Ohio Association of Public School Employees

Stronger Together.

Why Join OAPSE?

These are the Facts: Why it pays to be part of the strongest union in Ohio

Who We Are

The Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE/AFSCME) is the state’s largest union for employees at public schools, libraries, early childhood education and Head Start facilities, county boards of developmental disabilities, residential care facilities, and community and technical colleges. With more than 34,000 members in 460 locals across the state and affiliated with the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), OAPSE/AFSCME is THE union for workers who serve Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens – children and the disabled.

OAPSE Members Run the Union

In OAPSE/AFSCME, the members run the union. Our state executive board, district officers and local union leaders are all elected by OAPSE/AFSCME members. Each of our 460 local unions has its own officers, who take the lead on day-to-day issues facing members in the workplace. Elected officers and stewards receive frequent training at in-person seminars and online through guided webinars to make sure they have the most current information and tools to ensure OAPSE members are treated with fairness and dignity at work.

The Numbers Add Up

The OAPSE difference means more in your paycheck. OAPSE members make more money — $3,964 more annually – than non-union workers who do the same jobs. That’s $330 more every month in your pocket. And higher wages mean a stronger benefit when you retire! OAPSE members have better health care coverage, pay less of the total premium and have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than school employees not represented by our union. Read our OAPSE Fact Sheet and get the facts! 

How We Help You

Being an OAPSE/AFSCME member gets you the backing of the largest, strongest public employee union in Ohio. It gets you expertise and power at the bargaining table, so you can negotiate for higher wages, stronger benefits and safe working conditions in your contract. It gets you health care and retirement security, legal representation, research, political action and legislative advocacy on issues that matter to you.

OAPSE Staff: Second to None

With a professional staff of 55 in five offices around the state, OAPSE is committed to providing the best services possible to our members. Our regional directors and field representatives have the experience and expertise to help local union leaders negotiate the strongest contracts possible. Our legal team represents locals and members at every level of our legal system, from the local union’s grievance procedure to the Ohio Supreme Court. We have the best political and legislative team in Ohio to help elect worker-friendly candidates and shape laws that benefit our members. They also work with you and your local union activists to elect friendly school board members and pass levies that provide the funding that guarantees your job. And our public affairs department keeps you up-to-date with a periodic newsletter, a comprehensive website, email notifications and a presence on social media applications like Twitter.


OAPSE/AFSCME is the union in Ohio for …

  • All employees of public and private elementary, secondary and vocational schools
  • All employees of public libraries
  • All employees of Head Start agencies
  • All employees of Boards of Developmental Disabilities
  • All employees of state-financed general, community and technical colleges
  • All employees of Boards of Community Mental Health
  • All employees of public or private Residential Care facilities
  • All employees of Manpower Training facilities, and all employees of private employers or subcontractors who by virtue of contract or other arrangement have agreed to perform or are performing services which could be performed by the employees designated above.


Membership Has Its Privileges


Being an OAPSE/AFSCME member gets you the backing of the largest, strongest public employee union in Ohio. It gets you expertise and power at the bargaining table – after all, OAPSE/AFSCME members make $3,964 more annually than non-union workers who do the same jobs. That’s $330 more every month for you and your family. And those extra dollars mean a stronger benefit when you retire.

Being a member of OAPSE/AFSCME gets you health care and retirement security, legal representation, research, political action and legislative advocacy on issues that matter to you. And it gets you access to educational opportunities and training institutes.

Away from the workplace, OAPSE/AFSCME membership gets you special deals and rates on the things you need and want!

Take a look at this short video to find out how to get the most out of your OAPSE/AFSCME dues money!


Benefits For OAPSE/AFSCME Members Only

The OAPSE/AFSCME Higher Education Program lets members and their families earn two years of college at no cost to them! Most classes, which are offered in partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC), are online and designed to fit your busy life and schedule. In fact, most courses are self-paced – you work on them anytime during the academic term. Credits earned through the OAPSE/AFSCME HEP Program transfer to Ohio’s four-year colleges. And EGCC will work with you to ensure that any previous college work or relevant work or military experience counts toward your degree. You and your family members can save thousands! It’s a big deal with big savings. And it’s only available for OAPSE/AFSCME members, their families and retirees. For more information about the OAPSE/AFSCME HEP Program, go to www.oapseeducation.org.

The OAPSE/AFSCME Memorial Scholarship Foundation awards at least 10 scholarships of $2,500 to children whose parent or legal guardian is a member in good standing of OAPSE/AFSCME. And AFSCME – our national union – has several scholarship programs available to members only. These scholarships can mean the difference between going to college and having to defer the dream. To find out more about this key benefit for members only, click here.

Being an AFSCME member doesn’t only get you an advantage at the bargaining table – it also gets you access to discounts and benefits that can help make life a little easier. The AFSCME Advantage Program gives OAPSE/AFSCME members access to great discounts on travel, shopping, credit cards, mortgages, cell phone plans, insurance and even buying a car. Click here for more details on how to access these benefits.

As part of the AFSCME “Family Fun Days” program, our union members get special rates at Cedar Point, Kings Island, Cincinnati, Toledo and Columbus zoos and Soak City, the Beach, Wildwater Kingdom and Zoombezi Bay waterparks. OAPSE/AFSCME families can save more in a single day at a theme park and waterpark than they pay in union dues for a year! Click here to go to the login page that will take you to the coupons and savings!

If you are an OAPSE/AFSCME member, you can take advantage of all these benefits today. For more information, click on any of the links below.

If your coworkers have formed a union and you have not joined yet, you can do it today by talking with a local union officer or calling membership services at 1-800-78-OAPSE.

If you want to form an OAPSE/AFSCME local union so you and your coworkers can take advantage of the state’s best representation and the benefits only available to members, call the organizing department at 1-800-78-OAPSE, and we’ll help you get started.


Join Today and Be Part of the Power of OAPSE


For more information about who we are and how we can help you and your local union grow in numbers, strength and power, call 1-800-786-2773 and ask for the OAPSE Organizing Department.