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OGEA Ratifies 2016-2019 Tentative Agreement!

Hello OGEA Members,

We have received the results from our tentative agreement vote. The report is shown as a screenshot from our third-party elections software "Big Pulse":

The Voting window was open from Monday at 3:00pm to Friday at Midnight

Nearly 80% of our voting body participated with 91% YES vote to ratify our contract and 8% NO vote to not ratify with less than 1% abstaining.

The ratification vote passes and our results will be shared with the OGSD school board. The school board pre-approved our ratification at the board meeting on Thursday, October 13th should it have passed. Next steps will be for OGSD to begin processing our new contract and updating payroll.

Our Bargaining Team spent 3 seasons preparing surveys, feedback and listening meetings, frequent updates and communications, research with comparable districts, scanning budget reports, and preparing for subs when they would be pulled out of their classroom to negotiate with the district. Our bargaining team worked from February of 2016 through October of 2016, nearly 9 months, where these teachers put energy into our future contract language.

Our Organizing Committee worked with passion to educate, agitate, and escalate our members around their teacher rights and encouraged us to share our stories with the board, our superintendents, and our local school community. Organizing committee created opportunities for teachers to speak at board meetings and participate in email campaigns to ensure our voice was heard with our school board and our superintendents. Our organizing committee even rallied for a demonstration outside of the district office, getting attention from our community and our district office staff.

Our Site Reps attended emergency meetings in addition to their standard amount of rep councils to gather and share input during bargaining. Our site reps are a critical part of our leadership and communication network. Site reps were diligent in holding site meetings to share the process of bargaining and to get feedback to bring to rep council for discussion.

Our Teachers shared their stories and reached out via email, phone, and social media in a new magnitude to engage and discuss our contract. Our teachers stood in front of our school board and met our superintendents at the curb of their schools asking the tough questions and holding each other accountable. Our teachers spent their time outside of the classroom to create posters, participate in organizing events, send letters and emails, and discuss their contract with the community when they had questions. Union T-shirts flew off the shelves in one of the largest shows of solidarity that I have heard about or been witness to in years!

Our contract was not achieved by one party in particular, but instead by the dedication, passion, teamwork, communication, and community/family values we share as a union. Through our engagement in the process, we begin to generate our OGEA Culture. I am proud of the culture we have generated and I am honored to represent each and every one of you as your President in this time. You showed the district that we can remain positive, respectful, engaged, and resilient in the face of disparity and financial hardship with declining enrollment -- That we as an association of educators, will not work in conditions that do not first benefit our students, our community, or allow us to meet the needs of our students successfully. Where this contract falls short, we as a Union have already begun to strike attention to areas that continue to need improvement. Improvements that we will need if we are to maintain our competitive edge in recruiting and retaining masterful educators, students, and families.

In the process of finalizing our contract negotiations, it gave me an opportunity as your new president to meet and break ground on a fresh perspective with our district administration and school board. I have been fortunate to engage and communicate with Jose Manzo and Andy Garcia as well as other district administration during this time of bargaining. Our conversations have been filled with hope and reflective practice that gives me a positive outlook for the future of our students, educators, and relationships with our district. Change is being made, wind is returning to our sails, and we have all of us to thank for it.

Thank you for your passion and dedication to our craft, in solidarity,

-Dominic Rizzi

OGEA President

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