The season is shifting: the leaves are beginning to fall, football is on television, and the pumpkin patches are opening. But beyond enjoying the wonders of fall, you may have some questions or concerns about the contract, your prep time, too many meetings, or class size. That leads us to:
Who Do I Turn To?
The beauty of being in the union is that members are never alone. There is always someone there to fight for you, support you, and answer your questions. In Greater Albany Education Association, we have a 1-to-10 communication structure. That means that every worksite in this district with certified staff has a building rep, and in most buildings, they are at a 1-to-10 ratio. This is important due to a number of factors. First and foremost, the building reps do the heavy lifting when it comes to union work. They are on the ground, day in and day out, supporting members. Second, due to our collaborative relationship with the school district, we prefer to settle issues at the lowest level possible–perhaps before they even become issues. Building reps help us do that work. They put out fires, answer contract questions, negotiate disputes, and meet with members as well as administrators to make sure we have the best schools for our students.
Now, you might begin to wonder what the executive board does. Well, we support our building reps, and in some cases, we act as reps for our buildings. We also make sure that our 1-to-10 communication structure functions well, so that information can flow from building reps to the executive board, who functions as the grievance committee. While we don’t often file grievances, we recognize that as part of our collaborative relationship with the district, we are obligated to do some preventative problem-solving as a grievance committee before issues become real issues–and thus grievances. The president also meets with and communicates with district leadership to figure out higher-level solutions, and again, this helps both the association and the district deal with the smoke before it becomes a fire.
Building reps will be coming around in the next few weeks to make sure you know who they are. In the meantime, here’s a table that shows who represents which building. People with asterisks are also members of the Executive Board.
|Albany Options||Lindsey Roundy*|
|Clover Ridge||Denise Whitney|
|Clover Ridge||Paige Wooton|
|District Office||Cindy Drouhard|
|Fairmount/Special Programs||Michele Eddy-Malott*|
|Memorial MS||Katie Louk*|
|Memorial MS||Phil Schapker|
|North Albany ES||Janeen Tope-Lehn|
|North Albany ES||Jacque Thwaite|
|North Albany MS||Laurie Renshaw|
|North Albany MS||Lisa Spires|
|North Albany MS||Andy Nelson|
|Oak Grove||Amanda Molinar|
|South Albany||Dana Lovejoy*|
|South Albany||Holly Garrow*|
|South Albany||Katie Gisler|
|South Albany||Vanessa Pierce|
|South Albany||Angela Spencer|
|South Albany||Tami Donaldson|
|South Albany||Duece Phaly|
|South Shore||Anna Townsend*|
|South Shore||Ashley Hawkins*|
|South Shore||Delia Guillen|
|South Shore||Stephanie Ockerman|
|Timber Ridge||Tracie Ross*|
|Timber Ridge||Jennifer Murray*|
|Welcome Center/ELD||Jessica Dionne|
|West Albany||Gareth Engler*|
|West Albany||Shana Hains|
|West Albany||Kyle Hall|
|West Albany||Jordan Ruppert|
|West Albany||Marcie McArthur|
|West Albany||Todd Zimmerman|
Smile File Social
Are you or do you know an educator in the first five years of the profession? Join us for a social on October 29th at 4pm to build your Smile File. A Smile File is a folder you can pull out at the end of a hard day to remind yourself why you teach. Come meet other early career educators around the district, get a gift bag full of supplies and goodies, and relax. The social will be at the UniServ office: 2885 Cedarwood Ct. SE.
OEA’s Fall Conference is scheduled for October 18th-19th at the Riverhouse in Bend. The conference is a great opportunity to skillbuild around advocacy for students, bargaining, and organizing. If that interests you, please reach out. The permission of your local president is required to attend. The conference is included with your union dues. You can register here: http://www.oregoned.org/events/advocacyconference This year’s featured keynote is Dan St. Romain, who focuses on trauma-informed teaching.
Play Bingo with us!
Our early career educators received Bingo cards at our New Teacher Luncheon. Regardless of how long you have been in the profession, you can play GAEA Bingo too! Cards are available at the UniServ office (2885 Cedarwood Ct SE), as well as meetings, trainings, and socials, so be sure to pick one up and join the fun.
Wear in the World is GAEA?
Follow our Instagram at @greateralbanyea, Twitter at @albany_teachers, and like our Facebook page, wear your GAEA shirt on your fall adventures, and share your pictures with us to win prizes! Contest is open to current members only.
Governance Council, 10/2, 4:30pm, UniServ Office
School Board, 10/7, 7pm, District Office
Executive Board, 10/16, 4:30pm, UniServ Office
Third Thursday Social, 10/17, No Rails Ale House
School Board, 10/28
Smile File Social, 10/29
OEA Fall Conference, 10/18-19, Bend