regular membership drives, seeing co-workers in their offices, classrooms, and homes.
Leaders are seeing big successes with our Member Organizing Program with participants in seven locals, who have been putting in hours every week. While learning important organizing skills, these members have had nearly a thousand conversations with fee payers and members, and have already signed up over 150 new members. Between programs like this and membership drives at all of our locals, we’ve added over 1,200 members since September.
Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, Oregon Legislature
A longtime champion for the labor movement, Speaker Tina Kotek spoke to delegates and guests, reminding us how strong we are together in union, and the results we can achieve to build a better future. Because of the collective strength of Oregon’s workers, she has been able to help pass crucial bills to help give everyone in Oregon a fair shot, including paid sick days, a minimum wage increase, and an historic expansion of union rights sponsored by AFT-Oregon. To build on that strength, she urged us to get involved in the 2018 election to ensure we continue to elect pro-worker candidates.
President Louis Malfaro, Texas AFT
President Malfaro of Texas AFT shared from his over 30 years of experience teaching and advocating in a state where workers have no collective bargaining rights, yet must still join together in union to organize and shift the landscape. Malfaro began his career as a bilingual elementary school teacher in a district with a majority of low-income and non-native speaking students. He quickly became involved with his union when he saw how little support was given to the educators and students in his district. Malfaro spoke of how Texas AFT has helped to increase funding for schools, particularly for programs serving the most vulnerable students.
AFT-Oregon Delegates Deborah Hall, Heidi Edwards, and Sami Al-AbdRabbuh
AFT-Oregon delegates conducted important business at convention, including electing Sami Al-AbdRabbuh from Coalition of Graduate Employees, Local 6069, as Delegate to the AFT Convention, and considering and passing resolutions expressing AFT-Oregon values and goals. These resolutions included:
- Support for negotiating trans-related healthcare compliant with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards
- Pushing back on the overuse of quantitative metrics in the evaluation of faculty in colleges and universities
- Supporting AFT-Oregon members who work together to create union housing cooperatives
- Reaffirming our support for single-payer healthcare
- Strengthening Title VII protections against sexual harassment and violence in the workplace
- Opposing the arming of teachers
To learn more about how you can help organize your coworkers, attend future conventions, or help AFT-Oregon elect pro-worker leaders like Speaker Kotek, contact your local union president and tell them “I’m All In.”